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02-25-2013, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by Holdurbreathe View Post
Using hits as the measure of toughness is inappropriate. Taking hits to make plays is IMO a greater indication of toughness.

For example, Carlyle's offensive system relies heavily on set plays and the dump and chase to enter the O-zone.

The concept is simple, use team speed and positioning to allow for uncontested hits on the D. The fundamental purpose is to wear down the opposition's D and over 60 minutes the expectant result is more and more offensive zone time.

This isn't a display of toughness, hitting retreating D is easy prey for the most part. What it is meant to do is breakdown the opposing players focus (intimidate) resulting in turnovers and gain puck possession.

IMO the Sens showed greater toughness in taking the hits while focusing on puck retrieval and movement, which they did with great regularity on Saturday night.

PS taking any statistic out of the context of the game is pointless.
That is incorrect. Your definition much better suits "grit" than it does "toughness". By your definition players like Alfredsson, Silfverberg, Turris and Condra would be considered "tough". Those players are gritty skilled/finesse players but you would be hard pressed to find any respectable GM, coach, scout or executive that would say that any of those players increase the overall toughness of the team.

"Toughness" basically comes down to being difficult to play against in terms of the physical aspects of the game. A "tough player" is someone who the opposition's players are scared to battle with around the net, along the boards or in the corners. A "tough player" is someone who the opposition's players pay attention to when on the ice and keep their heads up so that they don't get run over. Being "tough" has to do with taking away time and space and the ability to take players off their game by hitting, agitating or simply being intimidating to battle against.

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