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Abuse these players

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04-10-2004, 10:59 AM
  #1
officeglen
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Abuse these players

This is not a discussion of the Preds-Wings series but instead a general discussion on how teams target the other team's key players.

Quote:
the Red Wings won their playoff opener Wednesday night, 3-1, an eraserboard in the dressing room displayed Nashville's lineup. Five names were underlined in red: David Legwand, Steve Sullivan, Kimmo Timonen, Scott Walker and Marek Zidlicky.

And there was a note: "Abuse these players."

"Every game we play all year, we underline a few key players that we feel will have the biggest influence on their team, and we have to make a point of not turning away on a bodycheck and finishing everything on them," assistant coach Joe Kocur said. "We want to finish on everybody, but the key players, we want to make sure we finish good and hard and don't turn away."

About four minutes into the first period Wednesday, forward Kirk Maltby drilled Zidlicky into the boards. Zidlicky, who tied for fourth in scoring among NHL defensemen with 53 points in the regular season, left the game and won't play today in Game 2.

The Predators have said only that Zidlicky has an "upper-body injury," and they don't plan to be more specific.
Personally I've seen this go on ever year I've watched the playoffs, and this year is nothing new. The only thing the Wings should have done in this case is erase the board before the press can see it.

Quote from Five Preds targeted for hard hits

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04-10-2004, 01:13 PM
  #2
Munchausen
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Well hockey is a physical game. Physicality is used to contain, intimidate or take players out of the play (not the game mind you). So I don't know why it'd be shocking that you'd want the best players on the other team to face more attention, this includes thighter checking but also a more sustained contact game.

If it doesn't involve cheap shots and intent to injure, I won't cry about it and neither should the players. It's a part of hochey at every level. They should learn to accept the higher pain that comes with higher skills, roles and paychecks (no I'm not making this an issue about money) and play through it.

Referees are supposed to be there and make sure the other crappy stuff we don't want in there like obstruction, hooking and various cheap shots are taken out of the game. Is it being done properly? There's a milion threads about this so I won't turn this one that way, but again, nothing against going hard and strong at the best players. If you don't they make you pay for it.

edit: couple typos


Last edited by Munchausen: 04-10-2004 at 01:20 PM.
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04-10-2004, 01:46 PM
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Trottier
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Key point here is that the playoffs differ from the regular season and here might be the biggest difference. Players do not use their body nearly as much throughout the regular season, instead saving it for particular games. That's just common sense: if the intensity of play resembled the playoffs for 82 games, no one would be walking (healthy) come April.

The hitting certain players part is as much a test of that player's will as anything else. Just one example (note to any overly-sensitive Habs fans - don't take this the wrong way): Ribeiro had a superb season. However, he is virtually a newbie to the playoffs. If he performs like he did the previous six months, Montreal will be in superb shape. It reasons that Boston would "target" him for extensive physical play to see how he responds. Does he play through it, or does he shy away?There are other examples on every team.

Another reason for this tactic is to wear certain players down, especially dmen. We're not talking "bounty" here, we're talking playing the game hard and smart.


Last edited by Trottier: 04-11-2004 at 02:23 AM.
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04-10-2004, 03:31 PM
  #4
Munchausen
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I agree wholeheartedly. Players must be tested and prove their worth. They might collapse or hang in tough. But even then, continual (and clean) physical abuse to wear a player down in the playoffs is expected. The better the player, the more important to his team, the more abuse he'll have to take. Playoffs are a battle, and not everyone has the physical constitution nor the will to go through it until they reach that magical 16 number. That's why playoffs are so unpredictable.

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04-10-2004, 06:08 PM
  #5
Coffey77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
Key point here is that the playoffs differ from the regular season and here might be the biggest difference. Players do not use their body nearly as much throughout the regular season, instead saving it for particular games. That's just common sense: if the intensity of play resembled the playoffs for 82 games, no one would be walking (healthy) come April.

The hitting certain players part is as much a test of that player's will as anything else. Just one example (note to any overly-sensitive Habs fans - don't take this the wrong way): Robeiro had a superb season. However, he is virtually a newbie to the playoffs. If he performs like he did the previous six months, Montreal will be in superb shape. It reasons that Boston would "target" him for extensive physical play to see how he responds. Does he play through it, or does he shy away?There are other examples on every team.

Another reason for this tactic is to wear certain players down, especially dmen. We're not talking "bounty" here, we're talking playing the game hard and smart.
Agreed. I mean Datsyuk gets a lot of attention too because he's a star player and relatively new to playoff hockey (only about 26 games or so).

And it's nothing new. Even before the dallas-Colorado series started, everyone knew the gameplan would be to hit Forsberg every chance they got.

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04-10-2004, 09:47 PM
  #6
Castor Troy
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This trend towards "exposing" the brutality that is hockey is getting old. I mean seriously, these journalists just have to realize that hockey is a physical, fiercly intense game that has its dark moments like any other sport. Fans of the game have embraced these aspects of it long before these pansies had the motor skills required to put pen to paper. Give it a rest and enjoy the best time of year!

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04-10-2004, 10:07 PM
  #7
tom_servo
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You don't see stories like this in the NFL playoffs.

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04-10-2004, 10:27 PM
  #8
NJDevs430
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_servo
You don't see stories like this in the NFL playoffs.
A valid point...I'm sure the bulletin board in football lockerrooms don't say Stay away from so-and-so's injured wrist/ankle/arm/hand/spleen because we want to play nicey-nice and not have the media send dobermans up our ass about violence in football. Like Lombardi said, "They ain't playin' tiddly-winks out there."
You don't hear a boxing coach tell a fighter not to keep pounding a cut over the other fighter's eye because we don't want anyone mistaking boxing for a brutal sport.
}:-(>

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04-11-2004, 12:14 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_servo
You don't see stories like this in the NFL playoffs.
Didn't you know? It's because anything that's not hockey can do no wrong.

They target the star guys, making sure they finish hits on these guys. If the stars start to shy away because they don't want to get hit, then they're not doing their job, which is to be a scoring threat. If that's done, mission accomplished. They're not looking to injure players, just wear 'em down so they won't want to go into the corner to get the puck, so they won't want to drive to the net, so they won't want to take a hit to make the play.

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