|Allen vs Missouri Game 3 Tonight - photo by chlphotos.com|
Don't have any new info for today so thought I would post from another blog so those of you that don't follow Sin Bin Mavs can get the perspective from the Mavericks point of view. Sin Bin Mavs is the official blog of the Missouri Mavericks. I have been following them on twitter for a while and find them to be fair and balanced at least from a home team perspective. If you are on Twitter give them a follow at @SinBinMavs
SIN BIN BLOG: PARTY CRASHERSThe first game of a seven-game series is the perfect opportunity to send a message. However, when you are facing the top seed, on the road nonetheless, forget about it being an "opportunity." It becomes a necessity. The Mavericks needed to go into Allen and punch the Americans right in the mouth (figuratively, or course). The Americans have a reputation of being.....how do I say this......antagonistic, but have the luxury of exemplary special teams, so it's never really caused much of an issue for them. The Mavericks needed to figure out a way to take advantage of the overly aggressive play of Allen, a feat that hasn't been achieved by many teams this season.
From the first drop of the puck, you could sense that every player on the roster knew this. They were flying. The adrenaline was pumping. The Mavericks knew that if they could come into Allen and steal the first game, they would take control of this semifinals series. The offense was clicking, despite only putting five shots on goal in the first frame. Passes were crisp, the movement was continuous, and the traffic in front of Allen netminder Aaron Dell was endless. It was apparent that the Mavs were going to give Allen all that they could handle on their home ice.
It was inevitable. At that rate, the Americans were bound to lose their cool at some point, and lose their cool they did. 57 penalty minutes turned into three powerplay goals for the Mavericks en route to a 5-1 opening game victory on enemy ice. The Mavericks had crashed the Americans' party. Not only did they crash the party, but they ate all the food in the refrigerator, threw a firecracker in the toilet, and spray-painted the cat just for good measure. The best team in the CHL had just been embarrassed on their home ice.
Unfortunately for the Mavs, they experienced a little bit of an adrenaline hangover. Game 2 was marred by sluggish play, heavy legs, and an inept offense. The only bright spot for the Mavericks was the play of Mathieu Corbeil, who was fresh off a 36 save performance in Game 1. While his line for the second game of the series doesn't appear to be as impressive on paper (29 saves on 32 shots), he was equally as impressive as the previous night. Unfortunately for Missouri, the Americans shook off their woes from the opening game, and came out determined, but more importantly, disciplined.
Getting the split in Allen puts the Mavs in a great situation. Now they have the home ice advantage, with the next three games at the IEC. However, the most concerning thing about the 4-1 defeat in Game 2 is not the number of goals that we surrendered, but rather how those goals were scored. A great point was made by my counterpart over at the Allen Americans Blog (@allenamericans1 on Twitter) earlier today. Allen is known for getting the majority of their goals through grit and grind, winning battles at the net. That is not at all how they netted their four goals in Game 2. Allen relied on pretty passing, finesse skating, and accurate shooting in their win, and the Mavs were totally unprepared for that.
Now the series comes back to Missouri, where the Mavericks are yet to lose in this postseason. While that appears to be favorable for the Mavs, remember that Allen went on the road to Denver last round, and swept all three games on the Cutthroats' home ice to win that series in five games. What we've learned in the first two games is that Allen can beat themselves, and hand their opponent a victory on a silver platter if they cannot control themselves, and also that if they can keep their cool, they are the most dangerous team in the league. The Mavericks, on the other hand, need to avoid the perpetual ebb and flow that we've seen so many times this season: dominant one night, and putrid the next. Which team will show up on Wednesday night?