In case you missed it, the Blues absolutely got their asses handed to them on a plate Saturday night. Yes, an 8-0 loss counts the same in the standings as a 3-2 loss, but fans and players talk about “moral victories” for a reason. This wasn’t a moral victory; it was a decidedly immoral curbstomping.
New captain Ryan O’Reilly faced his first test of the season - how do you handle a game like this? It was early in the year, and he could argue that many teams are still trying to find their sea legs. He could say it’s an unfortunate speedbump and the team will get over it. He could’ve come out forcefully either by saying that it was an outlier or by calling people to the carpet.
If there’s one thing anyone who has spent more than twenty seconds on the internet knows, some headlines generate more traffic than others. Sensation has sold since before the days of yellow journalism, so why stop now? Sadly for ESPN’s headline writer, ROR didn’t exactly “rip them.” He wasn’t happy, but he also didn’t try to shove himself into a dictator’s tinpot, either:
As O’Reilly put it: “We embarrassed ourselves tonight. That was very disappointing. The thing is, we came into the game and you could tell we didn’t have the detail in it. The little things steamrolled into big things. It was everyone.”
Find me the ripping there. There’s a lot of truth, but I don’t see where he said was forcefully put.
“That was very disappointing,” O’Reilly said. “We came into the game and you could just tell we didn’t have the detail. I think everyone right now, we’re embarrassed. That was not what we do. We stick with it. We compete to the end, and we didn’t.”
Again, where’s the ripping? There’s accountability like there should be, there’s acknowledgement that the effort wasn’t good enough and that the team is more than aware of it.
None of us are privy to what goes on in the room, so who knows, maybe ROR did rip someone. But as the public face of accountability for the Blues, he gave a measured and accurate response that signaled accountability and an awareness that effort wasn’t good enough. The team knows it, the fans know it.
There’s no reason to rip a whole team after one clunker like that as long as they know that it’s unacceptable. If a lack of accountability is there, then that’s a different story. It seems, though, that accountability is more than present from the captain on down, and the effort should be significantly different Monday night.