Just responding from the GDT in regards to scoring off the rush and taking the puck to the net as being part of the system. Quoting from an interview with Gann at the beginning of the season;
“Going back to last year, I thought we did a tremendous job in getting pucks deep on the forecheck, recovering pucks and getting a cycle,” added Murray. “When we do cycle the puck, we’re a very good hockey club that holds onto it, makes plays and gets pucks to the net. But as we go into this year, I’d really like to see a lot of possession entries and attack hard to the net with plays off the original attack, rather than going back and recovering [the puck].”
“That, to me, when you get into the playoffs and you plan on being a team that’s going to go deep into the playoffs, then that’s a part of the game that you have to execute at a pretty high level. That’ll be a focus for us going into the season.”
“As we grow as a team and are more experienced and more comfortable with pucks on our sticks, [I want us to] generate more off that possession as we come through the middle of the ice, rather than going and getting it all the time or a lot of the time,” he emphasized. “Let’s generate more now from this possession. Show more poise. Make plays. Have confidence with the puck. Get something big happening to the net as often as possible, meaning driving through, stopping at the top of the crease, putting pucks to the net off that original attack.”
“Now, if there’s a loose puck or rebound, [we still have] that same attitude of recovery and getting your cycle going,” he added. “But that’s the next step for us, and I think it’s a very important step for us if we’re going to be a to be a real playoff contending team as we go forward this year.”
Goal number 1: Kopitar is in the middle of the offensive zone. He makes the pass from between the circles to Simmonds. Simmonds doesn’t take a random shot. He doesn’t go behind the net. He doesn’t cycle. He drives to the net, takes the shot and Kopitar picks up the loose puck.
Goal number 2: Clifford drives through the middle of the ice. Takes the shot from just right of the hashmarks, rebound, Loktionov from one foot above the crease puts it in. No cycle. No bad angle shot. No shot from the point hoping for a rebound.
Goal number 3: Simmonds gets away from the boards. Drives to the net. Creates the loose puck. Handzus at the front sweeps it in. This one is especially important. Simmonds did not shoot it behind the net. He did not keep a cycle or develop one. He didn’t pass it to the point. He didn’t maintain his position along the half boards. He didn’t stop the puck to play this ******** “heavy stick” 1970 offense. He did what the post lock out game demands. Creativity. Creating time and space through skating and that creativity.
Goal number 4: Out numbered attack. Williams skates it in and from the left of the hashmarks he makes a cross ice pass to Stoll who is at the right of the hashmarks. Just like that. 4-1.
And since Fox said like five hundred times how happy he was that he was back at center, I don't see Murray putting him back at wing. So we'll be rolling Kopitar/Stoll/Loktionov as our main centers with either Zeus or Lewis on the 4th line.
I liked our first line a lot today in the 2nd and 3rd, but I think we all know Zeus isn't the answer.
At least with Simmonds, we can either go after a top RW or a top LW. If we go for a top LW, we can just go with LW-Kopitar-Brown and if we get a top RW, we just go Simmonds-Kopitar-RW.
But yeah, Loktionov needs to stay as our 3rd line center. It'll be awesome when Schenn finally comes up, and we can field Kopitar/Schenn/Loktionov.
I was very sceptical about those new lines, but they worked well after the first period.
Loki at center, yes please. Another terrific goaltending effort, thank you. Kopi back on the scoresheet with a 2-pointer, nice. Simmonds going hard to the net setting up 2 goals, well done. Best group of defensemen in the NHL ? Very possible.
I guess our kids just needed to get out of Staples Center. What a crazy up-down-up-down-up kind of season.
After a rocky first period, we looked much better in the second and especially the third. I think Washington got a little sloppy, but that doesn't take away from it. End result is a win and that's all that matters.