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12-09-2009, 03:47 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: St. Andrews
Originally Posted by
I always thought the breakouts got brought up when the team wasn't scoring or generating offense well.
Cause honestly, its frustrating to see breakout passes miss their mark and having it go the other way.
But still, even on bad nights we were getting the puck into the offensive zone. But we just weren't doing anything with it. If the team could provide consistent cycling pressure and actually manufacture goals this way when oddman rushes, pretty passes and great shots aren't getting it done...the breakout wouldn't be brought up.
As a team... breakouts have been better this year, which I attribute mostly to Pronger and the emergence of Carle. Last year Timonen was pretty much our only D that could consistently manage the passing required from the D--which meant we only had one pairing that could consistently get it done--and this year we had two (even with their defensive struggles, Timonen and Coburn have been getting the puck up and out of the zone (if you don't believe me, check their respective point totals).
In all honesty--and as one of Stevens harshest critics--I think he had done a decent job of improving some of the things that irked me so much the last couple of years. Not enough, mind you, but there was notable improvement in puck possession and the like (how much of that is the product of the Pronger acquisition is worthy of discussion). If the special teams hadn't fallen apart, we wouldn't be having a discussion about Laviolette's system at the moment.
I don't care if you have the perfect breakout and you get into the zone every time. If you can't sustain pressure and score from it, its worthless. Our cycle has been a bad perimeter cycle most of the season. It showed last playoff season, when Fluery wasn't giving up goals on first shots and we couldn't create traffic and bang in garbage goals off the cycle. You need to manufacture ugly goals to win close games and beat good teams.
A good breakout can lead to a good rush...a good rush can lead to a good scoring chance. Everything flows from the breakout in hockey. Sure, once you're established in the zone you need to turn the playbook to another set of tasks, but breakouts are really important because breakouts are what create transition offense...and we have a group of scoring forwards that are built to excel in a transition game. Look at our forwards...they're fast across the board. You want them moving through the zone with speed and putting pressure on defenses to back up and give them the line...Briere's best seasons were in a transition-game offense, the vision of guys like Richards and Giroux is ideal for making plays at speed through the zone. Hell, all Carter does is play at speed (he needs to slow down half the time).
You're right, though, they need to get a handle on their offense within the zone...and become better at finishing at even strength. However, this is a team that has a bit more of a shooting/playmaking element than a crash the net dynamic. If they can get the transition game going, it should aid them in even strength play as it works towards this group of forwards strengths a bit more than going for the "garbage goal" does. You certainly need to be able to crash the net and jam it in, but I think we have a bit more of a front of the net team as opposed to corner-behind out to the front group.
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