The new month provides an opportunity for a fresh start. After a massive 6-1 loss to the Puck Hawgs last week, Irwins is tied for last place with Funky Pickle. Although the website shows us below the Pickle, we hold the edge with two wins over them.
Tonight we meet first place Cup O Kryptonite for the third time. Our previous encounters resulted in a pair of 5-2 losses (1st - 2nd). I am not going to lie, the coffee guys are pretty damn good.
In order to beat Cup tonight, we will need a miracle in net. Daniels is a competent goalie, but has struggled since injuring his knee a few weeks ago. His confidence has been noticeably shaken, but his spirits remain high. If he can regain some of his form, he may be able to prevent some of the softer goals he has allowed since his return.
Our defense has long been our strongest component. Their communication and puck movement should spark our offense and relieve pressure on Daniels. Unfortunately, most of their outlet passes are choked by poor offensive placement and turn overs abound.
To counter this, the centers (Massa, N. Hrabak, and myself) continually push the wings further up in the defensive end. Last week, the wings collapsed several times which drew the three of us out and exposed our weak transition game. Instead of providing solid opening along the boards, the defensemen were left looking for a roving center to pass to. As the Hawgs continually chocked the middle, we routinely failed to clear.
Cup's defense is much more familiar with each other than that of the Hawgs. This translates into better coordination and puck control. No team in the league retains the puck in the offensive end as well as the defending champions. Breakaways are nearly impossible against this dominating team.
Unfortunately, I predict another big win for Cup O Kryptonite tonight - once again in the 5-2 neighborhood.