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05-19-2013, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Farkas View Post
Bolded: Has the ability to keep pucks out of your own zone been compromised by the removal of the center red line? The utilization of the stretch pass to the far blue line for a tip in deep and establish zone time was not possible in the same way before 2005. Fair to say?

So the adaptation is to protect what you can protect. You can't protect your own blue line like you could ten years ago. So you protect your net. In the process, you try to mitigate zone time but teams with the higher defensive reputation seem largely resigned to yielding their line and protecting their net.

That's not to say anything in absolutes league-wide. Teams don't want the puck in their own zone. Look at the Blackhawks: all puck possession. The Blackhawks so-so goaltenders have alarming statistics because the other team isn't allowed to touch the puck during the game. Not because the Blackhawks are a traditional defensive team.

If a coach has a choice, yeah, he wouldn't want a puck to cross his blueline the entire game. But that task can prove to be exhausting in this era, and so adjustments were made...
Changes to face-off rules have had the biggest impact. Penalties, icings, puck out of play all favour the offensive team either via no change,location - one of two defensive spots as opposed to neutral zone or point of deflection.

Tip in is Bowman's pet peeve. Cost of poor execution and the lack of turnover guarantee make this ploy iffy.

The basic issue is that with a salary cap and free agency teams no longer have a strong veteran core that can play various defensive tactics with equal efficiency. So teams stockpile centers and defensemen with attention to handedness. Efficiency at faceoffs and transition is then enhanced.

See Ottawa. Balanced handedness with centers and defensemen plus depth. Or LA, Chicago.

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