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12-22-2009, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by claude boivin lives View Post
Yeah, special teams are a gigantic issue as well...last night was certainly a laughingstock.

The biggest issue on the PP is net presence. It's just wretched to watch sometimes. When Hartnell isn't out there, we often have guys just rotating that duty throughout the shift...and none of them are good at it. Carter for instance, has often been in front of the net on the PP, and he pretty much sucks at it Giroux is there sometimes, no one is there sometimes, you never know what you're gonna get.

And then when Hartnell is out there...****, I don't know what's happened to him, but he's been crappy too. The more I watch him lately, the more I start to think his past success for us in that role was more of a fluke than anything else...a whole lot of fortunate circumstances. If you watch Hartnell, he spends most of his time in front of the net standing up straight, with his stick in the air, and being pushed around by the D. Add in the fact that he doesn't have great hands, isn't particularly good at deflecting pucks, and has hockey smarts that often make you scratch your head...and well, it's not a recipe for frequent success.

Knuble, used to get down low and dig in, with his feet spread, and stick on the ice. He didn't get pushed around much, he was good at deflecting pucks, had good hands, and was smart....a recipe for frequent success.

As for the PK, I don't have as many answers there. No question, bad luck has played a part. One thing I could maybe say is that players aren't attacking the puck lately as hard as they were before. That's been happening all game long actually. I don't know what it's about...I don't know if Lavi thought they were being too overly aggressive and giving up too many chances, and he voiced that...and now players aren't as sure when to attack and when not to...and that is what's often leading to the tentative confusion and seemingly sitting back more. Along with this, the whole activation of the D has been less notable in recent games as compared to the first few games under Lavi.

But anyway, back to the PK...yeah, guys seem to be sitting back a little bit more. Some things are just baffling,, for instance, the Horton goal last night where Pronger was right near him and halfheartedly waved his stick in the direction of Horton instead of being strong on Horton and muting or at least deflecting the shot as he clearly could have. Was Pronger confused about something there? I don't see way he could have thought it wasn't his play to make or that Coburn should have been the one to make that play or something...Coburn was dropped closer to the net...wasn't close enough. Pronger had to know that play was his to make. Was he just being lazy? Was he tired? I dunno.
I still believe JVR should be on the PP more and put in front of the net. His body is supposed to replace the lost Knuble, but he only got 55 seconds on the PP and just over 10 minutes overall, which I find inexcusable for a capable and skilled player like him. I believe that Hartnell should be benched and JVR replace him on the PP. See what happens when we don't take his stupid penalties. If that makes a huge difference, imagine who's going after the freeze then. Of late, the pucks we have been dealing with that go in while we are on the PK have either been deflections or lucky bounces, and you can't do much with them sadly. Even if you have an amazing goalie, deflections are a huge back breaker, same with bad/lucky bounces. I still think there should be something to motivate them instead of just practicing their ***** off. Like I said somewhere else, it's something psychological now considering the team is pretty much healthy, with the exception of Emery. Maybe cake? Something to get their spirits up instead of booze? Maybe go send them to see Avatar in 3D at an IMAX, that might help their moods on feeling better. Get them loose, excited and motivated, not tired and overworked... hopefully not overworked though haha.

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