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05-23-2012, 07:03 AM
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I think Torts have deviated from his game plan and I think thats hurting us right now.

And it becomes very obvious when he puts in Bickel instead of Prust.

We have won all year by having a interchangeable lineup which has given us an ability to keep going after the team we play against for 60 minutes per game. Teams have been able to controll us, badly. For 20 minutes. For 40 minutes. But sooner or later we have taken over and in combination with Hank's play that has won us hockey games.

Torts have a tendancy to turn to his core players when it really matters. I will get back to that later. It all comes from his philosopy. Torts believes in keeping things simple.

A) Don't make misstakes.
B) Get the puck deep.
C) Go after it.

You could concentrate on "D) - Z)", but Torts obviously feel that you can go far enough by just making sure you get A) to C) done and never diavete from that style. And its hard to argue against that.

How do you accomplish that then? When Torts was successful in Tampa -- its no secret how he got it done. He got his hand on a top 10 (two units) who could get the job done. Brad Richards avg 23:28 per game when they won. And made sure to give those top 10 every chance to get the job done.

The game changed though after the lockout. The game is alot more about skating and being proactive now then it was in 04'. There is a big diffrence. Enourmous diffrence really.

In 06' Brad Richards avg 24:11 and 3 forwards on Tampa had 22+ minutes per game.

In 07' MSL avg 28:06 (!!!) per game in the PO's, and 3 forwards had more then 25 minutes per game on avg. I remember thinking that Torts was nuts back then, because his team never had anything to give late in games. He kept sending the same players out despite them players not having the legs to get anything done.

Natrually, he have scaled back alot on that type of ice time now. BUT, but it shows how much instinct he have to turn to his core when it matters. And we have seen it for stints this season when we have struggled, but it have never been pretty and when we have peaked its definitely because 4 lines have rolled.

When we have played our best hockey under Torts, we have had 4 lines that all could contribute. Basically a 1, 2, 3a and 3b setup. Teams have not been able to handle us. And we have seen several other examples of teams with that structure being very successful around the NHL. I definitly think that its essential for us to have that depth. After Zucc went down, we haven't tried to have that structure. Our 4th line have been built to be able to take 8-9 shifts per game. As it is now, 7 forwards play on a regular basis and the other 5 just is sent out there to kill time and on the odd occasion a 4th line is put on the ice to provide some momentum.

Many talk about how we supposedly at least are trying to keep doing the same things now as we have all year. I do not think thats the case to be prefectly honest. From my point of view we are trying alot more to do what Tampa did in 04', but our core is just not able to be as successful as Tampa's core was in the slower tempo, trapping era. In their prime.

I am not saying that we aren't tired. (although NJD are of course also very tired this time of the year)

I am not saying that it isn't tough to use your ful lineup when players go down/are suspended.

But I do not think that we have any options other then using a full line-up when we play. We make misstakes and alot of them on a regular basis as it is even when relying on our top 10. When Torts and Slats talk about how our roster should be complimented at the deadline, when someone goes down and we look for a replacement, when someone is injured and we look for a replacement -- the goal should always be to always be able to put a full lineup on the ice and to be able to have 4 lines that can play from the puck is dropped and until its over every game. THATS what made us successful the this regular season. Doing anything else is doing something that have not been a part of what has made us successful this season.

Last edited by Ola: 05-23-2012 at 07:14 AM.
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