The Defenseman Acquisition Thread | Part I: Creating a Defense that is "no Soff"
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03-01-2013, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Originally Posted by
Okay so let's break down the defensive zone system here. In general, there seems to be a lack of attention given when guys are hanging out in our slot. When I played growing up and a guy was in the slot you knocked him around or at least tied up his stick. What is it about our system that let's guys stand in front of the net/get open in the slot with regularity?
What I see is that we have guys in the right areas generally (except when we have 2 d behind the net standing right next to each other which drives me insane) but just don't have their head on a swivel and aren't picking up guys. I see we all ***** about the system, but can someone articulate for me what is flawed in the system and how it should be fixed (I'm a pretty knowledgeable X and O's guy but I haven't been able to watch many games this year to really dig into it)?
Last night it was brutally obvious to me that our centers, and crosby in particular, were not handling any responsibility when the puck was near the goal line. How Sid got a plus from anyone in the thread (in no way meaning to be offensive to the posters) boggled my mind. There was a shot of Martin on hands and knees looking at the unit with pure "WTF are you/we doing".
I think Coles analysis is correct. I hate to speak for him ever, but he has for the past 3 years, harped on zone D. We see all to often that guys are covering the right "zone" but there are soft spots in a zone - and with the pens they tend to be in prime scoring locations (front of the net). Players in the NHL are too talented to be hindered by the zone system we play. I say "we" because i could imagine a zone system working well....if when there is one player in your assigned "zone" you check said player tightly. Our zone seems very rigid and more focused on limiting angles than limiting a players ability to effectively play the puck.
This also makes us seem "soff" because players are often in prime scoring areas free of tight checking or needing to battle. It also gives them the advantage in establishing position for rebounds.
So for my d priorities:
- better center support, no system or players will be effective absent this
- Tighter checking in high traffic areas. Could be through adjustments in zone approach, or playing man d.
- Play the bigger bodies over Nisky. (granted bortuzzo had a game to forget, but he battled hard and plays the brand of hockey we need come playoffs) I would also get Despres in there more, and tell him he needs to play harder nosed hockey. He has the size and strength to do it.
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