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12-03-2010, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Tapp View Post
When Trotz starts the shutdown line on the road, the only thing I can think of is Trotz’ objective is to keep the other team’s top line from starting the period with hopes of limiting their ice time assuming the other team won’t play their top line against the Preds shutdown line. But at the same time, he is potentially limiting his top scoring line’s chances, too. And he certainly, in my mind, is not showing confidence in his scoring lines (such as they are – they are still what we have). To me that is defensive coaching – which is why I used it as an example of why I agree with Gleengineer that Trotz is a defense first coach. Even on the road – even to start a game. I try to accept that – so I can enjoy the games – without so much frustration.
Very thoughtful post but I don't see the logic in knocking Trotz for this. His actions state the obvious: our top line is not better than the other team's top line (as your parenthetical acknowledges, at least implicitly).

Is there a team that we have played this season that had a worse top line than us in terms of raw talent? I can't think of it. The fact that Sully-CalO-Horny even is our top line wasn't remotely obvious at the start of the season. To add insult to injury, they also are worse DEFENSIVELY than a lot of top lines, so the relative disparity is even larger.

If the other team has a better top line (which virtually everyone does), and they want to play it against our top line (which they frequently do), Trotz is playing the odds absolutely correctly by limiting the ice time of both top lines. Our offensive advantage (assuming we have one) is depth of scoring so he is playing to our strength such that it is.

To say Trotz is "not showing confidence in the scoring lines" is correct but it is not the negative that you suggest it is. Trotz doesn't let Horny into the shootout-- is he not showing confidence in his top line winger or is making the correct decision that his best odds of winning lie with Marcel Goc or Martin Erat?

Now you can enjoy the game in secure in the knowledge that Trotz is not a dunce but rather is in the unacknowledged fruit of a long-since-forgotten Scotty Bowman indiscretion.

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