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05-28-2012, 10:20 AM
A guy with a bass
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Charlotte, NC
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There's a little bit of a chicken-egg conversation dealing with the stretch pass. In the series against Ottawa, the Rangers were having a really tough time dealing with the speed of their low forecheckers on the breakout. The way you prevent teams from sending so many forecheckers down low is by stretching it out a little bit. So that's what they did, and did successfully in games 6 and 7 of that series. What ended up happening is that it just became part of the team's game. The forwards started to fail to recognize when the stretch passes were having the desired effect. Instead of noting that the Capitals or Devils were sending in one forechecker and coming back to their own blueline to give the defenseman more outlet options, they setup in the neutral zone to receive a stretch pass. Since the opponents had players back, the stretch passes didn't work. And since the forwards weren't coming back to provide options either, the defensemen sometimes got pinned in the defensive zone anyway.

I think it's possible that Tortorella didn't react to that particular situation changing.

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