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03-02-2013, 05:02 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: The Frozen Wasteland
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Originally Posted by detrude View Post
I think it's this. Look at how soft the team plays on the blue line and how easily they give up zone entry--our defenders collapse towards the net and give the forward too much time and space. It's been a problem since Sacco took over, but it seems worse the past year or so with an increased emphasis on shot blocking. That's part of the reason why I think they signed Zanon, shot blocking ability. The team says it wants to be harder to play against, yet keeps throwing out a ****** passive defensive scheme. Why?
I was so happy when the team finally got rid of Karlis Skrastins (God rest his soul). I still maintain the team went on that amazing playoff run under Quenneville the minute he went down because they quit being a passive shot-blocking team and instead went after attackers in the defensive zone. Sure enough, Q made the mistake of putting him back in for that final game against the Preds, the team went right back to a collapsing, passive defense, and blew a 2-goal lead to lose the game.

That said, I wonder if Zanon's presence is having a similar effect...? Again, I don't mind having guys who block shots, but when it defines your defensive scheme, it's a big problem. I maintain being at or near the lead in blocked shots is the worst kind of "positive" team stat to have, because it means you're basically letting the opposition camp out in your zone while you sit huddled around your goalie.

Originally Posted by TwoPadStack View Post
Are we talking about the same Ryan O'Byrne here?

He does many, many things well below a respectable, NHL level... skating, passing, shooting... but blocking shots? Not only is that one of the only traits that got him to the show, but he is practically in the elite level of shot blockers in the league. He led our team with 141 blocked shots last year. Hejda was second at 134 and Hejda played 7 more games than O'Byrne. He had 50 more blocked shots than our #1 defenseman, Erik Johnson, who logged almost 200 extra more minutes than him.

I respectfully disagree with your assessment of his shot blocking skills.
Fair enough, that's why I said I didn't quite remember him being a shot blocker. Whatever the case, he's not doing it well right now. It's almost like he's hesitant to do so, and that's why I wondered if he was ever good at it.

Regardless, the team brought him aboard to clear the crease and punish guys in the corners and along the boards, something he did quite well the last couple seasons. He's not doing it now, and I still maintain that either he's hurt or the coaches are trying to get him to do something different.

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