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01-29-2013, 11:00 AM
Seth Lake
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OK, I've pretty much had it with the new systems. I think it was a severe miscalculation to try to change the breakout pattern and the defensive zone system with only a week of training camp and no exhibition games.

While the new overload defensive zone coverage (DZC) is a solid coverage and can work, it is currently leaving the Preds total inept in their own zone because it is not in any way instinctive and you see players standing, watching, and thinking should I go or should I hold this position as the opponent starts cycling the puck deep. Additionally, due to the confusion in our end of the rink, when we do get the puck...there is no one to send a pass up to for a breakout, therefore it's kept in and the cycle begins again. By the time we breakout of our own end the players are exhausted and it's time to dump and change more often than not.

With two days off prior to our next game, the coaches need to really sit down today and evaluate if this is the coverage they want to stick with right now or if they want to switch back to the traditional "man on box behind" DZC as the base coverage with times where they use the overload (puck battle in corner below dots, puck battle behind the net, puck battle on the half-wall), yet always know to bounce back into the box coverage when the puck moves away.

This is not a call to bring in new coaches or throw anyone under the bus here. It's basically saying this is the first actual stop and evaluate point we've had this season where a change can be made, practiced tomorrow, and put into place for Thursday. I've seen the presentation the team got on the coverage, I've seen a Toronto coach give another presentation on the same coverage. If the lockout didn't happen, I believe this would have worked. I still believe it can work, but right now...things have got to be simplified and the players need to rebuild their confidence to move forward.

I fully expect the message to be clearly sent tonight and tomorrow within the team. The Preds have to go more North-South, they need to be less selective in their shot selection and throw pucks on net from all angles, they need to generate traffic to the net in layers before and after each shot is taken, and they need to not only help the defensemen in their end of the ice, but also get help from the defensemen activating into the offense or staying high and getting shots through to the net. [/rant]

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