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11-14-2003, 10:15 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ottawa
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If you're going to complain about the coach, please refrain from complaining about the system - meant to improve the club defensively - which has done its job rather well. We're averaging barely over two goals a game against and that's a direct result of the system. I many have my misgivings when it comes to Julien, but including the system in those misgivings seems to be rather silly.

The system, which everyone likes to criticize for everything wrong with the Habs when they lose and everyone likes to praise when they win, is basically the trap. All he's instituted system-wise is responsibility for the forwards coming back and a zone, rather than a man-to-man defence. That's all the system is in general. Now we have five players in the zone who help out defensively in a zone manner thus allowing us to better cover the opposition. When we get control of the puck, the proximity of those players allows us to break out of the zone with a series of passes instead of constantly chipping it off the glass, thus leading to boring hockey. (I know many complain that it's boring hockey anyhow, but that's for another discussion.)

Offensively, there's been little done because the system is defensive. I would go as far as to say there's been little work on the offensive zone so far this year because every good coach in the NHL knows that the first part to winning a game is keeping the puck out of your net. Good offence comes from good defence, and I would imagine that's the second part of the plan that's slowly being introduced. Witness how, in the last couple of games we've had players storming the net, and despite not scoring, we're creating more traffic than at any time in the last five years. I submit to you that when we finally get some confidence by scoring a goal or two in quick succession, players will grip there sticks a little more loosely and the goals will come naturally.

If you have a beef with the coach, then talk about the youth movement, and the lack of faith he seems to have in them. That's fair game. "We shall live or die with the rookies", our once mantra, seems to have been flushed in the wake of hurricanes Audette and Perreault. Now, I completely see where rookies need time and need to be worked into the lineup, however I would also like to say that some of the better coaches in hockey insert their rookies in a high profile spot and just let them grow with the game.

As for juggling lines game by game and shift by shift, anyone who thinks that's a bad way to coach hasn't watched any good coaching. *shrugs* I guess you're used to the Vigneaults and the Therriens of the coaching world. But all of that has been stated already in this thread and I'll leave it alone.

Complain about the coach for legitimate reasons? Fine. Complain because of the system? Well, I would submit that you just don't understand the system.

A concerned fan.

Guy! is offline