14S, no. 3; newsletter by c.g.)
As I watched J-S Giguere capture the Conn Smythe award as the Playoff MVP, I wondered how much more disrespect could be thrown Martin Border way. I mean he had great numbers, set a record for most shutouts in a post season and won the Stanley Cup in a Game 7 shutout of the Mighty Ducks. Which got me to thinking: When is a Shutout, not really a Shutout? If you're expecting me to answer that you may be waiting a while. A shutout is always a shutout, dumb ass, but could there be some shutouts that are better than others? Again, zero on the board is still zero, it means you sucked, got smoked, didn't show up, choked, all those sports clichés you toss about at the team on the losing end of the big goose egg or does it? Let me give you an example ...
Let's say hypothetically that a very good B Division team were to match up for a late afternoon game against arguably the best team in the A Division. Further let's say that the B Division team were missing five players to start the game and only had six skaters compared to that A team's 9. Well by now you all know where this is going: I am trying to make an argument that a 7-0 game really wasn't as bad as it looked on paper. Sooo, think about this ...
The score at the end of the 1st was 2-0; during that 1st period Glenn Farkas rang a blistering shot off the crossbar, and Chris was stoned by the Blackhawk goalie on a breakaway. Still 2-0 is all they could muster thanks to some great goaltending and some fine defensive play. At intermission 2-0 wasn't looking so bad. We had chances, the D was tight, and Harris was on maybe we could give them a run.
And so it was, onto the 2nd where Glenn Farkas again has a golden opportunity as a rebound shot from one of Ralz's many chances came right to Glenn's stick and he is staring at a gaping net (I am talking about a WIDE-open net), and Glenn is four feet away at the most; RRRIIIIINNNNGGGG, this time Glenn puts it off the post. Wildman and Ralz continue to mount pressure, while Keith, and Scooby do the ironman thing at the back end. Somehow they manage to slip two more by Harris (who is playing great) and we have a disappointing, but still respectable 4-0 game at two periods.
The 3rd period begins on a downward spiral as the Blackhawks put in two quick goals for a commanding 6-0 lead with 12:00 minutes remaining. The team is just dead at this point, and players don't have the legs of the first two periods (even though bolstered by a late-arriving Kevin McLaughlin who raced back from his weekend away). Things settle down a bit, and the Pirates get a few more good chances, but just can't solve the Blackhawk goalie. The Blackhawks will score their final goal on a powerplay (called on Scooby) with less than 3:00 minutes remaining.
To add insult to injury, Scott LeMatty comes sauntering up to the guys at the meeting in parking lot at 6:30, ready to play the 7:00pm game misinformed by the GoodSports crack staff. So in the end was this shutout better than another shutout? Well, we played pretty good defensively, had a bunch of quality scoring opportunities, played extremely shorthanded against a good team and had solid goaltending. So was it better .... Nah, getting skunked sucks anyway you slice it, but hopefully I made you think ...