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01-29-2013, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Lowkey View Post
We have heard it time and time again when new players come to the team they talk about their being a transition period to learn the system. This seems like an appropriate topic since Jason Garrison is currently struggling to make a seamless transition to the team.

I'll bite,

Coach V. requires three parts of the game for his D that would be a change for some players.

1. Gap play in the neutral zone (between the blue lines). With Loose pucks or while in control of the puck, the off-side D from the puck must move his feet and get behind (on the lateral plane) his partner. This creates a stagger for multi-level defense and allows the partner (if he gets the puck from the forwards) to make a cross-ice pass that is not straight across the ice, but rather it goes somewhat backwards. (This is the Edler turn-over against SJ. His partner, Garrison, was level on the ice with Edler making any pass more easy to intercept. Garrison needed to be deeper. Then, once the puck is moved to this deeper partner the passer must read the postioning of the forechecking forewards, and his own forwards (center and winger on his side of the ice). After this read that defense-man must either back up to recieve another cross-ice pass (back from his partner) or move forward into space to support the play as the puck moves up the ice. All this requires a lot of thinking. This thinking is most likely part of the reason why Garrison appears to be behind the play.

2. Take hits from forechecking forwards. Coach V requires all his D to take hits in the corners on dump-ins. This frees up the puck for either the D's partner or a back-checking forward (usually the center). Again this requires reading the forecheck and thinking where the puck should be layed (not passed) considering the positioning of your partner, your backchecking forward, and the attacking players too. (The goalie is a huge help here, letting his D know which way to lay the puck.) Did you see the hit Tanev took during the SJ game to make this very play? It's a tough play to make, but it's the one his coach demands. That's why Tanev is liked so much by coach V.

3. The "pinch" in the attacking zone. Coach V allows his D to pinch along the boards in the offensive zone, but this again requires thinking. The D must read his forwards and the other team's forwards positions on the ice before he moves up the boards. Plus, his partner must make a read too. He must decide to move back to the center ice dot (he does this when he thinks his pinching partner has made a bad read.) or to support his partner's decision by moving further away inside the blue-line to accept a full cross ice pass from the supporting forward.

The thinking (processing) of information for the D is huge.

These are three systems I notice that coach V requires from his defense-men that are somewhat different than other teams. #2 is why the Canucks go through so many D during the season, and in the play-offs.

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