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Old
12-08-2009, 10:55 PM
  #1
claude boivin lives
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System

Everyone's favorite word...system. Let me start off by saying that the word "system" has been one of the biggest sources of aggravation for me since joining these boards. The rampant, repetitive claims that John Stevens had no system. On the contrary, Stevens employed plenty of systems...whether they always worked well or not is another question, but it's not what I want to discuss.

What I do want to discuss is the changes that can be seen in the way this team is starting to play under Laviolette. Some changes have already taken shape, and I imagine more will in the coming weeks, and I'll be interested to hear what kinds of things are jumping out at people. Hopefully, we can keep this thread mature and intelligent, rather than commenting about how John Stevens had no system and Laviolette does.

Anyway, so far, pretty much the biggest change in my eyes has been the activation of the D. Laviolette talked about that in the presser when he was hired, and he certainly wasn't kidding. So far, it has been very apparent and I've been loving it. There are constantly situations in which our D are getting up on a play or attacking a puck, where they previously wouldn't have been. Constantly. I can see it biting us in the ass here and there with odd man rushes and what not, but I think it will do more good than bad considering the players we have and the way it fits into the overall aggressive attitude Laviolette is trying to impart.

Speaking of which, the heightened aggressive attitude would be another element worth noting. There's just less sitting back in general, in all three zones. Maybe some other people can expand on what they've been seeing in each zone. I'd like to dissect individual elements of changes or non-changes that are taking place, so feel free to comment on any aspect of the game, whether it be the PK, PP, breakouts, neutral zone play, forecheck, etc.

I don't want make this post too long, and want to leave this open to discussion of all the little things, but to try and summarize the bigger change I see taking place...
It's almost like, the attitude and approach as a player on the ice is becoming less about your classically defined positioning and responsibilities, and more about always being aggressive and attacking the puck when you have a legitimate opportunity. And because of that elevated level of attack and the risk that comes with it, there is in turn a higher responsibility for the players who are away from the puck to make a much more concerted effort to be aware. You have to be more aware of the other players on the ice, and the possible need to cover for one of your teammates...one of your teammates who has taken himself out of position(in a more traditional sense) in order to attack the puck.

I'll leave it at that for now, and open up the floor for some other thoughts.

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Old
12-08-2009, 11:00 PM
  #2
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The aggressiveness of the D is obvious, and a welcome change. I think they will begin to cut down on the odd man rushes as they adjust and learn to pick their spots within the scheme.

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Old
12-08-2009, 11:06 PM
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The sole possible drawback to putting that onus on this defense corps is that a) it requires more energy, and b) the Flyers (in my opinion) don't have much depth at D. In fact, I'd say that come April they'd have a hard time winning if their third pairing sees much ice and I don't think I see Timonen (especially) withstanding the grind of 50 games of that kind of pressurizing D.

I have always loathed the timid / retreating D in the attacking half so I prefer this style, I just don't know how a four man defense does it all year.

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12-08-2009, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JXC View Post
The sole possible drawback to putting that onus on this defense corps is that a) it requires more energy, and b) the Flyers (in my opinion) don't have much depth at D. In fact, I'd say that come April they'd have a hard time winning if their third pairing sees much ice and I don't think I see Timonen (especially) withstanding the grind of 50 games of that kind of pressurizing D.

I have always loathed the timid / retreating D in the attacking half so I prefer this style, I just don't know how a four man defense does it all year.
Who's the 4th?

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Old
12-08-2009, 11:12 PM
  #5
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I'm noticing much better passing moving the puck through the neutral zone. Haven't quite been able to tell what if any change is helping in this area but we have seen less turned over pucks in transition the last 2 games

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12-08-2009, 11:24 PM
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I had mentioned this in the GDT.

Just got back from the game...

Does anyone else see the dramatic differences in systemic play between Stevens and Laviolette.

The breakout is night and day. Stevens = nobody in our zone, home run pass. Laviolette = Several players in our zone, two or three quick passes.

The aggressive pinching leads to more turnovers and better neutral zone play.

What I'm trying to say is we have a clear forecheck, breakout, and solid neutral zone play. And I believe with every fiber of my being, we had no such thing with Stevens. Breakout especially.

