Chunking is why players rarely improve ice awareness
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08-21-2013, 12:22 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Originally Posted by
Am I the only person who would think that DZ's biggest problems are hesitating, and then while trying to not hesitate, impulsively making the wrong choice?
Interestingly enough, I was watching Brian Leetch in an old Rangers game. And I was sort of surprised at his skating and how average his top speed seemed. Of course Leetch had some of the best agility ever and amazing anticipation. I started comparing him to MDZ and what was different in their games. And a few things stood out. One - Leetch was allowed to freelance. Even deep in the SC run in 94 he was all over the ice. Taking chances MDZ would be absolutely benched for. And again, not the fastest skater, but he seemed to be everywhere because he was allowed to play instinctively.
I'm not sure if MDZ has the same instincts as Leetch, nor the same agility, but hopefully we'll get to see a little bit more of it this year to at least judge. In his rookie year MDZ was pretty good at jumping into pass lanes - something leetch was amazing at. So we'll see.
That said, one of the little ways you can sort of judge a players visual recognition of the game, certainly a defenseman, is how well they're able to keep the puck in the zone on the PP point. No one in my lifetime on the Rangers has ever come close to Brian Leetch in this regard. And this is one area I've been very disappointed in with MDZ, Girardi, pretty much all the Rangers D. I'd like to see if Moore and McDonagh are any better back there. Oddly enough, Brad Richards has shown a decent knack for this in his time here. Stralman has been very strong as well. But the way the PP has been run most of Torts' tenure has made pretty much everyone look bad back there.
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