Thread: Goaltending
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12-25-2012, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Drop the Sopel View Post
Lack posted back to back .930SV% seasons under the guidance of Rollie Melanson. His stats are exceptional - far better than what was expected out of an unheralded, undrafted AHL rookie/sophomore.

Why won't you address the fact Lack said himself he's being dealing with this hip flexor injury for awhile? It was the most important aspect of this discussion, yet you're just ignoring it and hoping it goes away...
I'm not ignoring it. Maybe its a contributing cause to Lack's less than stellar start.

But why can't you consider that the change in style might be cause of Lack's problems this season?

I've watched many games at the beginning of the season and there appeared to be a major change in Lack's style. He was deeper in the net and much quicker to get down in a butterfly position. Moreover he did a lot more sliding on his pads back and forth across the crease. As I watched you could see opponents going over his shoulder, especially on the stick side. And it wasn't just me saying this. The announcers for the Wolves also noted and questioned this. If you want to check this out, e-mail them and ask them.

When I saw this happening I began to remember that this was how Melanson had worked with other goalies. When in Montreal he seemed to really push the deep butterfly approach on his goalies. When I know Melanson is the goalie coach and I see Lack playing the style that Melanson has used before then I think that Melanson has had hand in the change. Maybe I am assuming too much. Maybe Melanson has not advised Lack at all. But I don't think the conclusion I made is that far off when you see Lack playing the style that Melanson usually teaches and Melanson is, after all, the Canuck goalie coach.

And I not saying that methods Melanson teaches are always bad. They seemed to work with Huet and Halak. Might also say they are suitable to the way Schneider plays. But with others like Price, Thoedore and Luongo I think they probably caused more problems than they solved.

The problem suggested here is that Melanson may be too concerned with goalies playing his style rather than adapting his teaching to the player.

As far as Lack is concerned I really like the way Lack was aggressive and attacked the shooter. One of his best attributes IMO was the way he came out aggressively on angles and then quickly re-positioned back to his crease Also, it seemed to me, he was much better on deflections when he played at the top of his crease rather than being so deep. Maybe others that have watched and have different opinions. You might also want to see this as a transition which needs to be given longer. But it might also be the case that all these changes in Lack's game are not necessary and maybe it was better to leave well enough alone. Certainly the success that is noted in the quoted post would suggest this. In other words, the success of Lack in the last couple of years should mean that he stick with the style that produced those results.

As far as the hip flexor injury goes, the kind of real low butterfly position taught by Melanson requires a great deal of hip flexibility. You are extending both legs out to the side and getting your butt close to the ice. It seems to me that if Lack had hip problems then you would think he would tend away from a Melanson's style that puts so much pressure on his your hips. Thus I don't see him going to that positioning if he already had hip problems. Indeed, you have to wonder if Lack's new positioning and the sustained use of extended butterfly led to or made worse his hip problems. That's conjecture on my part but I don't think it's totally unreasonable speculation.

And I think we would all agree, no matter how off-base you think my observations are, that development of Lack is crucial to the team. Given that, I think it is important to consider if Melanson techniques are working or will work with Lack. I am certainly open to views that show how Melanson's deep in the net, butterfly approach will improve Lack's play. I don't see it but maybe there is a case to be made.

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