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12-08-2009, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ToTheNet in the GDT. I wanted to move it here because he noticed the same thing I did and said it more eloquently.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ToTheNet
I notice a LOT more passes in getting out of the zone. They aren't crisp, but they are indirect passes to guys breaking out of the zone with speed. Usually a D to D, up the board to the winger, and a drop pass off the boards to the player speeding out of the zone and then either that player takes it or goes hard cross ice to the other man breaking.

You actually see . . . 3-4 Flyers on screen during the breakout. With Stevens you were lucky to see 2 at a time and they were usually both the D men. One standing still behind the net and the other standing still on the half boards.
In summary, rather than 1 pass to a guy we don't even see in the TV screen we are seeing 2,3,4 passes to guys we actually see in the screen. Meaning there is support, and the passes are easier.

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Old
12-08-2009, 11:29 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUHockey9 View Post
Originally Posted by ToTheNet in the GDT. I wanted to move it here because he noticed the same thing I did and said it more eloquently.




In summary, rather than 1 pass to a guy we don't even see in the TV screen we are seeing 2,3,4 passes to guys we actually see in the screen. Meaning there is support, and the passes are easier.
awww shucks DU, I love you too.

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Old
12-08-2009, 11:30 PM
  #9
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They are also KISSing, no more attempted home runs out of the neutral zone, we're also starting to come out of the defensive zone with more speed. I also notice in the offensive zone, we're keeping it simpler. There's nothing wrong with a good, creative pass in the offensive zone, but I noticed on Monday that after Asham threw a blind backhand through the slot that was picked off and started an oddman, Clement said something like, "Laviolette doesn't like those, Asham will be getting a talking to."

I don't think Laviolette is going to tolerate the home run attitude that this team has had (whether for good or for bad, w/e), I've noticed in the past 2 games that while we can still be creative (see Giroux's PP goal), the primary emphasis in the offensive zone is on cycling, puck possession, and using the D (which is smart considering we have Carle, Kimmo, and Pronger).

I think that even after we are adjusted to the system, we're still going to give up some oddmans, that's just the way things go when you play an aggressive system. However, I think we have the defensive minded forwards (Giroux, Richie, JVR, Hartnell, even Carter) who can help prevent a lot of these as well as 4 or so d-men who should be smart about knowing when to pinch.

The biggest thing is getting back to basics, doing the simple stuff well. Once you have stuff like that, the Girouxs, JVRs, Richies, Brieres, and etc. will get the opportunity to incorporate more creative stuff into their game, but right now, the emphasis is on puck possession, keeping it simple, and using our speed and I like it.

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Old
12-08-2009, 11:32 PM
  #10
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Sounds like I missed a good one....

I haven't noticed as much backward cycling around our own net. Was there much of that going on tonight? Good to know we're going with more orthodox and safer breakouts as well. There was a 3 or 4 game streak early on where the guys were clicking and our transition game was unbelievable. For the most part, good teams defended it well and slowed our guys in the neutral zone.

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Old
12-08-2009, 11:32 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyHigh View Post
They are also KISSing, no more attempted home runs out of the neutral zone, we're also starting to come out of the defensive zone with more speed. I also notice in the offensive zone, we're keeping it simpler. There's nothing wrong with a good, creative pass in the offensive zone, but I noticed on Monday that after Asham threw a blind backhand through the slot that was picked off and started an oddman, Clement said something like, "Laviolette doesn't like those, Asham will be getting a talking to."

I don't think Laviolette is going to tolerate the home run attitude that this team has had (whether for good or for bad, w/e), I've noticed in the past 2 games that while we can still be creative (see Giroux's PP goal), the primary emphasis in the offensive zone is on cycling, puck possession, and using the D (which is smart considering we have Carle, Kimmo, and Pronger).

I think that even after we are adjusted to the system, we're still going to give up some oddmans, that's just the way things go when you play an aggressive system. However, I think we have the defensive minded forwards (Giroux, Richie, JVR, Hartnell, even Carter) who can help prevent a lot of these as well as 4 or so d-men who should be smart about knowing when to pinch.

