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04-14-2011, 09:49 AM
  #90
dccuse
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 318
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The Importance of MDZ

The most glaring problem for us last night, in my mind, was the inability to maintain puck control through the neutral zone and into the capitals defensive zone. Seemingly, 9 out of 10 times we'd start with a lateral pass through our zone followed by a short pass to a winger sitting along the neutral zone boards. The caps would send two forwards to press from opposite angles with a D-man gaurding the lane and we'd be cooked.

We couldn't generate any offense and the repetition made the burden even more taxing on our top 4 d-men. The whole time, i kept thinking how valuable Del Zotto's breakout passes of last year would have been in this situation. None of our D had the confidence to rush the puck and look for an open man north of the blue line. In fact, the only time i recall such a play was when henrik hit someone on the top of the left boards (maybe it was prospal). Instead, we relied on Gabby getting feeds around the blue line and aiming for his patented "tip it off the boards and around and chase" which failed to succeed.

There is a lot of talk of Brad Richards on this board and he'd certainly be a nice addition. Maybe having Avery in the lineup would have provided some more energy and some toughness. Maybe dressing eminger instead of Zucc would have taken some of the burden off of Stall, Girardi, McD and Sauer. Maybe Dubinsky could have played more of his puck posession style that was so successful this year.

But, in retrospect, the feature most absent from our attack was the quick breakout pass. Without it, the Caps young d-men were hardly ever forced to make the same crucial decisions that our young d-man were forced to (and fortunately succeeded in doing) time and time again. And for that reason, i truly hope that in the coming year(s), Del Zotto can fill that role for us and chide any and all of those board members willing and in some cases eager to abandon hope.

My 2 Cents - sorry for the rant.

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