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05-23-2012, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MathMan View Post
Generally speaking, this question is usually a bit of a red herring -- usually if you generate shots you generate shots of all kinds, quality shots like perimeter shots. If you're behind though, your shooting percentage goes down even as your total shots go up -- this is true of all clubs, not just Montreal.

The question is not that Montreal generated lower percentage shots when behind, they did, as all teams do. The question is whether they did so more than other clubs and, really, there's no reason to believe that.

Thing is, Cunneyworth tried the two-man forecheck for a while, and then abandoned it because it failed. It's a good recipe to suffer odd-man rushes, after all.

Yes. The point is all teams do that. And Montreal actually did so less than most.

You can point to anecdotical cases of blown leads for the Habs as you can for any team. Montreal wasn't exceptional.

Generally, if you're up 2 and you limit the opposition to four total scoring chances and you have Price in nets, that tends to be a winning strategy, which is why teams do it. That it does blow up in memorable fashion occasionally is inevitable, but that does not make the strategy unsound -- or less sound than practicing high-risk high-event hockey that is more likely to give the opposition more cracks at getting that lucky bounce that lets them come back.

That's not a failing of Martin, Carbo, Julien, and basically every Habs coach you care to name that has been blamed for exactly the same thing. That's plain strategic sense: teams that are ahead want to slow the game down and play low-event, teams that are behind want to play a fast high-event game.
Which is precisely my point. If he ever employed that tactic, the instances were very few and far between.

As for playing with the lead, I never meant to imply that any team should play fire wagon hockey when it's not necessary. You play a tight-checking game while taking away the passing lanes. But more often than not, JM had his team sitting back on their heels between the red line and their own blue line waiting for the other team to come at them. Not all teams do that, it does NOT slow down the game and it's a recipe for disaster. Especially when you start playing that way midway through the 2nd period.

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