…and the team does as they usually do: ignores him completely.
Some highlights from Howard Dolgon’s interview with The Score 1260 this afternoon:
Something’s gotta click (to take this team to the playoffs)…that 07-08 team was a less talented, less experienced team, a team that really struggled in goal for most of the year until we brought in Karl Goehring. They were too good to not be a playoff team. They started winning games that they should have, games that they probably shouldn’t have, and then the rest was history. It clicked for that team sometime in Feb. This team has got to grab the same mentality. We’ve seen this team go into the last two weekends, two of the last three home games, go into the 3rd w/two goals leads, only to lose. They’ve gotta get into their minds that you need to close the deal. Once you start feeling that confidence (you take care of business).
It’s pretty clear what Chairman How feels here. He feels the team isn’t living up to their potential. As a fan, I know this team isn’t living up to it’s potential. Last week, I wrote an entry for AC that talked about the Crunch being it’s own worst enemy. This is becoming more and more apparent.
Tonight’s effort against rival Conn. further outlines this point. Newly returned Jeff Deslauriers allowed three goals on 28 shots. However, it was expected by pretty much everyone in the world that he’d have quite a bit of rust on him, given his extended stay on the old pine plank in Anaheim. With the Crunch’s Palmieri out due to a foot injury, every forward on the team should have known they’d have to up their game. This team has won without Palmieri. It has enough scoring depth that doing so shouldn’t be so hard. And, yet, tonight’s lack-luster one goal, 24-shot effort clearly outlined exactly what Howard said during his interview:
This team will start to win once it has decided it wants to.
We can only hope that decision won’t come too late for it to do any good. The Crunch currently sits 6 points out of a playoff spot in a pretty tight conference race. Three teams are in a points-tie for that 8th and final spot–Bridgeport, Portland and Worcester. The Crunch has 45 points, those teams have 51. The points then increase from there to: 56 (Manchester), 57 (Norfolk), 59 (Hershey), 53 (Conn.), 63 (WBS), and finally 64 (St. John’s).
By the way, the only conference team worse than the Crunch is Bingo, but that’s only by two points.
This conference is tighter than a drum right now. One lost game can potentially drop a team out of playoff contention (and this has happened several times this season). Standings-wise, I don’t think the Crunch has been in contention since October. The time is act is now.
Then again, maybe these guys want to be playing golf in April. If so, Crunch, then by all means continue on this path. You all will be, I can guarantee it, while fans, yet again, will only have next season to look forward to.