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04-03-2011, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
In regards to te Predator way, I'm really starting to wonder if it stifles players. Trotz is a very good coach. He's not an elite coach though. He gets a lot out of what he's given but I also think he puts the clamps on his players. Latest case in point, Jonathan Blum. When he first came up, he was all over the ice it seemed, using natural instincts, making the right plays and not getting burned. Now it appears he's not doing that as much and pretty much playing the point and being "defensively responsible". While it's important for a defenseman to play his position, if he's creating good things offensively, without getting burned defensively, I don't see the problem in this.

I've noticed this with other players over the years as well and while players have to play a system to be effective, it takes the uniqueness out of their games and doesn't allow them to be them on the ice, instead they are clones of one another. There is no creativeness in the offense. There is no physicality with this bunch. Sure, Weber can throw a big check but with Tootoo out of the lineup, who else is a game changer physically among this bunch? Even with Tootoo in the lineup, he doesn't hit people like he once did when he first came to the team.

The PP ineffectiveness is still a major issue, especially with the playoffs right around the corner. We had a chance to put the foot on the throat of Detroit yesterday and didn't do it. We then had the chance to rectify blowing the lead with the PP and didn't do it. Good/great teams score on the PP at these crucial moments of the game. Blame the SOB fight all you want on losing the game but a 3-0 lead plus 35 or so minutes left of action should've been more than enough to get the job done.

People claiming that Trotz is overusing guys like Weber, Suter and Legwand are off base IMO. To be perfectly honest, why were they not playing more minutes earlier in the season? Studs play big minutes on other teams. Well, these are our main guys and they need to be play big minutes. They either need to be conditioned better or they need to play these sort of minutes throughout the year so they're used to playing that much. Corey Perry is playing over 20 a night as a forward. Great defensemen play over 25 a night and then as the playoffs approach, play close to 30 a night. This is normal.

For all the pundits that say, the Geoffrion line last night was bad defensively, sure, they lost a guy on a goal but didn't Smithson do the same thing, our "shutdown" center, on one of their goals, right in front of the net? Which is worse, losing a guy at the point or getting faked out of ones skates in front of the net? And to be perfectly honest, the only time we had some serious jump was when the Geoffrion line came out since they were fresh. They had some very good effective shifts in Detroit's zone. They controlled the puck and had some good scoring opportunities.

Back to what I was saying about the clamping down of a players style, I watched Weber and Suter in the Olympics last year and they raised their games against the best competition in the world. While they are still great players, elite even, I just don't sense that in their games when they play for us. They don't seem like the world's best pair when they're out there. They've looked awfully human as of late.

And as far as the PP and it's ineffectiveness, why is Hornqvist playing the perimeter and handling the puck? Why is Ward out there on the PP? Hornqvist's one job should be to stand in front of the net and screen the goalie and score garbage goals or tip the puck in or screen the goalie. He doesn't have the puck handing skills to play the perimeter on the PP. Ward should be in front doing the same thing as he doesn't have the skills to move the puck effectively either. Soon as we take those guys from the front of the net, the other team is able to kill the passing lanes as we're a perimeter team and we have nowhere to go with the puck. I've said it time and time again, plant someone in front of the net, let it be a 4 on 3 elsewhere in the offensive zone and we all of a sudden have more ice to work with, to move the puck effectively but instead we don't and it kills any puck movement we may be able to get. The other thing is, win a faceoff back to the point and let the big man hammer it right away before anyone gets set. When's the last time anyone remembers where we won a draw, got it right back to Weber and he took a blast and scored right away or where we got a rebound from it and scored? We're so concerned about setting up that it gives the opponent time to set up in the process. Part of the PP is disarray and soon as we finally get setup, the other team is setup as well. Win a draw and shoot the puck on net, there is chaos and there are opportunities to score goals.

This team is way too regimented and while it wins games and makes the playoffs, it doesn't have the ability to change all that much to be successful in other ways and it obviously isn't learning the lesson of how to close out games. Where that responsibility falls is anybodies guess but it gets all the more frustrating to see the same things time after time without any sense of urgency about what's going on. Someone mentioned Trotz was very calm during the presser yesterday. While that's nice and all, the team needed to be ripped for blowing this game. This is three games in 2 weeks where this has happened and it finally cost us? Get the freaking point across already Barry. You close out teams. You smell blood, you go for the kill. You swarm until there is nothing left of your opponent. They would do the same thing to us if given the chance. And why do we play players that are highly touted prospects less minutes than offensively inept players on a consistent basis? Sure, they need to learn how to play two way games but the coaching staff also needs to lessen the need to be such complete two way players and take the good offense with some of the mistakes they're going to make defensively. With guys like Smithson, Spaling and Halischuk, they're going to be good defensively, but when they are allowing other teams to score without any offensive output either, they become useless players/lines. What's the difference if they allow a goal or if Geoffrion's line does it? Nothing. The only difference is Geoffrion's line actually has the ability to put pressure on the other team on a more consistent basis. Hmmmm, keep the puck in their zone and create chances or play defensively responsible all the time?

I get that a team needs balance but the balance seems to be skewed on the defensive side of things and for a team that is devoid of offensive talent, to sit guys with ability over guys who are 4th line talents doesn't make any sense to me, regardless of the results. Also, if it takes this much time to teach Wilson how to play d, Trotz may not be the defensive guru we all praise him for. Yes, there is detail in hockey but not at taking all the creativity out of someone's game either. I'd rather lose with our better players on the ice than to lose with grinders getting big minutes.
My vote for POST OF THE DAY!!!!!!!

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