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08-23-2013, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by chosen View Post
In another thread there is a discussion on the relative merits of MDZ. A common perception in regards to him, is that "if only he was more aware of what is going on around him" he would be great.

I mentioned in that thread that there is currently evidence that supports the idea that guys like him will not him improve in that department by the time they get to the NHL.

The evidence is based on a concept called chunking. Chunking is a talent that the best athletes in every sport have. It involves seeing what is going on around you as one whole picture rather than reacting to individual stimuli. There are other very interesting things in the article regarding athletes.

This is not meant as a knock on MDZ. It's a universal that spans sports. I thought that some here might enjoy reading it. I think it's a tremendous read and I hope that those of you who give it a shot will see my point as to why the one thing I never expect improvement from in a player is awareness.
I like Epstein and I thought the article was interesting too.

However, I have a few comments and I really do -- not -- think this is relevant at all in connection to MDZ:

1. No way is what you call "chunking" digital. Binary. You say that its something the best in sports have, and presumably the others don't.

At any level you play, the level your awareness have is matched against the awareness of the defenders. I've played hockey at quite many levels, and at all levels I've had teammates that had tremendous awareness, and definitely could be labled to process more or less the entire ice while playing and not just reacting to individual stimuli. I once had a teammate who scored 66 pts in 25 games in a pro league, he came from the Finnish 2nd tier league where he had started to struggle to the Swedish 4th tier league. He had this real no-look auora around him.

You do not need to move MDZ very far from the NHL to get a D who in all aspects of the game is in total control of every detail.

2. Where is this notion coming from that MDZ supposedly doesn't have hockey sense? Because he sends a small marginal pass up center ice?

That notion is just, I don't know what to say. Drop it.

The game is easy to play when you play Rich Pilon-hockey. Under Torts, many of our D's did just that. Our forwards might not always have been that well prepared to play another style. But if you play any other style of hockey than Rich Pilon-hockey in the NHL, you will not be misstake free.

MDZ is what he is. I think he is a very solid hockey player who could be a tad quicker on his feets to really be a standout in the NHL, but who still is very good at what he is good at. A D like that will make good plays or bad plays. Just as Ryan Callahan makes good and bad plays.

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