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02-22-2013, 12:18 PM
The Torts Identity
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Originally Posted by haveandare View Post
I wouldn't do much of anything just yet. This format, 48 games, a week of camp, no preseason, won't be repeated for a decade, if ever. I wouldn't make huge changes to a team that had so much success last year based on poor performance, which really isn't that poor in the scheme of things, in an odd season like this. I'd definitely have a PP coach come in and work with them for the rest of the season though. If they end up not being useful, dump them after, at least the team tried something new to solve it's biggest problem. I'd also have them watch other successful PP setups, if they aren't doing that right now. You can watch a PP like the Pens and just see how they move. If you don't have the puck, be moving. Once you pass it, move. It's not that difficult.

I'm sick and tired of hearing "open it up" and "get rid of dump and chase" - the players who are capable of carrying the puck in and making crisp passes do those things night in and night out and Torts never, ever punishes them for it. I don't understand where this idea that Torts doesn't want them to play that way comes from. Nash plays that game all the time. McD does it all the time. Staal does it fairly often with success. Hagelin can do it well but he also dumps and chases effectively with his speed. Richards tries and fails, but he's a whole different story, his problems are not system related IMO, he's just not thinking the game the way he's capable of. Notice something about those players, Nash, McD, Staal, Hagelin - they're guys that get top minutes. They aren't punished for playing that game, they're rewarded for it. Bottom line, from what I see, the players who can "open it up" do, and the guys who dump and chase most often do it because they aren't the players who can open it up. I don't have a problem with that.

I'd probably give these lines a longer try though, 5-10 games unless it was obvious that one or more weren't working:

Hagelin - Stepan - Nash
Pyatt - Richards - Gaborik
Kreider - Miller - Callahan
Mash - Halpern - Boyle

Overall, I wouldn't make huge trades or hirings/firings based on the performance so far. This format is unusual and isn't going to be repeated. I truly think that a full camp and preseason, having time to see and evaluate all the new guys and tweak the strategy to fit them and then having a handful of meaningless games to tweak further, would have made a huge difference. I think the team is trying to find itself as they play, and I don't think they'd have to do that under a normal season format. They'll get better.
I don't think Pyatt and Gaborik will be able to give Richards the space he clearly needs. At this point of the year it seems Nash and Hagelin have probably done the best job at doing just that. Have them split up and hope to get some of the other guys going.

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