Curtain down 2010/11Posted: 05/04/2011
I was going to do something more structured but decided against it and instead wanted to throw out some thoughts now that the 2010/11 season is at an end for those of us in Basingstoke. My thoughts surrounding everything that happened Sunday are still a bit of a jumble so I am just to going throw out what I am thinking about the season as a whole and last weekend in the hope it makes some sense:
I genuinely didn’t know where to look when Monir Kalgoum’s empty net goal went in. Like everyone else connected to the Bison, I was gutted. As I said in the Yearbook, this team has been frustrating to watch at times this past season but they deserved better than their season ending on a mild Sunday night in Basingstoke to a team that I don’t think really outplayed them. Sadly as is the way of things with the Bison, the bounces didn’t go their way. That said, take a bow Ciaran Long. He performed above and beyond on Sunday and showed that he can be a big game player who I’d have back next season.
Season as a whole:
I refuse to be all doom and gloom about the season just gone. I was reading THF after the Lightning game (I know, I know, I’m a sucker for punishment at times) and a Slough fan inferred that this season had been a bust for the Bison because the team has no trophy to show for 2 seasons in the EPL.
With all due respect to that person’s opinion and feelings, that’s utter garbage. I don’t think this season was an unqualified success for the Bison and the team needs tweaking next season if we want a trophy but so say it’s a bust is a ridiculous thing to say.
5th place finish in league, didn’t make cup semi finals, blown out in the 1st leg of playoffs making the 2nd leg a formality
4th place finish in league, cup finalists, really tight playoff series and beaten out by dumb luck as much as anything else.
Now I’m not an expert but that’s an improvement or at least looks like it to me. If nothing else I think the team played better hockey, thanks in no small part to having a couple of better players being added and the players who returned playing incredibly well at times.
The tweaks made to the 5 defencemen made the d a little less mobile but tougher and more experienced. Kurt Reynolds had a fantastic season where he found great form and between Reynolds and Sam Oakford we have a genuinely solid British d pair capable of top line minutes. Add that to Mindy Kieras. Now for me Mindy played better this season than last which seems to have passed a couple of people by.
The play of most of the forwards will be overshadowed by Viktor Kubenko or by the fact Steve Moria is a timelord and can play at that quality at 50 years old. What actually impressed me and I think bears mentioning was the quality of our lower lines. Chris Wiggins, Callum Best, Ciaran Long and Tony Redmond are arguably forward 7-11 on the side but busted a gut every shift. Yes at times silly penalties were taken or goals conceded but their contribution deserves recognition for sheer pig-headed stubbornness to be outdone.
If asked to grade the Bison season, I give it a solid B. There is room for improvement (a trophy, making Coventry, beating Guildford more often so Jez Lundin crawls into a hole) but you can’t ignore the good bits and progress made just because the season didn’t end how we wanted it to.
Banners On The Wall will be popping up looking at the Bison end of season awards as well as what’s happening across the country with signings across the summer with a bit of focus on every player who will don the black, white and red of Basingstoke next season. A safe journey and a great weekend to all of you heading to Coventry.