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05-29-2013, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by RangerBoy View Post
Chicago rebuilt their depth with young players. Saad, Shaw. Kruger. Leddy(acquired in trade w/Johnsson for Barker). They acquired Stallberg in the Versteeg trade. Skille for Frolik. Kruger and Frolik have formed the best PK pair in the NHL. Frolik was an offensive player in FLA. He is a role player with the Hawks. Bickell was a pick from 2004. Took him a while to figure it out. No free agents signed to 3 year contracts. No Mike Rupps. No Pyatts and Ashams. 2 year deals for them.
Good points.

Maloney, while maybe not being the best drafter in the league, has built a competetive team (that went as far as we did last season) while operating with an extreme budget with trades like that. Guys like Vrbata, Hanzal, Robert freakin Lang, Whitney, Langkow and co have been core for them.

But, we are not in a position to just fill empty sweaters. We have like nothing. We need to build a game. We have no offense, no defense cept Hank, no PK and no PP.

Originally Posted by TUQ View Post
I do agree with almost all you said. Unfurtunately I am of the opinion that in today's NHL you can't win without good system (puck movement and transition) and PP, even though you have all the talent in the world and the best goalie to boot. The good system with slightly worse players beats the bad (Torts') system with better players. That is the reason I do not put much hope into the debate (and its results) whether we acquire this guy or that one, because it loses its meaning. All we can acquire is the best available player, other teams will therefore get slightly lesser players. But once incorporater into better systems, they win.
You might be right.

People can say what they want about Jacques Lemaire, but he has a good hockey mind (but he failed to adjust like most great coaches do sooner or later).

He tried to trap trap in Minny. Real 1-3-1 trapping. After the red-line offside rule was removed. The problem was, as we now know, that the game today is not about "not" making misstakes. Its about carrying the momentum. The team that have the puck:

(1) creates scoring chances because you can't clutch and grab,

(2) draws penalties because sooner or later D's end up on the wrong side and you can't recover when you can't hook/clutch/grab,

(3) does not defend because they are at the other side of the rink.

The scale just tipped over for the true trapping teams. Minny looked decent and was a hard team to beat, but when the PO's started and they played the better teams, they were just always on the receiving end and you win very few games being on the receiving end in the game today. You must have the puck and carry the momentum.

So what did this great hockey mind Jacques Lemaire do? Yes, he tried to adjust. He thought: How can we play with great defensive marginals, while still winning the momentum battle? He came up with an answer, we must get -- puck moving defensemens --.

Minny's top 6 in JLs last year there was:
1. Kim Johnsson
2. Brent Burns
3. Marek Zidlicky
4. Nick Schultz
5. Martin Skoula
6. Marc-Andre Bergeron (avg almost 17 minutes a night for 72 games, so he played alot too)

That is 5 offensive minded Ds, and a 2-way D in Schultz (Schultz is definitely not a defensiveminded D).

In modern times, nobody have even remotely iced such offensive minded blueline before or after.

But it wasn't enough. I thought his approch was interesting, and I saw them play several times that season. They where still good defensively, two goalise in the top 5 in sv% and GAA, but they too often lost the momentum battle against the better teams. Their offense was built on not having the puck, not keeping it within the team, and it just didn't work.

Anyway, I still think its worth trying something than keeping status que, that's for sure. Torts is diffrent than JL in one way, he would never tell a player that does something that works to change. Sometimes it seems like Torts can like get to the Girardi types, make them change completely (Girardi used to have a good first pass and his creative passing under pressure where his biggest strength his first years in NY for those who remember), but Prospal liked Torts and Torts liked Prospal, no matter if Prospal played the game completely diffrent than Torts want in certain areas. Dan Boyle never rifled the puck the length of the ice in Tampa.

The best teams like Boston play their game no matter who is on the ice. Its not about the players, they have a game plan and they follow it. They have set plays to get up ice. They ask the same no matter what role a player have, its not rocket science but a matter of a ton of drilling and having a structure in place already. But it would at least help us to have more D's who could move the puck by themselves and centers, like Brassard for example, who can hold on to the puck.

BTW, I always think of Jacques Lemaire when I see comments about how Torts possibly couldn't be a bad coach since he won a Cup in Tampa. Jacques Lemaire was a part of eleven Stanley Cup Winning teams. Eleven. He is the founding father of the only non-star driven Dynasty in the NHL since the 70's, the NJD's. He coached six seasons in the NHL after the redline offside rule was removed and still tried to 1-3-1 trap which made it completely impossible for his team to win anything. No other coach in this league would come up with the idea to 1-3-1 trap in the NHL today. You have to back down so far that you give up all offense while doing it. It is extremely hard for a successful coach to adjust, there are a ton of examples of this.

Last edited by Ola: 05-29-2013 at 08:23 AM.
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