Thread: Post-Game Talk: by the spirit of vanek..... (we lost)
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03-07-2014, 05:49 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Originally Posted by overlords View Post
I wonder if they should just straight up start pk on the left d and markov on the right. They always switch anyway. Vanek near the left circle with his righty shot could be a great cross pass option for markov.
Funny enough, this is one of the first real "strategy additions" I brought to the team I coached in Japan, and it blew their minds when I explained it to them (it definitely blew the other coaches minds that I could explain it to them in Japanese and convince them to teach it, lol). With the added open space, and forwards that have to be careful to stay between you (the puck) and the net, it just makes sense to start right off the bat with the ability for both defensemen to be a) shooting from the middle of the ice (off the faceoff, one timers, whatever, better angles all around), b) distribute the puck from the middle of the ice on their forehand, and c) be able to curl back and "walk the blueline" on their forehand if pinching/retrieving pucks and pressured by an aggressive penalty-killing forward. The fact that there's a RH shooting sniper sneaking around the left faceoff dot for a one-timer (Ovechkin style) is now just gravy on top, in terms of what could/should be possible.

The usual fears involved with playing defense while moving backwards on the "off side" are minimized with a bit of coaching. No matter what, just don't leave too much space to the outside, and make sure whoever is going to get back to help first (should be an extra man somewhere that is able to get back before long) is playing any move back to the middle all the way. Much easier to say when you're coaching Japanese junior high school students, haha. Have to get it straightened back out by ES again, though, because at that point it's back to a bigger advantage having defensemen able to curl behind the net and come out on the forehand able to hit the longest distance passes at the most possible angles with the most possible power and accuracy; which is the same for the neutral ice transition game, for the most part.

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