René Lecavalier Divisional Quarterfinals: Montréal vs. Guelph
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04-13-2012, 07:50 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
From the lineup thread in case people missed my edit adding this:
The game plan for my team this year:
I built this team attempting to suit and take advantage of Paul Coffey to a large degree. He is not going to be hidden on this team, we are going to try to force our opponents to hide from him.
To do so I've drafted a coach that didn't buy into the trap during the dead puck era and who liked to roll lines for the most part and occasionally match against an important opponent player or line. (Pat Quinn). I feel we have given him the horses to do this with three defensively responsible scoring lines that will be able to take advantage of Coffey and support our own zone, and one gritty more defensively oriented line that can be used to somewhat blunt an opponents best attackers when need be.
I feel Quinn is a little bit light in the X's and O's game so I have given him a master strategist in John Muckler. Muckler was the game planner who got the most out of Coffey in Edmonton.
We will be an attacking team, high speed, up tempo, all out, all the time.
To be successful with this strategy I did a couple of things very carefully:
1) We won't be in the box often. We have several Lady Byng winners on our team, including one of our biggest physical presences in Johnny Bucyk. We want to minimize the time we're in the box. That having been said, to make sure we don't get run out of the rink we do have Bucyk, Adams, Bridgman, Coulter etc. to keep the peace. I also drafted Probert so that he can be inserted into the lineup if a team is getting out of hand in the playoffs and he and Bridgman can introduce the other team to the virtues of a clean game.
2) We are specialized so that all our best offensive players will play only PP and ES and our best defensive-focused players will play only ES and PK. This will keep the minutes down on our big guns and let us maintain our tempo. Only Si Griffis is playing both special teams and he is a second pairing at ES and second team PK.
3) Speed. With players like Sakic, Barry, Mosienko, Richards, Gaborik, Coffey, Griffis, Baker and on and on.. I tried to pick speed whenever it was feasible to take full advantage of being able to streak from transition with Coffey's long passes.. or just keep up with him on the rush.
4) I tried to make sure we had a rushing speedy defenseman on each pairing. Coffey is paired with an anchor in Coulter. Baker is paired with a defensive anchor in Hajt. Our second pairing features two two-way defenseman so they will take turns. The point being that our team has the capability of playing the same all the time.
5) We have goaltenders who were known for having a good attitude and shrugging off their personal numbers for team success. Which will be important when we're trading chances a lot of the time.
Regarding this series:
In this series I think we have the offensive depth to match or even exceed Montreal's impressive firepower with our speed and the distribution of minutes to maintain it. I believe our forwards as a whole are better two-ways, and I think the goaltenders are pretty much a wash -- both being excellent playoff goaltenders -- but I do think we have two distinct advantages:
1) I think we have a solid advantage on special teams.
Our PP units will almost certainly get more opportunities than Montreal's due to how cleanly competitive our top 6 is in particular (5/6 of our top 6 forwards are Lady Byng winners including one of our big physical presences in Bucyk and our whole third line might as well be Lady Byng winners [Richards is] -- even though they have a strong board/corner guy in Lehtinen as well).
I believe our PK is stronger overall. In addition to taking few penalties in the first place, our first PK unit has to be one of the strongest in the draft, period.
Our second unit is fairly average but decent with a two time Selke finalist in Gould and a noted PKer in Tsygankov.
Both our PK units benefit from having fresh players as none of them except Si Griffis play both special teams.
2) I believe we have a coaching/chemistry advantage in this series because we have a coach and assistant who have a proven track record playing the style that our entire team was constructed to play. I do think that Imlach is obviously a great coach, but I don't think some of the Montreal players are going to mesh well with such a taskmaster.
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