Opinions are like... well you know. We all got em. After sitting through five games of the Telegram Herder Memorial Championship Series at Mile One, I saw enough to be of the opinion that the Clarenville Caribous were the better team. And in the end, the better team won. But Ive been following a lot of the talk on the message boards and in comments posted to our story since where CeeBees fans are making a passionate argument that the only reason the Herd triumphed was simply because their netminder Jason Churchill stood on his head and Freddy Diamond was off his game. Theres a great deal of truth to that. Diamond had shone brighter and Churchill was a dam holding back the CeeBees' offense. But that wasnt the whole series. Not by a long shot. Sure the CeeBees had a ton of shots on net on average about 45 to 50 per game but a very small percentage of those would be considered scoring opportunities. Wristers from the perimeter without a screen are not going to beat Churchill. Nor will many blue-line slappers. There were plenty of both. And with his rebound control coupled with a dilligent Bous defence there were rarely any second chances. But on a player-by-player basis, the CeeBees were beat soundly in the majority of cases. For instances, if Mark Chaplin and Ryan Delaney went into a corner after the puck, nine times out of 10, Chappy would come out with it (that says something if you can beat a wiley Delaney in a corner). And how many times would Matthew French, Ian Moores, Randy Reardon or another CeeBee rearguard get left in the wake of a streaking Andrew Pearcey, Chris Mooney, Derrick Kent or Brad Crann (who moves remarkably quick for a lad his size). And ultimately, the CeeBees were blown out... twice. When the three-time defending champs, in their fifth straight Herder are outscored 18-5 in two games (34-16 over five) of the provincial championship, that says to me they were outplayed. To say they werent outplayed is almost like saying they didnt try really, and thats a far greater injustice to either organization as far as Im concerned. The CeeBees put everything they had into this series, dealt with crippling injuries, junior call ups, and had the character not to bend to public pressure and pull Diamond in favour of Graham Cook. And for the effort most of the team put in, they probably deserved more than the one win. But again, the better team was just that, better. In every way. That's how you win. But of course, thats just my opinion. Whats yours?
- July 27, 2010 - 13:55
My opinion is that if Ryan Delaney's goal in overtime in game 2 was actually called a goal (instead of being waved off despite the goal judge calling it a goal), it would have been a completely different series. If it would have been 1-1 going into game 3, and if the the Ceebees won game 3 (which they did in overtime), going into game 4 with CBN up 2-1 would have been a massively different series. The game of hockey is one of momentum shifts.
The CeeBees did NOT put everything they had into this series. That was evident when they gave up 3 breakaways that all resulted in goals in game 5. That completely took the wind out of their sails. They became complacent, almost disinterested.
Not to take anything away from the Caribous. When the CeeBees did seem to give up, the 'bous poured it on, keeping the pedal to the metal. They were relentless.
And yes, Diamond did give up quite a few softies. While most of the CeeBees shots were unscreened from the perimeter, Churchill made huge saves in tight when he had to, on guys like Delaney and Wadden.
So in my opinion, defensive lapses and soft goals created huge shifts in momentum. That, and an uncalled goal in overtime.