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03-24-2014, 05:19 PM
habitue*'s Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Country: Canada
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Originally Posted by Lshap View Post
A big part of the regression is how other teams adjusted to the Habs this season. Before last season, Montreal was a bottom-three team playing Jacques Martin's leftover defensive style of hockey. Suddenly, in 2013, Therrien came in and introduced a quick-transition game. Our D moved the puck fast and forward, and because the opposition wasn't expecting it, we took 'em by surprise and scored a ton of goals.

This year the opposition adjusted and cut off our transition at the source, pressuring our D deep in our end and forcing mistakes and turnovers. The moment our dmen got the puck, an opposing forward was on him, preventing him from moving it or forcing him into a desperate long pass. Habs D isn't big or mobile enough to make them pay for committing that deep in our end. No coincidence that softer dmen like Diaz couldn't adjust -- with no time to skate or pass his game was neutralized. So all those fancy first-passes dried up, along with gaining the neutral zone and controlling the play into the o-zone.

Beaulieu can give us back some of what we lost -- the ability to control the puck from our end out. Right now, everybody except Subban is a turnover risk in our zone, which makes our forwards play a more cautious game, knowing we'll probably get hemmed in. Beaulieu will undoubtedly make mistakes, but he brings what we need very badly.
As long as we gonna have so many smallish forwards, it's gonna be that style of play ( or lack of)...

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