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11-01-2008, 10:27 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Country: United States
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Play to your strengths.

Here is an excerpt from todays post game wrap on my site. Most of you are going to not like this, so if you generally hate what i have to say, you might want to ignore this post.

The lines, and the style of play has gotten progressively worse as this season has moved along. In our first 2 games of the season, the Rangers played more of a 2-1-2 style of hockey, putting tremendous pressure on the other team in their own zone, and carrying said pressure up through all 3 zones. Since then the Rangers have reverted back to the standard 1-2-2 style that they play (and often times a straight 1-4) which is inevitably going to keep the score down, especially when you have very few pure goal scorers on this team capable of netting pucks consistently. With the Rangers abandoning their more aggressive forecheck style they promised us prior to the season they went back into the old dependable defensive style that they have been playing these past few years. I have a big problem with that. This team is BUILT to play that aggressive up tempo offensive style. We are built to push the puck up the ice, we are built to pressure, pressure, pressure the puck at every instance, and instantly turn defense to offense in the blink of an eye. Instead we play a strict defensive game, a modified trap system, and while it is effective, it doesnít nearly take advantage of the style of player that Glen Sather has brought to this team.

Letís take a look at who is on this team. Markus Naslund, fast, shifty, good shot. Nikolai Zherdev, fast, great vision, superb hands. Wade Redden, very adept at making quick outlet passes, has good wheels, and is adept at joining the offensive attack on the rush when given the opportunity. Those are the big 3 players that we brought in this season. 3 guys who desperately want to push the puck up offensively, and who want to pressure the opposition from the second they gain control of the puck, till it comes back into our zone. We did it to a T in the first 2 games. We swarmed all over the puck, we were pressuring, causing turnovers, getting tremendous HIGH QUALITY scoring chances, and if not for some superb goaltending would have won those games by 5-10 goals each. Thatís how superb we played.

But no, as usual Tom Renney is scared to try a new style of hockey. We were promised an up tempo offensive team, and instead we got the old trap happy defensive club. Iím not saying playing defensive hockey is without its merits, on the contrary, what I am looking for is more defensive hockey in all 3 zones. Pressure the puck with multiple people all the way up the ice. Remember 5 in the picture? That is what this style of hockey is really about. Donít all vacate the zone to play defensive hockey, pressure the puck in their zone as a 5 man unit. Pressure the puck in the neutral zone as a 5 man unit, pressure the puck in the defensive zone as a 5 man unit. Instead Renney wants us to play the trap. Great. Unfortunately it means your team is very rarely going to score more than 2 or 3 goals, and it means you will have many more unnecessarily close games than you should, and it means you canít pick apart weak defensive teams like we were facing tonight because we give them too much time and space to push the puck up in our zone.

Tom, what you did in those first 2 games, with that particular lineup. That is what I want back. This ******** we have been seeing since then, is not what this team is built for. We are built to be a fast paced locust swarm of a team. Play to your strengths.

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