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10-01-2011, 03:19 PM
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A few notes:

Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
Two other problem areas that can be fixed internally with a little work: Faceoffs, obviously.
Faceoffs are overrated. While they are not without value, their impact on winning a game is low, largely because the difference between the best and the worst faceoff team in the league is roughly 55-45.

And while the perception may be that Montreal is especially terrible on faceoffs, at 49%, they are in reality below average but hardly catastrophic. Improving to become the best faceoff team in the league, from there, might be worth about 35% of an extra win. It's an advantadge, but not one worth fussing over overmuch.

Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
The other area is clearing our zone. We often got caught for interminably long stretches in our own zone, making pretty pass after pretty pass that never quite made it over the blue line.
Are you sure this isn't just perception? Montreal had excellent puck possession metrics; it's difficult to see how they could get that while simultaneously remaining trapped in their own zone regularly. It will happen on occasion, but they seem to have spent more time in the O-zone than in the D-zone overall, especially with the score tied.

When they get a lead, their puck possesion dips, but that's the case of every team in the NHL and thus isn't cause for concern.

Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
Acceptable for a high-scoring team, dangerous for us.
If Montreal's shooting regresses to the mean, they may collect 20 to 30 extra goals from the table that they left there out of sheer bad luck last year. And it seems almost inevitable that it will: their shooting was so bad that the opposing goaltending numbers exceeded Price's own performance. That would put them squarely in the top third of the league for scoring.

It is not a given that Montreal will be low-scoring again, so long as they maintain their puck possession up. They may have scored about as many goals as they did last year, but the way they did it changed fundamentally, and it's an indictment of the general quality of much of the hockey analysis following the Habs that this seems to have gone practically unnoticed.

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