THE NY JUNK YARD DOGS WIN THE MLD CUP AGAIN IN SEASON 25.....THE 4th STRAIGHT CUP WIN ......THIS IS UNBELIEVEABLE!!!!
Coach and GM John Corbett talks again with the NY Daily News hockey reporter Larry Brooks in his column" Snapshot "
Larry Brooks: So coach, share with us your thoughts and memories of this historic season
Coach JC: Well Larry to win this thing again was an amazing experience, I feel as if I finally have figured out this sim, at least as far as the MLD is concerned. Obviously we had trouble with 2 teams during the season that being the Yorkton Millers and the Roswell Aliens both teams had our number during the regular season but we changed some of our line strategies and makeup for the playoffs and we had success against both those teams in this playoff run which made winning the title much harder but also much more rewarding.
Larry Brooks: What were you thinking knowing you had to open the playoffs on the road as the number 5 seed in the conference?
Coach John Corbett: Well Larry this was only the second or third time in this great run I was worried, I mean the Millers had won the season series 4 games to 3, added to that anxiety was the fact that even if I somehow slipped by the Millers, I would have to face the Aliens who had beaten us evry game during the year, they were 7-0 against us and I really felt that I had tried all different things against the Aliens and none of them worked, but I am getting ahead of myself first we had to deal with the Millers a young squad who didn't have the veteren ratings we had but they had a GREAT season and had great chemistry amongst their line combos.
So we open Game 1 in Yorktonand we lose 3-0 it wasn't just that we were shut out that worried me but we were held to 5 SHOTS!!! I was beside myseld and this was probably the time when I most felt that the run of the JYD was over. 5 shots...what the heck was I supposed to do. I knew I had a better rated lineup so I had to figure what settings Dan was using and then match them and I SHOULD then win but who knows this SIM can be fickle. I decided that I would be more defensive with my forward lines and also less offensive with my D men so they could focus more on D.
With those settings this was the first appearance of the Rhett Whippola,Ryan O'Brien and Curtis Schoon line were they surprised me and played a great game, although they were my third line they had a huge game, a little glimpse of things to come as I soon realized although they struggled in the regular season after 2 of them (Ryan O'Brien and Curtis Schoon) were aquired from the Henderson Hornets GM Blee they would soon be by far my best playoff line, matching up against the other teams best lines and almost always coming out on top. The ended the playoffs at +20. In Game 2 they combined for 2 goals and three assists.
we won the game 6-2 and outshot the Millers 23-17.
Obviously I knew the settings had been the difference and with the split on the road I could now get the line matchups I wanted.
In this game my top 2 lines dominated and we took a 3-0 lead in the first period and never looked back and won the game 5-2 and again outshot the Millers 20-12.
In game 4 Dan must of made some stratedgy changes and we won a very close game in OT 3-2. My second line did a great job and the Millers top line was a -3 we again outshot the Millers 22-13.
Back on their home ice the Millers played a more defensive battle and with the shots even at 13 apiece the Millers shut down the JYD train with a 2-1 win, while I again started getting a little nervous I knew I wanted to win Game 6 and not get to a game 7 where anything can happen. I decided to just use one D pair on Let forwards take most of the shots and all others on Rarely shoot, but to try to disguise it I didn't use Let forwards take most of the shots" with my 2 100 rated shooting D man I used my second best shooting pair for that. Not sure if that helped but we did win 4 out of 5 games that way.
Again a VERY close game whatever changes Dan made to his lineup, made the last 3 games VERY tight again we won in OT and we won the series with a 5-4 win. Again the shots on goal were nearly identical 18-17, this series really could have gone either way as you can see the last three games the teams were dead even, it was really winning game 2 and getting the split on the road that made the difference in this series.
Next with the Chilliwick Bruins upseting the team from Lyle we avoided the matchup I dreaded with Roswell at least for another round and we had another difficult team in the Anoka Tornados.
