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03-29-2012, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hoosierpred View Post
With respect to our forecheck and neutral zone play defensively I have no problems, but there are certain aspects to our defense I don't like. Unlike other teams, we definitely play more man to man principles than almost any team in the league. This has some advantages in that teams have to prepare differently just for us. It allows a team to be more aggressive on the forecheck and it is an easier system to learn. Also, when played correctly, transition to offense can be quick and effective, but there are two areas where it hurts us. 1rst, we give up the blue line like it isn't even there. This allows teams just too much time for decision making when entering the zone, and teams typically only dump and chase against us when they need a change. Particularly when Weber is on the ice, we should be forcing dump and chase, and letting Weber severely punish the chaser. I would also like to see our defensemen have some liberty to be aggressive with the puck carrying forward at the blue line and hand off some defensive responsibilities to the back-checking forward occasionally, just to keep the other team guessing. 2nd, man to man defense puts a LOT of pressure on small defensemen on the cycle. Ellis, Klein and Cube just do not have enough bulk to deal effectively with heavy forwards in cycle mode down deep. The heavy forwards often use each other to pick and get time and space, but these small guys are fine in spacial coverage. Just a few times a game, when the the cycling forwards are trying to pick, i'd love to see our defensemen switch where the off defensemen or forward on the wall has an angle for a massive hit or at least gather enough momentum for a pin, which normally the small guys cannot pull off.
I think we'll see Trotz really tighten up the defensive system down the stretch here, starting tomorrow night against Detroit.

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