Riggers looking for direction

DARREN FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

Here's what the Calgary Roughnecks know.

They have a team loaded with talent.

They have the potential to win another championship.

But here's what they don't know: How to fix their inconsistent play, a problem that's plagued them since the first game of the season.

"Absolutely it's worrisome because if you can't put your finger on it, then what's missing?" said Roughnecks defender Taylor Wray.

"It starts to make you think maybe we're just not there yet, which I don't believe is the case.

"I don't think our team has that feeling but it is worrisome, especially with six games left in the season and not knowing what we need to do to fix the problems that we have."

The Roughnecks have finger-pointed all season long at the defence, goaltending, offence, transition as every area of their game has come under fire at some point. Yet, the inconsistencies remain and the solution seems simple: Play a full 60 minutes, if you'll pardon the cliche. According to Wray, that's easier said than done.

"We haven't been able to play that complete game but I don't really know what we need to do differently," he said.

"It's hard as a player because you can't put your finger on what's causing the inconsistency, whether it's a lack of focus or a lack of motivation.

"I don't think it's a lack of effort, which is a good thing."

Statistically, the Roughnecks don't hold last place in any category, which makes the argument the team can point to some consistencies.

"I'm not really sure," said new head coach Jeff Dowling. "We'll see in the next couple of games and we'll see what kind of team we have.

"I think a lot of it is, is them just overthinking things. So, I'm just going to try and make them realize that they should just go out and play the game.

"I just want them to get to the net and we'll go through game film and show them where goalies are weak and hopefully they adapt."

The players don't have too much time to adapt with a crucial matchup tonight against the Arizona Sting (7-3), the team the Riggers are trying to catch for second place in the West Division. The Riggers lost the first of three meetings against the Sting 14-10 last Friday in Phoenix.

The Roughnecks know if they expect to stay competitive they're going to have to step up tonight (7:30 p.m., Saddledome). But that goes without saying.


Videos

Photos