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08-24-2013, 09:54 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Spring Hill, TN
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Originally Posted by triggrman View Post
We all know injuries were a big part. Puck possession was a big part on both ends. Looking at the stats though, something really stood out to me was our lack of physical play. We're so soft, only 5 teams with less hits.

So now I can see why Trotz targeted Nystrom and Hendricks, we really need more physical play, I actually wonder if it's enough. We talk about being a team of grinders but we don't actually grind.

Our other problem is overall speed. We need more speed. We have no speed to back defensemen up so our defensemen have to make perfect passes to breakout or just clear the puck off the glass.

Both of these issues are also a problem with puck possession. Can't skate with the puck because of the speed, can't dump and chase because can't play the body.

I always thought we were a fairly physical team but looking at hits, we're really not. If we're not going to be high skilled, let's be physical, impose our will. If Ekholm and Jones both make it, we'll have the size on defense for sure.
Adding Stalberg and Cullen should help our overall speed up front, hopefully. Adding the grit from Nystrom and Hendricks should help too. The big thing is, each of the top 3 lines needs a guy who can skate to make the dump and chase effective. We also need a guy to be able to dump the puck at the right time allowing the chaser the chance to get to the puck. Too many times last year we had guys standing at the blue line waiting to chase as opposed to guys hitting the blue line with speed once the puck was dumped. The wingers with the most speed to me are Stalberg, Bourque and Smith. They have to be able to get in deep and do the dirty work. Problem is, if Smith is playing, Beck is probably sitting which takes away from our size. At that point, do you let Cullen or Legwand chase the puck deep if Beck is playing? Lots of things to think about.

And I don't know if it's the system or the guys who play in it but I always feel guys peel off to get back defensively rather than finish their checks. If it's the system I get it but at the same time, if the opposing player knows he's not going to get hit, he has that little bit of extra time to make the right play with the puck. Finishing checks would put more pressure on the other team to make the right play and if they don't, we are there to capitalize.

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