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04-07-2011, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Inferno272 View Post
no thoughts on Tortorella closing up the neutral zone after the first? nothing about the Rangers aggressive game giving philly no time for anything outside of maybe 6 shifts the entire game?
Truth to be told, my expectations on a team in the situation we are in and a few games left of the season -- that is, when having a lead halfway into a game, not to fall apart defensively or break down in their own end. That's a ability that atleast 25 teams have in this league, all you need to do is take a regular look at nightly scoreboard.

I do not get the "-ing", I think we are inexcuseably bad in some aspects. If Torts want to play a game were we do not take the puck to the net untill we have passed it around the boards 3-4 times, it is a gameplan. Get it below the hashmarks, then attack. His gameplan. It has advantages and it has disadvantages. That gameplan includes cutting off unnecessary offensive moves heading up ice, just make a long pass to a winger standing still and have that guy re-direct the puck into the attackingzone. So far so good.

Then comes games against teams against which that approch do not work. For example, against the Devils a while back, Lemiere dropped back with a D so deep in his own end, that they could gather the puck after a dumpin and move up ice seconds before our forechecker reached the puck. In a extremely important game we got 16 shots on goal, and thats a flattering number for us considering how the game looked. The Islanders wasn't as extreme, but they also collapsed very deep on us, and counterattacked. Not just last week, but go to and watch the highlights from our 6-3 win on March 15, the Islanders had a insane amount of 2 on 1's in that game that Hank saved.

I have two problems with the above.

First of all, our inability to adopt against teams that are adopting against us and ends up taking advantage of us. Its not my biggest problem, I am not sure how wise it is to adopt too much on your own during the regular season. With Tom Renney here we changed our gameplan against the Devils, and out-trapped them basically, and got a tremendous record, but then afterwards that gameplan seemed to spill over and disturb how we played against other teams. It became a bad habit to back down. But in the end, I still think that it is not excuseable to have so few alternatives to the long-tipin pass transition play.

Second of all, look at the west, look at the successful teams in the east, we are very alone at being so darned scared of making offensive plays in the neutral zone and taking the puck to the net right away. All teams use that long pass, by using it they puch the other team back, when that have been done they take advantage of the open ice they have created in the neutralzone. When we try to do that, out passing is horrible, we loose the pucks and give up 2 on 1's. I am sorry, but that is just a drilling issue from the coach point of view. If the other team put pressure on us, that long pass is a great option. Its in the situations were the other team is stretched out over 3 zones we need to be able to pass the puck up ice, and to fail in those situations is not ok, no matter how many kids you have on your team.

To summarize, we play a style thats different then all good teams and that was widly used before the lockout. Other coaches have altered their game plan, our have not. Thats facts. Our coaches also seem to have a overbelief in that gameplan, since we are completely unprepaired when we have to alter from it.

Thats just my opinion. Many critizise Torts for how he uses certain players. Many take it at him for how he behaves in interviews. Many have a problem with him always deflecting all the blame after a loss on others while always, almost without exceptions, loves to take all the credit for a win. But, I do not have a problem with that. I think he have what it takes to be a motivator that can take his team all the way. But when it comes to the above, I am going to call him out for it.

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