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01-24-2008, 12:54 PM
  #16
mmitchell19
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I'm trying to recall...when Backman had his glorious chance on the walk-in from the blue line last night...were we 5-on-4 or 5-on-5? In moderation, I think that's a strategy that we should employ more frequently on the PP. If one D walks in and pulls a PK'ing forward with him, it can open up lanes to (a) have the puck carrier walk off the half-wall to the slot for a shot/pass option, or (b) have the other D swing over to the near point for a hypothetically clearer shooting lane.

Someone mentioned in the GDT that many of our #1 unit PP's last night consisted of PK & AMac passing the puck to one another, and basically occupying the same 5 square feet of ice along the half-boards...that's clearly not getting it done. Bombing away from the blue line might shake something loose, if we could count on Walt or Backes to clean up the garbage rebounds. Walt showed flashes last night, but too many times this year he's simply boxed glorious rebound chances.

I'd just like to see us move the puck more confidently & make the box move around a little bit. How often do we reverse the puck on the PP and operate off the other wall for a few seconds? (Not often.) We make a lot of passes from the goal line to the hash marks, then back, then back again...those passes make it easy for the PK to hem the puck along the wall. We need to be passing east-west, getting the box moving side-to-side a bit...that's when the diagonal passing lanes (low-to-high or vice versa) open up and the goalie has to move laterally to keep his angle.

Now, why can't we do that? It seems to me that we can, if we try...but it seems like the players out there are trying to play within the constraints of strict instructions..."Paul, Andy...we need the puck on your stick...make something happen." "OK, Coach."

I guess I'm building (very slowly, I admit) toward a key question: What is Coach Bennett instructing these guys to do? And why, given our PP woes, haven't we been coaching the guys to try something different? I don't think personnel is the primary issue...it's a contributing factor (particularly on the point), but I think the players don't get all the blame here. I'd like to see some more creative, innovative coaching to try to get us out of this funk.

Wow...nice rant, Mitch...sorry guys, that got a bit long-winded.

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