Thread: Larry Brooks: Tortorella: We need puck
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11-16-2009, 07:44 AM
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I think the Rangers give the puck away waaay too much. It all starts with the defenseman.

I think i counted 15-20 (maybe more) turnovers from Redden alone in the game against Ottawa. Maybe more. Half of them were unforced. You gotta make it tougher on the opposition...

By turnovers i mean straight up giveaways, terrible passes leading to a takeaway, passes hard to handle and clearing off the glass or to an open space, giving away possession.

I think part of the problem is that the forwards vacate the zone quickly and some of the defenseman, like Rozsival and Redden specifically become stationary and don't force the forecheckers back with speed, a move or a pass to their partner. But it also has to do with patience. These defenseman have to hold onto it for a second longer. When the Rangers are going good the defenseman are reading the forwards better, they have support and they are taking a hit to make a play. There are times when you have to zip it out quickly. Other times holding on to it isnt bad. Possession is key for this system.

Too many long passes through the blue line. I dont know if thats part of the system, but if it is then the Rangers have to rethink that. Del Zotto is the best outlet passer the Rangers have. The others are much more effective passers when they have shorter, supported passes. Guys like Girardi, Redden and Staal are really adept at drawing a defender to them and dishing a puck off to a forward to start the rush from the defensive zone out. They need to do this more rather than just getting rid of it and hoping a Ranger skates into it or controls it.

IMO, If they start possessing the puck more on defense theyll start possessing it more on offense.

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