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02-21-2012, 03:05 PM
Bryzgalov's Blueline
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Originally Posted by dawkins121 View Post
I kind of agree with this. Turnovers and defensive breakdowns are going to happen, but good defensive play starts with the goalies making routine saves.

I feel like it's easy to see when a goalie is hung out to dry by the defense but much harder to catch when the defense is put in a hopeless situation. For example, if two d-men are left to cover 3 guys down low, of course they are going to look like they are out of place when they are scrambling from man to man trying to cover whoever the immediate threat is. However, the real fault would be in the forward who should be covering the third man but is instead chasing the puck carrier or just drifting at an assigned place on the ice without having good defensive awareness of other players around him.

With that being said there is definitely room for our defense to improve. Hopefully Grossman can make Coburn and Meszaros remember how to push guys out of the crease or box out to protect rebounds.

But it really comes down to Bryz and Bob. It doesn't matter how stacked your team is on paper, if your goalies are letting in 1 or 2 (or 3 or 4...) soft, backbreaking goals a game you aren't going to win consistantly. Think about how the Jordan Staal goal completely changed that game. They went from being ahead 2-1 with a man advantage to tied and frustrated. When a player is frustrated they make more mistakes (like not hustling to gather a puck when it was cleared out of the zone on a 5 on 3 powerplay).

I know a lot of people say that the goalies aren't the only problem and they aren't. But I feel like if Bryz/Bob were playing at even a barely acceptable level a lot of the other problems on the team would begin to fix themselves or at least be much less noticeable.
There are a lot of people who don't understand our system.

Goalies could look like superstars in Philadelphia under Laviolette before because our team was so perfectly constructed for Lavi's system.

I don't know how many people have played Lacrosse or Hockey, but shifting is a big function in both when you're a defensive player. Lavi's system is heavy on defensive mobility and shifting.

So, all those times you see us putting ungodly pressure in the offensive zone, it's because of Laviolette's system.

Well, we used to get away with it flawlessly because of Richards and Carter down the middle. They worked very well in the system as far as being able to shift into a defensive position and play a role that a defenseman would normally play in a different system. Basically everyone knew every assignment with the load of the defensive play getting placed on the center while the wings locked up the neutral zone.

Well we were so good before, to the point of sheer domination, because not only did our forwards play this system well, but we had all world defensive depth when Pronger was here so that any little slip up was pretty much routinely taken care of.

That's how Leighton looked like a god.

Now that Carter and Richards are not here we're relying on Giroux and Schenn to carry the load defensively as the centers. It's that or Briere, and quite frankly, I'm not interested in letting Briere be counted on for defensive play within Lavi's system.

Giroux is just solid, not great like Richards and Carter. Schenn is decent but has some growing to do. On top of that Laviolette refuses to use Talbot or Couturier in those roles; Talbot because he's more helpful on the wing if he's going to be playing above the fourth line and Couturier because he doesn't want to rush him.

Now because of that more pressure is put on the defensemen to carry assignments that they would not have necessarily had to carry before. This leads to turnovers and blown assignments, not because our defensemen are any worse than they've been in the past but because there is a significant amount of pressure added to them.

Now take away Pronger as the safety net.

It certainly doesn't help that, knowing all of this was going to happen, Holmgren went out and got a goaltender who was supposed to back us up. We knew we were going to lose pieces that helped us substantially defensively. Bryzgalov was going to make it so that it didn't matter. He was supposed to cover our defensive blunders that were sure to arrive as the growing pains of a young team and a young forward core in a new system.

Well Bryzgalov just didn't deliver.

That's where we're at today, and people really need to understand exactly what's going on. Throwing the blame around without actually understanding the dynamics of the game doesn't help.

Last edited by CS: 02-21-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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