Thread: Speculation: Has Adam Oates Been Fired Yet????
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02-21-2013, 02:47 PM
Brave Sir Robin
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Originally Posted by Mystlyfe View Post
Seems to be a lot of confusion regarding Oates' system in this thread. Might as well add to it by throwing in what I've observed of his sytem.

*Defensive zone:
Oates is "overloading" the strong side of the ice. For those of you familiar with NHL13 strategies, think of the "Puck Side Pressure" option. All five defenders are on the same side of the ice, and attempt to use numbers to isolate the puck carrier along the boards and disrupt the cycle.

The weakness in this system has been exploited repeatedly by some of our opponents already this season (namely Pittsburgh and New York). There is very little pressure on the points in this system, and if you don't seal off the "low to high" pass, the opponent's blueliners can wreak havoc. D-to-D passes are a nightmare for this defensive scheme, since it inverts the zone and forces the defenders to run around. When the other team isn't afraid to engage their blueliners, they tend to have sustained possessions and force the Caps D to exhaust themeslves. The best remedy to this is getting defensemen who can win the one-on-one battles down low, and force a turnover before the other team has a chance to involve their defensemen in the cycle.

This is a little tougher to read, since it seems that the Caps vary their attack depending on the specific situation. When the opponent has a clean possession, it generally looks like a 1-2-2 forecheck, typically with a pretty "active" F1 (though not always). If there's a chance at a turnover, they get more aggressive and send in a second forechecker, while the F3 positions himself to recieve a pass or start the cycle.

It appears as if the preferred method is to gain the zone with possession. Obviously this isn't always going to work, and there are still some dump and chase scenarios. But a majority of our zone entries seem to utilize overlapping/crossing routes down the wing and a quick pass once the puck carrier crosses the blueline. When it's working optimally, a player follows the puck carrier across the line with speed, and has a chance to drive the net with the puck (or at least force the defense back). If a player isn't able to hit the line with speed, the puck carrier drives the defense as far back as he can before dropping it back to the follower at the point. Green and Ribeiro have been easily our best players at gaining the zone while maintaining possession.

Oates is using a 1-3-1 powerplay designed to feed one timers to the man in the slot (Brouwer) or at the left circle (Ovechkin). I would like to see this become more "balanced," with the play actually switching sides of the ice more often than it does (practically never). Let Ovie handle the puck more. Even if Nicky and Ribs aren't as credible threats for one timers, it would force the PKers to move a lot more and create the possibility for miscues or exhausting their unit.

*Penalty Kill:
Oates is using the "box" scheme. It was rather passive at the beginning of the season, but has become more assertive lately (almost borders on a "wedge +1").
The thing is, our PP formation is very static, and Ovi is very isolated. Once he gets the puck at the left circle, his only real options are a one-timer or a pass back to Green at the point.

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