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02-21-2012, 10:08 PM
  #77
MathMan
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This kind of game really shows how ineffective the bang-big-bodies-down-low, dump-out, dump-in, low-percentage long-pass approach of Cunneyworth just doesn't work long term. In a 3-0 game there's inevitably going be a lot of chatter about the Habs not giving enough effort, but in this case I think it's bogus.

Yes, the Stars always had the puck, and that's because the Habs spent the entire game giving it back every time they had it, either via a long pass which predictably fails and results in a turnover, or because they dump it then the puck is long gone when they try to chase.

Montreal is increasingly getting murdered in first periods as teams realize the simplistic tactics and exploit them, but really they barely need the help. The Habs no longer have a transition game of any kind; it's always either off the boards, or a long pass off a stick and back to the other club. It makes it really easy for opposing clubs to maintain sustained offensive pressure, and prevent attack the other way.

They do manage to get some real pressure on the rare occasions where they manage to establish possession down low, which shows that they do have talent and "compete level" -- but the whole dump it in, then bang the guy who just passed the puck away approach to zone entries is not exactly great for generating offense.

I'd complain about the system, but... frankly am not sure if this constitutes what we'd call a "system". There doesn't seem to be much of a transition besides "get it out", a neutral zone scheme beyond "pass it ahead", a zone entry scheme besides "dump it in". It's basically hockey reduced to its kindergarten form.

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