DON STEVENS BLOG: A “POTPOURI” OF ENTRIES THIS TIME AROUNDBlogs | 11/9/2011 4:16:09 PM | Don Stevens
A “POTPOURI” OF ENTRIES THIS TIME AROUND
What a great, come-from-behind win Sunday night against Syracuse. Overtime wins are always special, along with the goal with two minutes left to tie it up. And how about Brayden McNabb’s first professional goal that proved to be the game-winner? What a way to score your first! Again, it was having to come from behind, and you can’t count on too many wins that way.
Four out of six points last weekend. If they could do that every week, just think where this team would be at the end of the season. This is a very important month, with seven of 10 games at home. They really need to take advantage of the homestand and the favorable schedule, because it’s going to get a whole lot tougher next month when they play nine out of 13 on the road.
IS THERE A GOALTENDING CONTROVERSY?
If there is a controversy, it’s only amongst some of the fans. The issue seems to be if the coach should continue to simply alternate the goaltenders. Many feel the only way to get a hot goalie is to pick one and stick with him for the great majority of games.
I must say I like, and fully agree, with what Coach Rolston is doing. This early in the season especially, it’s important to find out which one can really carry the load. All too often over the years, I’ve seen a goalie played to the limit and when it comes down to the end-of-season push and the playoffs, he’s burned out. To have two goalies fresh and both playing well is the ideal situation. What if there is an injury to your “number one?” With the other one riding the pines, he’s probably not ready to carry the full weight of the team. Therefore, you are in a tough situation at the most important time of the season.
Some say it doesn’t develop a competitive spirit amongst the two goalies. I totally disagree; it’s just the opposite. In the first place, these are professional athletes. They’ve gotten this far because they have that competitive spirit to win. They are competing against each other to become that “number one goalie.” Not only that, but losing means they won’t be going anywhere (maybe down) or improving their status for the future. And, losing is embarrassing, especially for a goalie, because there’s no place to hide. I think they have plenty of motivation built into the position.
Down the stretch run, I think you want to lean more heavily on your top goalie. Then when it comes down to the playoffs, your top guy is at the peak of his game and the “number two” is ready to step in when needed. For now,
MEET THE PLAYERS DINNER
Monday night I had the honor of “M.C.ing” the Booster Club’s Meet The Players dinner. Congratulations to Virginia Paddock (Club President) and the rest of the club for putting on another great event.
Mind you, this was the 46th Annual Dinner. When you stop to think about it, that’s far longer than the great majority of teams in this league have been around.
And it was nice to hear more about the club’s Christmas Family drive. Each year, the club picks a needy family and they raise money to make sure this family has what it needs for Christmas. They purchase clothing especially, along with a few “goodies” for the younger ones. They also provide the full Christmas dinner of the family’s choice. It’s a tremendous promotion and I hope all of you will stop by the Booster Club table in the upper atrium at the next game and show your support for the project.
One other thing about the dinner… kudos to the players, coaches and hockey staff for attending and they all represented the Amerks extremely well. Captain Colin Stuart’s speech was the hit of the night, but the Rookie Dance will not be a selected feature on “Dancing with the Stars” or “So You Think You Can Dance.” It was a good try though and they were very good sports about the whole thing. I like this team!!!!
CAREER DAY APPEARANCE
My thanks to Principal Brian Neenan and his staff at Willink Middle School in Webster. I had the privilege of talking to a couple classes on their “Career Day.” Always nice to talk to school kids. It made me think a lot about what they are going through. I don’t think I’d like to be a part of this generation. When I came out of school, it wasn’t nearly as hard to find work, and hopefully a career. They have a tough road ahead and I wish them all the best for a very successful future.