Thread: Speculation: Fixing Team Defense...
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03-11-2013, 05:26 PM
  #37
littletonhockeycoach
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Without getting into x's and o's, defense is what happens when you aren't in possession of the puck and offense is what happens when you are.

Defense is played in all 3 zones depending on who has the puck.

The Sabres problems in their own zone with the breakout are legendary. But the breakout is really playing offense in your own zone and it's all about having a quick and successful transition from defense in your own zone to offense in your own zone.

If you can't get possession of the puck in your own zone (or constantly give it up), you'll never break out successfully.

I have noticed that the Sabres defense is frequently slow getting the puck and unable at times to gain possession via angling and positioning when the puck is free. And we all see the times they are too weak on their sticks when they have the puck.

But most importantly, critical support from their fwds is lacking when trying to establish possession. And this affects confidence (at least it affects mine when I'm playing D.)

I think this is just another example of the hurt the team is feeling from having young and inexperienced centermen thrust into roles that they are not able to handle yet.

Many folks wanted Goose and Roy gone w/o understanding that for all their faults, they (esp. Goose) would work diligently pairing up with the defense in the Sabres zone. Cody and Ennis are newbies at this by comparison. Hecht used be stronger in the defensive zone but his best days are gone.

So Sekera, Ehrhoff, Myers and Leopold didn't just suddenly lose all their skill and smarts but in part, have been handicapped by a deficit of defensive support from our centers.

I think that's what Rolston was referring to when he talked about players taking shortcuts.

And its going to be painful to grow thru this period unless Darcy brings in a strong 2 way (Dougie Gilmore - like) center.

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