Monday, March 28, 2016

Blame the goalie? Not so fast!

Michael Herringer - Shoot the Breeze Photography
It is easy to blame the goalie. As the last line of defence, many fans only see the puck enter the net with Michael Herringer in a vulnerable position. Let's break down all five goals the Rockets allowed in game two in order to get a better perspective of what exactly happened.

Goal #1: Blazers 20 year-old Ryan Rehill scores from the point when the puck goes off Rockets d-man Joe Gatenby's stick and deflects over Herringer's right shoulder. No chance for Herringer.

Goal #2: Blazers forward Garrett Pilon scores a power play goal when Herringer goes to the butterfly prematurely at the right post when Collin Shirley receives a pass from Gage Quinney off the half wall. The puck goes off Shirley's skate, not his stick and bounces to the other side of the net. Herringer flops down and can't recover on his belly as the puck goes to Pilon for the tap in. You can blame Herringer for committing early, but the puck bouncing from Shirley's skate to the other side of the net is a gift from the 'Hockey Gods'.

Goal #3: Blazers d-man Dawson Davidson's attempted pass from the sideboards goes off Rockets defenceman Gordie Ballhorn and changes direction. It goes between the legs of Herringer who is attempting to slid across in an attempt to stop the anticipated pass recipient, who is Blazers forward Matt Revel stationed in front of the net. The puck could have also been cleared twice earlier on in that sequence. Cal Foote missed on the first chance and Tyson Baillie, who wasn't pressured to the degree Foote was after absorbing a hit, also couldn't clear the zone.  

Goal #4: A clear face-off win in the neutral zone by Cole Linaker. The puck goes back to team-mate Lucas Johansen. Johansen hesitates, allowing Blazers forward Gage Quinney to win the puck. Quinney fires the puck low to Herringer's right pad, which is the spot a shooter should fire it in that scenario. It creates a rebound as Herringer kicks his right pad out and Collin Shirley fires in the rebound as no defender picks up the Blazers leading scorer. If Quinney fires the puck to Herringer's left pad, it goes harmlessly into the corner.

Goal #5: A screen shot from defenceman Ryan Rehill goes through traffic and beats Herringer blocker side. Herringer doesn't even see it. Rockets forward Tomas Soustal goes out to block the shot from the point. If he is going to attempt to block it, Soustal has to make sure he gets a piece of it. If he doesn't, it only creates more of screen for Herringer. Rehill told reporters after the game it hit Soustal's shin pad and then went in. On video, it appears Soustal leans slightly away from the puck as it is shot and it goes clean through.

Conclusion: Unfortunate bounces on three of the goals. A perfectly placed shot from Quinney on the right pad of Herringer for the Shirley goal to tie the game is the most well executed. That said, let's make it perfectly clear that while it is easy to point fingers at the goalie, Michael Herringer was not the guilty party on no less than four of the five goals scored in game two.
I will agree that a goalie must make a save that essentially steals a goal away. Look at Connor Ingram's glove hand stop on Rockets forward Dillon Dube in the third period as a good example. That said, Herringer also took a sure goal away from Matt Revel in game one that allowed the Rockets to win the opener.

1 comment:

g.k said...

You may be right Regan but that still won't stop everyone in the arena from holding their breathe every time Kamloops takes a shot on him!! Were too soft on defence right now and some of our veteran's are making to many mistakes with the puck!! Overall I think were outplaying the Blazers but the mistakes are killing us as well as their phenomenal goaltending!!