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09-30-2003, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff from Maine
To me, they had a CLEAR plan of puck movement by the d-men.

It was a personnel recognition philosophy.
There were definitely some plays around Berard and Girard rushing the puck up the left side at the beginning of the season. A lot of times, it worked. Unfortunately, once they started going with the ill-fated Girard/Berard pairing, there didn't seem to be any coherent method to getting the puck over the blueline for ANY defenseman. That's why Berard's rushes were "dangerous and scary defensive liabilities" in the second half. If the forwards were using a personnel recognition philosophy, then a wing would have been covering for him when he saw the opportunity to rush.

As far as the forwards go, I like what you're saying in principle (good solid hockey theory), but in reality, how often did you see the Bruins setting up that tripod with a rusher, a winger, and a trailer? I can count the number of times I saw a triangle going into the offensive zone without taking my shoes off.

More often, I think the Bruins puck carriers got worked wide by opposing defenses and were forced to go either low with the puck, or dump the puck low and look for better positioning. Too many two on two's and two on three's.

My gut feeling is that a lot of this had to do with Ftorek reversing the center and winger roles in the defensive end. You'd get your center involved in more rushes, true, but a lot of times, the wingers weren't able to get up into the play until it was too late.

I hope there's a more patient system this year. The Bruins need to focus on developing the play with all three forwards, much like you're talking about here. I haven't seen it yet.

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