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03-08-2014, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by overlords View Post
One of the biggest changes appears to be the transition. Forwards are generally really far from the D and many times just waiting for tap ins/redirects at the blue line. Last year there was more of a focus on maintaining possession of the puck while crossing the blue line and using the team's speed. Now it's 90% dump and chase, which has definitely hurt us. We also don't seem to forecheck as aggressively. We used to employ a very strong 2 man forecheck to provoke turnovers. Now we usually have like 1 guy being decently aggressive and the 2nd man hanging back towards the neutral zone.
I agree. To me it starts down low in the defensive zone. I see extreme problems just getting the puck out of their zone compared to last year. Are the forwards further out I don't know. I remember JM called that puck support, he had the forwards come back really deep and insisted on short passes out of the zone. Trouble with that is you give all the time for a team to setup and trap in the neutral zone, thus basically neutralizing your speed. So I can see why they'd want to stretch out those passes a little to spring guys in the neutral zone and take advantage of their speedy forwards and force the other team's forwards and D to turn and chase a little more. What could have happened this year is other teams clued in on this so they started using a much heavier forecheck against our D. And your second point I also agree with. But isn't a "grinding" team is just that? To me "grinding" means heavy forecheck deep and winning battles to create turnovers, whereas a non grinding team would be more inclined to try and score on the rush and sit back a little more. So maybe it's not that Therrien changed anything, maybe collectively as a group they have to go back to what's made them successful last year.

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