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11-03-2012, 09:23 PM
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Small Rinks

Originally Posted by overpass View Post
Canadiens1958 can answer this too but I'm just going to say that it seems intuitive to me that a small rink would be easier to play on for an outstanding forechecking duo like Craig Ramsay and Don Luce. Less room for the opposition to transition, easier to force turnovers, more chances on the counterattack.
Anyone could check Bobby Orr in a phone booth. On a 200 x 85 foot NHL rink it was a bit tougher.

Simply every player is in closer proximity. It is easier to maintain proper defensive spacing, easier to get on the defensemen on the forecheck or contain the wingers.

The smaller neutral ice area forces the breaking wingers to slow down and it also erases defensive mistakes since passes had to be short and precise to avoid the two line offside.

Problem was adapting to a larger surface since players have to adjust their spacing, have to adjust forecheck speed and angles, re-evaluate risks and shift management in the long shift era. Could not rely on the neutral zone to reduce speed and erase mistakes with offside calls.

Young mobile defensemen had problems at both ends.Singullar examples. Vulnerable to the dump and chase because even the slowest forwards were effective forecheckers. Unable to fully exploit their offensive talents because the short neutral zone area limited their passing and rushing skills.

Pierre Pilote took a long time to build his game in Chicago while Pat Stapleton had problems in Boston then re-surfaced in Chicago succesfully. Bobby Orr was successful but he was more mobile and interesting to watch on the large rinks in Toronto and Montreal then he was in Boston.

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