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07-13-2013, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
It seemed to happen at least once a game. He understands he has lost two steps, so he pinches in the offensive zone to cancel breakouts before they happen, because if he's caught flat footed, it's over. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. At least he's intelligent enough to know his deficiencies and try to work around them, I'll give him that.

I also noticed that every time an opposing player dumps the puck in the Habs end, it's Emelin that has to go chase it because they both know Markov will not reach it in time. He can be good at fighting for pucks with his stick, but he'll get outmuscled in the corner and in front of the net.

He did have a good season, offensively. But I found the Habs are rather poor in their own zone, often chasing pucks and looking lost. There's a serious lack of mobility on the backend, and I think it really hurts the team. I would personally go in another direction once his contract is up.
Since this applies to everyone and not just Markov it could easily be a coaching problem. It certainly looked like the entire D-corp was told to pinch at the offensive zone much more than they were under Martin/Cunnyworth. In the zone we no longer collapse in front of the net and with the condensed schedule it's no surprise that players struggled with the change as there was less practice time.

The only times Markov speed gets exposed is when he pinches and doesn't hold the puck in. Most defenceman in the league will let the forward get the puck after he chips it in the zone and then try to hit/steal the puck because if the defenceman goes in first he's going to get plastered by the forechecker it has nothing to do with the defenceman's speed or lack thereof.

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