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A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.

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Monday, May 31, 2010

There's Always a Scapegoat

Tonight is Game 2 of the Stanely Cup Finals. Much to do went around about Peter Laviolette sending in Brian Boucher to replace Micheal Leighton in Game 1. I was more focused on the poor performace of both teams, who looked like pee-wee teams doing the ping-ping scoring that often goes on at that wee age, which at that age is cute. The Blackhawks got off easy - there was no victory for them this game but it appeared they realized that by how they skated off the ice. As for the Flyers, the last thing they needed was internal drama which was what their coach wound up creating - it's one thing to replace your starting goalie when the score is 4-0 but this was not the case. Coach Laviolette made Leighton look like a chump early on in this final race, there were other Flyers that should have exited instead of Leighton.

Morale is important Coach Laviolette if you want your boys to win for you because when it comes down to it in my world, it's all about making 'Dad' proud and as that goes, by removing your goalie when both teams were playing loosely, you publically put your team in a submissive position which can change the entire mindset of a team who really believed they could win the Stanley Cup under your leadership. But like in any family dynamic there is always someone in the role of scapegoat. In ice hockey that role is all too often filled by the goalie. In my opinion Leighton should have finished the game. What a coach can do in a scenario like game 1 is essentially play confidence chicken with the other coach - puff up his feathers and show 'fake it to you make it' confidence in your collective team because at the end of the day it's not about one game, one win or one loss...it's about who is still standing at the end of what is one long ass season. It's about endurance.

All Leighton needed was one confidence boost moment like Antti Niemi had late in the game when he impressed even himself with a glove save off of Daniel Briere's line drive from the slot.

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