It's not just our lack of defensive size:
how about this.... all we hear right now is how many shots we're giving up night after night after night...we giving up about 6 shots per game over the league average ... why is that happening?...
all we hear people talk about is our defensivemen need more size, as if that's the only reason... but really it's only one of several reasons we're giving up too many shots..
1) true what everyone says, our defensivemen are too small to prevent puck control teams with strong frontlines from cycling the puck against us... we don't have that guy or that guy on each line that can mash someone off the puck in the middle of a down low cycle and take the puck away .. that's certainly a part of the problem and the one it seems everyone sees and blames.. but this is only one of 5 reasons we're giving up too many shots most nights. in my mind this equals about 2 of those 'extra' shots a game on the average
2)another reason we give up so many is that we're not a puck control team up front ourselves... we're a quick strike, counter attack type of team built on speed and quickness... means we don't hold onto the puck in our end as strong teams do against us... look at our shooting percentage as a team... only 5 teams in the league take fewer shots than we do, yet we're in top 15 in the league in scoring... we do this of course by the quick strike, breakaway type of goal.. but the tradeoff is by doing this we allow the other team to control the puck the majority of the game... therefore they get more opportunites to get more shots...add about 2 shots a game because of our style of offensive hockey
3)we lead the league in allowing shorthanded shots against this year... our powerplay is horrible at giving up shorthanded chances the other way... not unusual for us to give up 2 or 3 or more shorthanded shots against per game.. poor puckhandling on the powerplay is the primary reason for this.. we're giving up about 1 shorthanded more shots than the rest of the lague per night.
4) our forwards are generally not playing very well defensively. we must give up an average of 5-6 point shots from a defensiveman per game. if defensivemen are getting shots, usually it's because your forwards are caught cheating off them or caught trying to 'cherry pick' and get those long breakout passes we like. some of this can be explained by the fact our forwards sometimes get caught trying to help break up cycles that our dmen cann't. but this isn't the biggest reason we're giving up too man shots from other teams backlines. defenders probably average about a shot more per game against us than the league average per game..
5)we've become a much weaker backchecking and forechecking team. we've downgreaded our team speed, with the current 4 centermen we have out there and this is a large part of that reason...costs us a few shots per game at the minimum..this is at least an extra shot per game than we should be giving up (oftentimes a very high percentage one too)
next time you hear some caller crying to Willy about how many shots we're giving up and complaining about how badly our defensivemen are playing... think about all these other things and see if they happened in the game you just watched... many of the games in this stretch where we've given up som many shots weren't actually primarily our defensivemen's fault but these other things over which they have no control...maybe, just maybe it isn't always the d-men's fault when we give up 40 shots in a game
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