Thread: Wake-up Call
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03-22-2010, 03:58 PM
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What happened to this style of play ...

1. Get pucks deep; force the other teams defense to turn around

2. Hard forecheck; puck retrieval

3. shots from the point; pucks and bodies to the front of the net

Wasn't that the essence of TM & Co.'s strategy for this team? I haven't seen much of it lately.

In fact, mostly what I've seen is the Sharks trying to skate the puck up ice through the other teams defense, barely making the blue line, and making a 3 foot pass to a player who has no choice but to dump it in to no one. JUST DUMP IT IN, GET THEIR D TURNED, RETRIEVE IT!!

In our end we are always 1 or 2 steps behind in anticipating where the puck is going. Watch any recent game closely and compare the movement of off-puck players and you will notice our guys are 1 or 2 steps behind. This is purely a confidence problem and our players being way too concerned about "how to get our game turned around" instead of just wanting the puck.

I also remember TM once saying that Joe need to take more shots to keep other teams guessing. Well currently, there is an almost 100% guarantee that Joe will pass the puck. Even when he is wide open in the slot he passes it! There are 2 ways to shut down Joe: overwhelm him with pressure on the boards and/or take away his passing options if he isn't going to shoot. If Joe doesn't start taking more shots, he won't draw more defensive coverage and thereby open more space for his linemates.

I hope Joe is catching major hell for his recent turnovers. Joe, they all know you're going to pass!

I think the idea that the players need to lead themselves out of this situation is over. It's time for the coaches to step in and reset. It's easy for a player to get lost in their search for the way out and the coach has to step in and say (right or wrong), "this is what we're going to do." Once things are settled down and the team is re-focused, players can take the reins back and get creative again.

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