The biggest thing is getting back to basics, doing the simple stuff well. Once you have stuff like that, the Girouxs, JVRs, Richies, Brieres, and etc. will get the opportunity to incorporate more creative stuff into their game, but right now, the emphasis is on puck possession, keeping it simple, and using our speed and I like it.
I'm going to pull a DU and pull something that I posted in the GDT that has to do with the Home run pass and its new use under Lavi vs. Stevens

Quote:
The other wasn't so much a breakout as much as it was a jail break down the ice and whichever guy could get slightly more open would get the home run pass.

Lavi incorporates that now, but there is a plan when they do it. It is more as a ploy to pull the D man to help get the puck out of the zone during prolonged stays in the defensive zone, as well as a way to get the puck up the ice quickly for a line change, which is something a lot of teams do.

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Old
12-08-2009, 11:55 PM
  #12
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Hmmm, I haven't noticed much of a change with the breakouts, I'll have to look out for that. Though, I always thought most people greatly exaggerated the way breakouts were done under Stevens. Sure, the stretch pass was utilized, but there were plenty of times that the breakouts were done under Stevens in line with the way it's being described as now being down under Lavi. Perhaps there are other differences attributing to the enhanced success? Either way, tough to decipher now...I'm sure it'll be easier to comment on after a few weeks of Lavi's tenure.

Lavi is going to have to be his nickname for sure...who the hell has the time to type Lavioiliollioilettte?

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12-08-2009, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claude boivin lives View Post
\
Lavi is going to have to be his nickname for sure...who the hell has the time to type Lavioiliollioilettte?
I don't. I'm a busy man.

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12-09-2009, 12:12 AM
  #14
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If you don't think we have depth on defense, you're either delusional, or have no idea what "depth" on defense looks like in the NHL at this point. I agree, if you're old enough to remember the Original Six, then we probably are not comparable. However, in the era of 30 teams, you're lucky to have one legit presence back there, and we have two. The BIGGEST problem under Stevens was that our defense was not activated and "in sync" with our forwards. If you want to play with your forwards running it up ice, your D better be going with 'em, or your going to get stuck with a huge gap.

Moreover, in Pronger, Timonen, Carle, and Coburn we have 4 D that absolutely should be pressing the play. Say what you will about Coburn, but when he has his head out of his ass he's a more than capable defender.

So, the activation of the D is a huge and important change. The breakouts and how the team exits its own zone is vastly different already, and you'd assume that would just improve with more practice. This is how up tempo hockey is supposed to look, rather than the disjointed, large gap forming constantly, seemingly no organized plan for getting out the zone, etc. It's going to be an adjustment, but once our forwards start getting their shooting % back to normal, we will be able to score to support it, and we have the D that can support this type of play from the back.

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12-09-2009, 12:19 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claude boivin lives View Post
Hmmm, I haven't noticed much of a change with the breakouts, I'll have to look out for that. Though, I always thought most people greatly exaggerated the way breakouts were done under Stevens. Sure, the stretch pass was utilized, but there were plenty of times that the breakouts were done under Stevens in line with the way it's being described as now being down under Lavi. Perhaps there are other differences attributing to the enhanced success? Either way, tough to decipher now...I'm sure it'll be easier to comment on after a few weeks of Lavi's tenure.

Lavi is going to have to be his nickname for sure...who the hell has the time to type Lavioiliollioilettte?
Pay attention to the options guys have coming out of the zone...before we were always so spread out that if you got immediately checked you were trying to make a really hard pass, because you didn't have support. Right off the bat we're seeing much more cohesive breakouts with guys supporting one another.

And, hell, the biggest change we've seen? The forwards and D never get great separation. Already you're seeing them drop the puck back within the neutral zone to the other side to find open ice and get the puck into the offensive zone...tough to do previously because that D was routinely still back in our own zone...it was just the forwards and we'd skate into a turnover...wash, rinse, and repeat.

