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11-29-2011, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Sydor25 View Post
.... I have to believe that Murray wants his players along the boards and above the circles (at least more often than between the dots). That is where I see the players skate and most of these players have played for other teams and would attack the middle of the ice more often. Richards is one of the few that really attacks the middle of the ice, whether he is trying to pass through the middle or skate through the middle. I'm not sure why he is the only one that does it, but his goal last night doesn't happen if he doesn't drive the net. I'm not sure if he just does it because he hasn't been here long enough to get the talk from Murray, but he has been successful, so maybe Murray lets it go because he has 10 goals in 10 games....
I think it's probably just what happens to the puck, right? It gets pushed around and whacked, a missed pass or lifted stick and its on the boards sliding towards the blueline. So, some of it's just "go where the puck goes".

What's on the players? Well, I think Murray's dot to board is not just about a static position on the wall. A lot of it is puck recovery and keeping the opponent pinned for the low cycle and forecheck. That's very hard, grinding work and players don't like it all the time. That's what I see.

Again, there are some timing issues, such as when does a player release across the center, slash across the zone. There were a bunch of these plays last night. As their timing gets better and as their passes get better that should improve. OTOH, with today's defensive systems and stick technique, it's very very difficult to develop plays through the slot at the start of an attack. You have to get the D running around and then pass low to high (corner to slot). That's where the timing comes in along with the quality of passer and receiver.

Most of the Kings forwards have not looked that sharp in terms of their passing this year. The three passes between Mitchell, Gagne, and Richards that lead to MR's goal just makes it obvious. The Kings don't really have a high end offensive skill coach who could work that... even pro's need that kind of practice to have the touch Gagne showed. Most of the Kings forwards pass like a well-schooled Defenseman, hard, on tape, and fast across the ice - they never show much touch. And the receivers all seem to have hard hands - I see a lot of bounces. But that's the game these days.

Richards is an unfair comparison. His vision and sense of timing for an attack and suddenly raising the pace, his fearlessness, it's all so fun to watch. Not many guys in the league have what he has.

Nice post, Syd... great read!

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