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01-30-2014, 06:52 PM
Blue Seat Spartan
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Richmond County, NY
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Contrary to what Pierre McGuire says on NBC telecasts, the Rangers employ a hybrid system in the defensive zone that starts as man-on-man and becomes a staggered/overload coverage. It depends on the opposition's zone entry. If the forwards carry the puck into the zone, the Rangers' forwards seem to pick their man at around the blue line on the backcheck to negate any odd-man rushes. Conversely, when the enemy forwards dump the puck in, the Rangers engage in a Staggered/Strong Side Overload to pin the opponents along either side of the defensive zone:

There's a component of man-to-man coverage when the puck is moved up to the points, that you'll see the Rangers' forwards actively pressuring the point man, denying the defensemen time to wind up for a slap shot. However the primary emphasis on the overload system is to "Out-man" the opponent along the boards and win more loose pucks from the one-on-one battles in the perimeter of the defensive zone.

If you notice from early in the season, this is AV's ideal method of playing in the defensive zone, which ironically is more efficient in puck retrieval than Torts' straight-up collapsing box system.

I think the Rangers D-corps has become comfortable with the hybrid man/overload system as they are now being supported more effectively by the forwards in gap control, coverage, and puck management. And for emphasis, they have the mental agility to adapt to and implement Vigneault's defensive scheme, which his predecessor was to stubborn to realize.

In case you're wondering, here's a good source to read through:

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