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11-06-2012, 08:01 PM
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The Red Line

Mike, an excellent summation.

A few points. The Red Line clearly defined the icing rule, introduced in 1939. It also introduced the modern version of the dump and chase. Also this put a new emphasis on the ability of the goalie to handle the puck and work in unison with the defensemen to move the puck and transition the game out of the defensive zone.

This produced some interesting goalie situations. Chuck Rayner was known to rush with the puck at times but more of a novelty than an offensive tactic.

The Maple Leafs focused on the handedness of the team. RHS dmen and forwards on the right side, LHS on the left side, mix of LHS and RHS centers lead by the RHS Teeder Kennedy. This complimented Broda's rebound control and ability to clear and direct pucks to the corners. The handedness gave the Leafs a distinct advantage, producing an advantage by generating more favourable horizontal angles - think about how stick positioning impacts angles and the resulting passing and shooting lanes. Finally the handedness factor made the movement of the puck out of the defensive zone more efficient.

Bill Durnan was ambidextrous. Could handle the stick on either side and catch with either hand. A bit of a novelty factor but an advantage handling the puck, moving it to defensemen,clearing, etc. Also it would give attacking teams and players different looks from time to time. A break from each wing could get the tougher shooting look.

The Bruins with Frank Brimsek were part of the old guard, hampered by the smaller home rink since they would have to adjust for the away games.Puckhandling in the defensive zone was a bit of a factor. The defensemen were not mobile to start - Leafs had dumped a few of their slugs on the Bruins for a brief period. Also they were not balanced in terms of handedness. Finally Brimsek was not as mobile or agile like Rayner and Durnan or as adept at getting the puck to his defensemen. Recall the stories of Brimsek favouring a heavier stick to chop forwards - would make handling the puck a bit tougher.

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