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12-03-2010, 07:58 AM
David Singleton
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Originally Posted by jlsg View Post
I understand exactly what you're saying. I was using last night as the example, but the point is if you don't have the horses to put out there you're setting your team up for failure. I've coached teams that were not as skilled as other teams and that's how you win the games, keep their big guns off the scoreboard. That's what evens the playing field. Given this current team I don't know many coaches that would have played the lines much different.
Jay, I find this a fascinating dilemma for a coach.

> To win the game, you have to score goals.

> Yet, when the opposition plays their superstar players (essentially as often as possible), you play your best defensive line to minimize the chance they score.

> This, in turn, increases the playing time for your defensively skilled players and reduces the playing time for your offensively skilled players.

> Which can quickly result in you not being able to score goals because your offensively skilled players do not get typical ES ice time for those types of players on other teams.

> Of course, this puts a premium on two things: an effective power play in order to maximize those offensive players' ice time and two-way players that could play against an opponent's top players defensively, yet still be relied upon to score.

Trotz's solution to this during camp (in a discussion he had with me) was to run three scoring lines with two of those being two-way lines that he'd "have no qualms putting on the ice against anyone". This seems like a great strategy provided you have enough two-way players to form those two lines.

Of course, even before the injury to Lombardi, Trotz departed from that strategy without even testing it by starting the Anaheim game with 25-11-29 on the ice after they had gone through an entire training camp practicing a different role.

Could he go back to that today?

Good two-way players: Legwand, Goc, Wilson
Decent two-way players: Erat, Kostitsyn, Ward, Hornqvist, O'Reilly

I might be comfortable with icing Wilson-Goc-Hornqvist-Suter-Weber in any EV situation, even at the end of game- if we were to look at it in a vacuum and forget the impact to the other lines.

If we were to look at the other lines, maybe...


I kinda like that. I'd be pretty comfortable putting the Legwand like out there too.

I will note that I think he has gone back to his original (meaning training camp) strategy to a degree. By putting Tootoo and Smithson back on the fourth line, he's giving his offensive players a better chance in that they now have some linemates with better offensive skills. His use of a shutdown line has been more situational lately. Legwand's return (and his defensive game being better than most on this team) may see a return to having a single shutdown line- something in which I do not favor as defense hasn't been the most pressing issue for this team beyond the random game.

Regardless, it's definitely a dilemma for Trotz and his staff. Increasing the effectiveness of the power play would go a long way towards providing a little release of the pressure.

Last edited by David Singleton: 12-03-2010 at 08:08 AM.
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