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07-13-2009, 07:17 PM
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When we want to talk about Martin's system I think we are putting too much emphsis on which forechecks and D-zone coverage he will use. Most of these systems are pretty basic and all the NHL coaches know all of them.

The key for Martin is that he is a stickler for details and demands that his players be responsible defensively. What I mean by this is that he wants to play a puck possession game, so the forecheck is not the key to his system. The important thing is what you do once you turn the puck over.

The key to being good defensively is "commitment". If you watch the Red Wings play, you will notice how hard they backcheck. They always have four guys above the puck. You can't do this when you have possession of the puck. The thing that make them better than other teams is the quickness at which they transition from offense to defense and how hard they work to outnumber their opponents defensively after a turnover.

This comes from a tough coach that makes his players accountable and from the leadership that comes from the players. We always hear how Detroit's best offensive players are their most reliable defensive players. That to me is good leadership. Doing what the coach asks and leading by example. And when other players don't do what they are supposed to, they hear from the leaders.

Not many teams are fortunate to have this kind of leadership, skills and good coaching. Hopefully, our new players will show the commitment to defense and the leadership to show the way.

Bopp is offline   Reply With Quote