That series was ended with a quick 4-0 sweep and then we were onto the dreaded Aliens. The Aliens had totally owned us in the regular season, they were 7-0 against us in the regular season, a lot of times during the regular season I keep my settings the same, but in the last three against the Aliens I tried some different tactics but nothing worked. I figured I would have to completely change the way I approached the matchup, that and maybe some luck could get me some wins against the Aliens. I knew if I can win the first game maybe I could get Rammers to change his tactics and maybe thatr would be a positive for me. Either way I knew I had to have Game 1 to have a chance in this series. I put a lot of study into the preparation for this series more than I had ever done for any series matchup and it paid off BIG!
In game 1 we again set our second best shooting pair on "Let forwards take most of the shots" and I made sure that the Aliens best shooting pair was matched up with my pair that was "Rarely Shoot" in hopes that the D focus would make a difference all other lines were in a defensive mode. The game was a lot like the last few from the series with Dan as shots were 13-12 and we won Game 1 by a score of 3-1 but the third goal was an empty netter. I was just so happy that we had pulled of the upset in Game 1 I knew Rammers would make adjustments for game 2, so I decided to just switch up the one D pair in hopes that his changes would be counteracted.
This game was a dog fight no pun intended. We took the lead in the third period 2-1 with 9 minutes gone only to have the Aliens tie it up with 14 minutes gone. The game stayed tied and went to OT were we won it 14:28 into OT. We outshot the Aliens 22-15 but the game could have gone either way. The first 2 games were sooo close, I knew winning the first 2 gave me a huge advantage but when teams are this close a series can change on any game, there was no letting my guard down Rammers is a great coach and he will make smart changes I needed to try to guess what changes he would make and set my team so we were ready for them. A lot of managers would wait until they lose to make changes but not me I like to study an opponent and try to guess what he will do next.
Well so much for out guessing the opponent, the Aliens won Game 3 by a 3-2 score. I was encouraged by the fact that we outshot the Aliens18-12 I felt like you cannot expect a team that good to not win some of the games. I knew game 4 would tell the tale of this series, if I lost it was 2-2 and now the Aliens had the upper hand with momentum, if I won it would be a crushing blow to the Aliens chances.
Having the home ice was key I could get the matchups I wanted. I had noticed in previous games Rammers had used his tough "Adams line" to match and follow my first line with good success. I decided to move my top line Rhett Whippola.Ryan O'Brien and Curtis Schoon to be my First line, I also had them match up with Rammers line 4 which was usually a line filled with top players who were double shifting I figured this would be a good matchup for me even if he got his top line matched against mine. As luck would have it Rammers switched the Adams line to matchup against my second line (I guess figuring I would change my lines too) and as it turned out my top line had a killer night all in the third period as the NY JYD scored 5 third period goals winning the game 6-3 the final goal an empty netter. We again outshot the Aliens 23-17. We were in control of the series, but it wasn't over.
I knew that the Aliens having the home game here it would be very difficult to win it. We badly outshot the Aliens but their pride came through as they won in OT 3-2. The game was a close one, I was again happy that my team had outshot the Aliens especially such a huge difference. I felt like game 6 was ours.
Well here it was I needed this one. I could tell by Rammers lineup that he was trying to rest some of the guys he had been double shifting so they would be fresh for game 7, I had to take advantage of that. I put my best line in the second slot and had them Matchup if we were losing against his Line 1 but Rammers had his fourth line matchup against my third line. That was the differnce in this game as I put three of my best performers there and they ended up a plus 3 and we outshot the Aliens only 15-14 but it was enough as we won the game 5-2 the last goal was again an empty netter. It was on to the Finals. It was tough to stay focused as beating the Aliens felt like I had won it all especially after the way they dominated me in the regular season.
I really couldn't believe I had done it this series and the one with Dan were so close, I really felt the time I put into it had paid off.
At this point (and this is no disrespect to steveajolie) I felt there was no one who could stop me.
The Finals were never really in doubt there were 2 blowouts but the last three games were close as the Blizzard seemed to make some adjustments, they are a very good young team with a good coach and it wouldn't surprise me in the least to seem them back in the Finals in Season 26. We won the Cup in 5 games the last one (game 5) we won in double OT. I never thought 4 straight cups would be possible, especially in this new era when a player has to play 20+ games to be allowed in the playoffs. I feel I have really finally figured out this SIM. It is time to rebuild but the NY JYD will be back ....COUNT ON IT!