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09-24-2011, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Ozymandias View Post
Gomez doesn't need to change, he just needs someone to start the transition quickly so he doesn't have to carry the puck as much. Hockey is a sport of synergy, like most team sports. Some players do things, and others do other things. What Gomez is doing, he shouldn't have to do as often, but does it out of necessity (carrying the puck), because the breakout is not done quick enough to have an upperhand effect on the opposing defense. There is a huge difference between gaining speed with the puck from the D zone coming up, then receiving the puck at full flight between the middle line and the upper neutral zone. Certain players need to be used certain, and Gomez is not an exception. Both Gionta and Pac could have terrific seasons if they spend a good deal of the seaon playing with Markov, especially Gionta, as he is also key to this form of dynamic (quick transition offense).Pac is more versatile, yet with his quickness, he should profit from this too.

With a quicker breakout, opposing defending players will be warry of this and will tend to back up the blue-line more quickly, leaving more space for zone entry and passing to set up the offensive zone. When Gomez can play in this dynamic, he becomes very effective offensively, as does Gionta.

This is the one thing that Markov has and that Subban doesn't, as constantly.
I am sure that the absence of Markov in the last two years has not helped Gomez. Without Markov, Montreal does have a lot of trouble breaking out of their zone. This was for me the most frustrating part of Montreal's game play during the playoffs last year.

Still, in all the games I have seen at Scotia Bank and the Bell Center (where you see what the players are doing without the puck), you see that Gomez is just circling between the center-ice and his blue line when his Ds have control of the puck, often skating towards them when receiving the pass. So how would Markov's breakout passes improve Gomez' game if he skating towards him when receiving the pass? Maybe the answer is that Markov would simply ignore Gomez and pass the puck to Pacioretty or Gionta on the wings... though attacking the zone with two wingers with your center still mid-ice is not exactly the best way to generate any consistency offensively.

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