First season is in the books. Ended better than expected. We finished with a 43-31-8 record (8th in the Conference) and made the playoffs. At the end of the season we hit a cold streak and lost 5 of our last 6 games. Also Yakupov(92Pts.), who was the league leading scorer after the 80 game mark, went dry and finished second behind Ovechkin(97 Pts.). Sven Bärtschi was 4th with 89.Pts.
At the end all new-aquisitions not named Yakupov, Lazar and to some point Despres were average at best. Especially my "new" defense corps with Gudbranson, Cowen and Despres did not provide the defense i thought i would have. I tried pretty much to shut the opposition down, even with a neutral zone trap at some point of the season, but it hasn't changed the GA by any number. We gave up 266 Goals against (3.24 per Game). that's way too much, especially when you have teams like San Jose, LA, Chicago and Anaheim in your Division or Conference. At the moment i have no idea, how i can do better on defense in season 2.
Lineup at End of Season - 2nd Line Center changed all season cause no one wanted to grab the job, til Lazar took over at the 60game mark.
Gudbranson - Weber
Despres - Cowen
Stanton - Tanev
Bärtschi - Bonino - Yakupov
Conacher - Lazar - Jensen
Sekac - O'Reilly - Vey
Lowry - Burmistrov - Kassian
(Matthias - Trocheck - MacMillan)
At the end of the Season my 2nd Line and Starting Goalie Markström went so COLD
, that i decided to shake things up at the start of the Playoff-series against San Jose (1st). i split up my top-line to seperate the fire power and sent Yakupov to the 2nd line. Jensen came up to the top-line. Lehner took the starting job and did really well against San Jose.
Boys did very well against a highly favored Sharks team. Series was tied at 2 when we got to OT in Game 5 (3-3). There i was INFURIATED
with the ref, when he called a TRIPLE Penalty (Trocheck, Gudbranson and Lowry at the same time). Never had this before in my EHM Career.
Referee was McGeough. Wonder if i should suggest to Riz, to implement a "Tim Schoenfeld rant" option - just to criticize the refs,
SJ scored on the 5 on 3 PP. That was the turning point in the series. Game 6 was tied at 2 when Pavelski scored at 58:51 and clinched the series for the President Trophy Winners.
I'm moving to offseason, looking to improve the center position and find a way to bring my defense to life.