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12-09-2009, 12:22 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Clarke Fan Club View Post
I haven't noticed as much backward cycling around our own net. Was there much of that going on tonight? Good to know we're going with more orthodox and safer breakouts as well. There was a 3 or 4 game streak early on where the guys were clicking and our transition game was unbelievable. For the most part, good teams defended it well and slowed our guys in the neutral zone.
That was the MO under Stevens...certain teams (read: poorly coached, or poor defensively) had a difficult time dealing with us because they just couldn't keep up with the forwards. This year, we have a bit less talent at forward, and a bit more on the backend. However, what we were doing before didn't take advantage of what our backend could provide pushing the puck, and without the previous forward depth it was beginning to show in breakouts.

That being said...it must be noted that Stevens did get this team to improve in numerous areas (again, more talented D) as far as controlling the puck a bit more and limiting chances. If our goalies don't crater and the special teams go into a collective funk, he's still employed here.

However, already I think what we're seeing actually has a chance to compete for a Cup...which was never the case with what we were doing before.

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12-09-2009, 01:18 AM
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Stevens had pond hockey and/or dump and chase wishful thinking as his two systems. It's kinda like a noob at Call of Duty only have the two basic assault rifles. Sure, you can play the game but you'll just get owned. Now we have real coach who isn't a huge hunk of ****. So now we can play real hockey.

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12-09-2009, 01:29 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valhoun View Post
Stevens had pond hockey and/or dump and chase wishful thinking as his two systems. It's kinda like a noob at Call of Duty only have the two basic assault rifles. Sure, you can play the game but you'll just get owned. Now we have real coach who isn't a huge hunk of ****. So now we can play real hockey.
I think Stevens had the guns, just didn't know how to aim them, so to speak.

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Old
12-09-2009, 03:20 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
That was the MO under Stevens...certain teams (read: poorly coached, or poor defensively) had a difficult time dealing with us because they just couldn't keep up with the forwards. This year, we have a bit less talent at forward, and a bit more on the backend. However, what we were doing before didn't take advantage of what our backend could provide pushing the puck, and without the previous forward depth it was beginning to show in breakouts.

That being said...it must be noted that Stevens did get this team to improve in numerous areas (again, more talented D) as far as controlling the puck a bit more and limiting chances. If our goalies don't crater and the special teams go into a collective funk, he's still employed here.

However, already I think what we're seeing actually has a chance to compete for a Cup...which was never the case with what we were doing before.
I agree with EVERY single point you've made in this entire thread, but I think that point is arguable. Granted our lineup is not currently healthy, but really our offense is minus Knuble and Lupul while plus vanRiemsdyk, Betts, and Laperriere. You can say what you will about production values not adding up for either side, but we're pretty close. The offset is obviously Pronger's offensive abilities along with a capable version of Matt Carle. I think our offense in that regard was better this season than last season (in a perfect world) if you consider Gagne's long-term injuries equal to Briere's last year.

I don't think it's enough to make a difference whichever direction in which you view it.

Anyway, enough nitpicking.

One thing I think absolutely has to be emphasized (since I saw a bit of it already in this thread) is responsibilities for the "activated" defenseman.

Forwards seem to be more aware of their surroundings. We're moving as one cohesive unit on the ice instead of a defense and an offense. With the amount of two-way talent among our forwards along with the offensive potential of our blueline, I see no reason why a philosophy like this should not have been implemented sooner .

This will obviously allow more rush/transition opportunities for opposing offenses, but it seems to me as though the vast majority of issues in handling other teams is not their transition game but our own inability to break out of the zone.

As mentioned countless times, breakouts have been another major point of emphasis under Laviolette.

There isn't a large enough sample size to determine if we are in fact a more disciplined team with Lavi, but we certainly are a more "aware" team. We have a general idea of what is happening, what will happen, and what should happen during sequences of on-ice action. Discipline I think plays a part in that.

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12-09-2009, 03:34 AM
  #20
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
I agree with EVERY single point you've made in this entire thread, but I think that point is arguable. Granted our lineup is not currently healthy, but really our offense is minus Knuble and Lupul while plus vanRiemsdyk, Betts, and Laperriere. You can say what you will about production values not adding up for either side, but we're pretty close. The offset is obviously Pronger's offensive abilities along with a capable version of Matt Carle. I think our offense in that regard was better this season than last season (in a perfect world) if you consider Gagne's long-term injuries equal to Briere's last year.

