What's our real problem?
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11-02-2013, 12:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Originally Posted by
People perhaps remember how livid I was with the play of Hall, RNH, and Eberle last year in OKC. Even at this lesser rung they were perfectly content picking their moments and padding pts against opposition they could overwhelm while struggling against solid system play and the few opponents AHL level that could throw a blanket over them, which some did, and with the result being that these guys were either ineffectual or disappeared in these games.
To me those were the games that mattered MOST. They were the games that afforded potential learning in how to combat system play. But which out top talents just tend to dismiss as bad luck and a tough day at the office.
Commitment is about rising to the occasion and having our topsix be able to compete with other clubs topsix. Given all out picks and talent kind of disappointing were not even close to holding our own in those matchups. We have instead forwards continually content to press forward, make poor reads, turnovers, and create outmanned situations on backend.
The degree to which this occurred against Toronto can't even be described as an attempt at playing NHL hockey.
That these blowhards felt arrogant enough to get continually overcommited and out of position against a club as scoring lethal as the leafs is frankly shocking.
No coach in the world is telling forwards to get caught 3 deep continually while the leafs rush the puck back our way for fun.
A stupid attempt at hockey by really stubborn *star* players.
I think if we had more size in our topsix...our "high octane" style might not be quite as self-destructive...but...when ALL our existing scoring weapons are going out there with this gunslinger approach...it tends to bite them in the ass before they even have time to FIND their ass with two hands...largely because...NOT ONLY are they placing too much emphasis/too soon on scoring...they're really not nearly as good at scoring as they THINK they are.
As it is...players here tend to attempt difficult plays...without a conscience...while lacking the size & muscle required to clear a path, keep a broken play alive or bring a bad play back from disaster.
When a tried & true, pro level, 5 man unit takes possession of the puck...there always needs to be a quick "checklist" which should be the determining factor in whether or not an attacking play can occur.
I believe the checklist looks something like this for say a line like DET's top line:
1) Are we all STARTING from a defensive position? Yes, even an offensive play starts from players being properly positioned to DEFEND...and...if that's not the case...then the puck should be placed/passed/cleared somewhere in order for defensive angles to be reasonably covered.
2) Is the OTHER TEAM in proper position(s)? If the answer is "yes'...well...then you would adjust your attacking play accordingly & the de3cisions the offensive players make become far more conservative then IF opposing players are either NOT in position or NOT fully completed at line change or NEEDING a line change et al.
The Oilers do NOT "think" this way. They just don't. I can see it more obviously this year than times in the past...but...even in past years...this team has a historical tendency to race up the rink without first THINKING about the implications of an knee jerk run towards the opposing end of the rink.
I also go back to a 4 or 5 week run we had ( 2 years ago??) around this time when the team was eeking out ("boring") WINS under Tom Renney. There was, to my eye, some calculated hesitation/evaluation of the play for a brief time and it worked effectively towards CONTROLLING the game. We should have stuck with it, clearly. But...a bunch of injuries happened and the wheels came off that STRUCTURE & MINDSET.
Havent seen it since.
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