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changes I've noticed

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Old
09-25-2003, 05:24 AM
  #1
krmason
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changes I've noticed

When I watched the game against toronto there were a few things that I noticed that were already different:

1) The sticks were more active. The players were able to break up more passes and stop the toronto players from having three good passes in a row. The Habs players were knocking down passes and were able to stop dangerous setups.

2) The zone defense. Last year, when the puck was in their zone, most of the time players would chase the puck. Now I see that one person is chasing the puck while the other players took their posts and were actually looking around for toronto players.

3) The Habs were much more aggressive in the offensive zone, actually digging for pucks.

4) The defense kept the front of the net more cleared than last year.

Granted, there were huge defensive lapses, like the first goal, and I think that is normal with a new system, but you can definitely see a sense of order being carried out. The shot totals are way down and they need to start scoring. For god sakes, even traverse body checked someone.

Though the players were a little humdrum, I personally like to think that they were concentrating on the new system and didn't want to get out of place.

We may have a so so year, but you can see the peices starting to fall into place and I, for one, am happy to see that.

 
Old
09-25-2003, 05:38 AM
  #2
mcphee
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I imagine it's difficult for a rookie to make a big impression in a camp where a team is breaking in a new system. They want to show off individual skills, but the whole team is a bit tentative while they adapt to changes in their positional play. The rookies have to adapt as well and the learning curve probably stifles some individual skills. I think of players like Hainsey and Perezhogin as maybe being victims of this. I doubt that the system they adapt limits a guy's skills but until they have it down, it could.

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09-25-2003, 05:46 AM
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krmason
When I watched the game against toronto there were a few things that I noticed that were already different:

1) The sticks were more active. The players were able to break up more passes and stop the toronto players from having three good passes in a row. The Habs players were knocking down passes and were able to stop dangerous setups.

2) The zone defense. Last year, when the puck was in their zone, most of the time players would chase the puck. Now I see that one person is chasing the puck while the other players took their posts and were actually looking around for toronto players.

3) The Habs were much more aggressive in the offensive zone, actually digging for pucks.

4) The defense kept the front of the net more cleared than last year.

Granted, there were huge defensive lapses, like the first goal, and I think that is normal with a new system, but you can definitely see a sense of order being carried out. The shot totals are way down and they need to start scoring. For god sakes, even traverse body checked someone.

Though the players were a little humdrum, I personally like to think that they were concentrating on the new system and didn't want to get out of place.

We may have a so so year, but you can see the peices starting to fall into place and I, for one, am happy to see that.
Great observations, thanks for the keen eyes. Hopefully we are starting to see an actual system of organized play for the team. Things are looking up...

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09-25-2003, 06:18 AM
  #4
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I had pretty much the exact same observations in the game report I did after the TO game:
http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.php?threadid=13778

There was also a story about the new system in the Gazette today:
http://www.canada.com/montreal/sport...F-91B9B8996C22

Our defensive zone coverage has definately changed from last year. I think it will benefit the team for a couple of reasons:
First being that we have a small team. If we can keep a tight box around the slot it will force teams to stay on the perimiter, thereby keeping the slot open. This is good since most of our players can't clear guys from the fron of the net.

Another reason is that our d-men are not that great defensively (breezer, Markov) or not that great at all(the rest). This system simplifies things for them, and they also get a lot more help from the forwards.

As I have said before, this is not the ideal system to be playing if we were a good defensive team. It slows our breakout as forwards have to help out down low and are standing still a lot. But being active in our own end requires skilled d-men, whcih we do not have. I thihnk this is the best option CJ has right now, and should limit the mistakes in our own end. I think last year we were playing a system that was over our head.

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Old
09-25-2003, 06:46 AM
  #5
Munchausen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habber
Another reason is that our d-men are not that great defensively (breezer, Markov) or not that great at all(the rest).
To put Markov and Breezer in the same example is an insult to Markov's defensive abilities. One had the worst +/- stat of the team, the other one had the best. Guess which one's who... Ironlically, They played together part of the year...

Markov isn't physical but is sound and smart positionally. He cannot overpower other players or clear the crease, which makes me think it'll be a good thing if we can match him with Komisarek in a year or two, but he's always perfectly positioned on the ice. His few turnovers are the result of fancy moves where he overhandles the puck but very few times did those mistakes actually translated into goals against.

Given the young age of Markov and his already stellar maturity at both ends of the ice, one can only assume he'll become the best 2-way Dman this year for the Habs. Markov doesn't need someone to cover for him as he's usually the deepest D in the offensive zone but the 1st one to come back in his own, but he however needs a big and physical Dman to play with him to 1) clear the crease and 2) protect him from all the vicious attacks he was the victim of last year.

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Old
09-25-2003, 06:54 AM
  #6
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CJ has also changed the forecheck. They'll use a 1-2-2 forecheck which is good because only 1 attacker gets beaten by the first breakout pass.

He's aware that he doesn't have an offensive machine and wants to limit the shots and the scoring chances of the opponents.

I really liked what Brisebois said yesterday during an interview: Claude is establishing a new system and the players that are not willing to play it will sit in the stands!

CJ and Bob Gainey are really focusing on the team concept.

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Old
09-25-2003, 07:05 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchausen
To put Markov and Breezer in the same example is an insult to Markov's defensive abilities.
Yeah your right there. Markov is definately superior to Breezy in the defensive aspects of the game and lumping them togther isn't fair to Markov. But the strong part of Markov's game isn't in the defensive zone, and that was the point I was trying to get across. To me, Markov is merely average in the defensive zone, he just looks good compared to the rest of the guys we have.

I'm more worried about guys like Rivet and Quintal, who are decent enough d-men but aren't very mobile and tend to get turned around in our own end. Having them stay put and get some help down low will be good, and should help to prevent massive breakdowns like we had last year.

But there will be nights when we'll be cursing this passive system. Highly skilled forwards can pick apart this sytem fairly easily. If you give time and space to guys like Forsberg or Jagr, they can do some real damage. But I'd rather force good teams to make the perfect play to beat us than give up scoring chances to plummers.

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