I don't think it's enough to make a difference whichever direction in which you view it.

Anyway, enough nitpicking.

One thing I think absolutely has to be emphasized (since I saw a bit of it already in this thread) is responsibilities for the "activated" defenseman.

Forwards seem to be more aware of their surroundings. We're moving as one cohesive unit on the ice instead of a defense and an offense. With the amount of two-way talent among our forwards along with the offensive potential of our blueline, I see no reason why a philosophy like this should not have been implemented sooner .

This will obviously allow more rush/transition opportunities for opposing offenses, but it seems to me as though the vast majority of issues in handling other teams is not their transition game but our own inability to break out of the zone.

As mentioned countless times, breakouts have been another major point of emphasis under Laviolette.

There isn't a large enough sample size to determine if we are in fact a more disciplined team with Lavi, but we certainly are a more "aware" team. We have a general idea of what is happening, what will happen, and what should happen during sequences of on-ice action. Discipline I think plays a part in that.

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12-09-2009, 06:54 AM
  #21
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Who's the 4th?
I'm assuming this is in reference to Coburn. I'm thinking we will see a big turnaround in his game over the next month or so. I don't think anyone denies he has the tools, Lavy will get him in line with whats going on now or he'll be gone. We've already seen a big change in the style of play out there in just a few days with nearly no practice time. It's too bad the coaching change didn't happen at the begining of one of those week off stretches, we may have seen a complete turnaround by now. Give Coburn a little time with the new system, I'm thinking we'll see the version of him that we've all been expecting the past couple of years.

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12-09-2009, 07:18 AM
  #22
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Originally Posted by claude boivin lives View Post
Hmmm, I haven't noticed much of a change with the breakouts, I'll have to look out for that. Though, I always thought most people greatly exaggerated the way breakouts were done under Stevens. Sure, the stretch pass was utilized, but there were plenty of times that the breakouts were done under Stevens in line with the way it's being described as now being down under Lavi. Perhaps there are other differences attributing to the enhanced success? Either way, tough to decipher now...I'm sure it'll be easier to comment on after a few weeks of Lavi's tenure.

Lavi is going to have to be his nickname for sure...who the hell has the time to type Lavioiliollioilettte?
For me it's as simple as just looking at:
1) The number of people you can actually see on your TV when we are set up to break out. Before it was at max 2 (typically both D). Now we see minimum 2, probably 3, and maybe even 4. This gives us support, passing options, and simpler passes.

2) The number of passes that are actually happening. Before it was literally one pass to get out of our zone, often times to get right to the red line. Now we were seeing 2-4 quick simple passes just to get out of our zone. It's safe, it's effective and when there is a mistake the support is there.

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12-09-2009, 07:54 AM
  #23
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I echo many of you that the biggest change I have noticed is puck pursuit of the D men, which I love. Prevent defense doesn't work in the NFL and it doesn't work in the NHL either. Our old style allowed for things for the other team to develop and now they don't as much. There will be some odd man rushes for sure, but there will also be times when pinching kept the puck in the other teams zone. I think Lavvys style won't fit OKT too well and that's part of why he hasn't played.

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12-09-2009, 08:04 AM
  #24
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I echo many of you that the biggest change I have noticed is puck pursuit of the D men, which I love. Prevent defense doesn't work in the NFL and it doesn't work in the NHL either. Our old style allowed for things for the other team to develop and now they don't as much. There will be some odd man rushes for sure, but there will also be times when pinching kept the puck in the other teams zone. I think Lavvys style won't fit OKT too well and that's part of why he hasn't played.
I also think that it DOES fit Bartulis' style, not to mention the fact that he has played so well anyway.

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12-09-2009, 08:12 AM
  #25
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I also think that it DOES fit Bartulis' style, not to mention the fact that he has played so well anyway.
Bartulis only played about 12 minutes last night, everyone else including Parent was at 18+. I hope lavi likes him and gets him involved just a little bit more in the future (although, we did have to kill a lot of penalties last night), as I think he has been flat out fantastic. You very very rarely spot him making a mistake, and his shot from the point is actually pretty good and seems like it makes it on net more so than a lot of our other guys.

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