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05-29-2011, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Detroit minus Rafalski may lose some ranks in the West, but I think they're still better than anyone in the East, if not necessarily by much.
Very little will change with Detroit without Rafalski. Why? Rafalski is just one player in a system of hockey in Detroit. They will be able to find another DMan who will learn to play the Detroit system and they will once again be in the fight for a Cup.

Which leads me to my next point. I cannot believe that this was not mentioned on this thread. Most of the people are talking about players on Montreal and Tampa. Included in that was the injuries. But I honestly believe, after watching Boston beat both Montreal and Tampa, that too much was made about the players on the ice (well, with the exception of Roloson who is not that good) and not about the type of play.

I am critical of Martin because he plays a very passive defense. Boston was able to exploit that defense quite easily. And I catch some grief for being a Martin "hater".

Along comes Boucher and Tampa. In game 1, they sent in two forecheckers in a very aggressive style of play. They easily beat Boston. Go to game 2 and Boucher goes back to the passive 1-3-1. Boston easily exploits that defensive system and wins.

Go to the game where Boston took a 3-0 lead and lost it. The big difference was that Tampa ABANDONED its passive 1-3-1 and aggressively forechecked. They hemmed in the Boston D and forced many turnovers that led to goals and they beat the Bruins in a great comeback.

The point I am making is that when Boston is played against aggressively on defense, they are easily beaten. When you play passively against them and not forecheck more than one forward, they are able to move the puck, set up, and use their size advantage to score goals. Boucher, in my opinion, relied too much on the 1-3-1, just like Martin relied too much upon the 1-2-2 or the 1-4.

My theory will be tested with Vancouver. They are not afraid to forecheck aggressively and pressure the opponents D. We will see the results during the series coming up.

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