Too Impatient?

It isn’t October yet but after losing our first game of the season to Braehead on Saturday the Panthers fans have already started the annual witch hunt as to who needs to be cut and what changes have to be made!
Now, I have been known to be quite negative and knee-jerk when it comes to all things Panthers, however to call for changes after just one defeat it a bit too far-fetched, even for me! A thread has appeared on The Cage titled ‘What didn’t work on Saturday and why we lost’. While it gives the opportunity for the armchair coaches to wax lyrical, the reason I think we lost is we were beaten by a well-disciplined side after they dominated the first 10 minutes. Remember we hit the pipework three times, a little more luck and we would be celebrating an unbeaten league record. Let’s face it, at the start of the season how many Panthers fans would have expected us to go into Saturday’s game unbeaten? Even the happiest and clappiest of happy clappy’s wouldn’t have put money on that one!
As for the players themselves, it seems the biggest culprit and first for the chopping block wishers is netminder Craig Kowalski. Now, he has probably not set the league on fire as expected but he’s nowhere near as bad as some are making out. Yes, he has let in a few soft ones, but to call for his head this early when he has a 5-1-1 record is frankly preposterous.
It seems the knee-jerking is not confined to just Nottingham though. Up the road in Sheffield a thread has appeared on Steel Talk asking if their Latvian netminder Ervins Mustukovs is up to the job. This is a netminder who has had three shut-outs in the league! While admittedly they have had an easy start to the season compared to most, I’m amazed that the position of a netminder who has conceded just 4 goals in league play is in question. Whilst I accept that his record against better calibre sides is nowhere near as good, we are less than a month into the season and question marks are being raised about a netminder with a GAA of 0.75 in the league! Madness!
Obviously everyone is entitled to an opinion, but is it too much to ask to wait and see a bit before screaming for changes? Give it at least until November. Remember the league isn’t won or lost in September, just ask Coventry Blaze who only gained their first win on Saturday. Do you see anyone writing them off yet? Exactly!

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3 Responses to “Too Impatient?”


  1. 1 phil September 27, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    spot on the yearly scrap the netminder with our fanbase is stupid, dont they know that Gary’s mantra to any coach is entertainment before points!

    We have always hung our Netminders out to dry and last saturday was no different the only thing was Baraemar had a netminder who stood on his head saving our shots, and the rest of our shots were straight at him , so for once we didn’t outscore the other team and lost but no disgrace really beaten by a well organised team!

  2. 2 Liam McCausland September 27, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    this is all very silly. especially from us lot. rid of moose, really. grrr

  3. 3 Jim September 28, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Fully agree with you Jono.

    Defence is a team effort, not just down to one man between the pipes. A team as offensively minded as the Panthers are this season are going to leak goals, no matter who you have as NM.

    If those who are calling for Kowalski’s head so early want less goals conceeded then its not the NM that need looking at its the defence, but if you start telling people like Zion to play less offensively and stop leaving Kowalski high and dry then the entire structure of the team will shift. Less goals will be scored by the Panthers and then the “why can’t they score?” bandwagon will roll into town, no doubt stopping to allow those currently sat on the ‘lynch the NM’ bus to jump across and carry on their random ranting.

    Seven games played, one loss. I know of some folk in the West Midlands who would like that record so early in the season.


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