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Friday Face-Offs, 3/25: Poile/Trotz Follow-up; Mike Murphy and NHL Discipline

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03-25-2011, 12:14 PM
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David Singleton
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Friday Face-Offs, 3/25: Poile/Trotz Follow-up; Mike Murphy and NHL Discipline

Posted this morning, there's a little follow-up to the Poile/Trotz discussion from last week and my rants regarding the process the NHL goes through to administer supplemental discipline (which I never seem to stop writing about).

Thanks!

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04-02-2011, 11:58 PM
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Joe T Choker
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bumping for post-canuck/red wing reaction

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04-03-2011, 06:48 AM
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glenngineer
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In regards to te Predator way, I'm really starting to wonder if it stifles players. Trotz is a very good coach. He's not an elite coach though. He gets a lot out of what he's given but I also think he puts the clamps on his players. Latest case in point, Jonathan Blum. When he first came up, he was all over the ice it seemed, using natural instincts, making the right plays and not getting burned. Now it appears he's not doing that as much and pretty much playing the point and being "defensively responsible". While it's important for a defenseman to play his position, if he's creating good things offensively, without getting burned defensively, I don't see the problem in this.

I've noticed this with other players over the years as well and while players have to play a system to be effective, it takes the uniqueness out of their games and doesn't allow them to be them on the ice, instead they are clones of one another. There is no creativeness in the offense. There is no physicality with this bunch. Sure, Weber can throw a big check but with Tootoo out of the lineup, who else is a game changer physically among this bunch? Even with Tootoo in the lineup, he doesn't hit people like he once did when he first came to the team.

The PP ineffectiveness is still a major issue, especially with the playoffs right around the corner. We had a chance to put the foot on the throat of Detroit yesterday and didn't do it. We then had the chance to rectify blowing the lead with the PP and didn't do it. Good/great teams score on the PP at these crucial moments of the game. Blame the SOB fight all you want on losing the game but a 3-0 lead plus 35 or so minutes left of action should've been more than enough to get the job done.

People claiming that Trotz is overusing guys like Weber, Suter and Legwand are off base IMO. To be perfectly honest, why were they not playing more minutes earlier in the season? Studs play big minutes on other teams. Well, these are our main guys and they need to be play big minutes. They either need to be conditioned better or they need to play these sort of minutes throughout the year so they're used to playing that much. Corey Perry is playing over 20 a night as a forward. Great defensemen play over 25 a night and then as the playoffs approach, play close to 30 a night. This is normal.

For all the pundits that say, the Geoffrion line last night was bad defensively, sure, they lost a guy on a goal but didn't Smithson do the same thing, our "shutdown" center, on one of their goals, right in front of the net? Which is worse, losing a guy at the point or getting faked out of ones skates in front of the net? And to be perfectly honest, the only time we had some serious jump was when the Geoffrion line came out since they were fresh. They had some very good effective shifts in Detroit's zone. They controlled the puck and had some good scoring opportunities.

Back to what I was saying about the clamping down of a players style, I watched Weber and Suter in the Olympics last year and they raised their games against the best competition in the world. While they are still great players, elite even, I just don't sense that in their games when they play for us. They don't seem like the world's best pair when they're out there. They've looked awfully human as of late.

And as far as the PP and it's ineffectiveness, why is Hornqvist playing the perimeter and handling the puck? Why is Ward out there on the PP? Hornqvist's one job should be to stand in front of the net and screen the goalie and score garbage goals or tip the puck in or screen the goalie. He doesn't have the puck handing skills to play the perimeter on the PP. Ward should be in front doing the same thing as he doesn't have the skills to move the puck effectively either. Soon as we take those guys from the front of the net, the other team is able to kill the passing lanes as we're a perimeter team and we have nowhere to go with the puck. I've said it time and time again, plant someone in front of the net, let it be a 4 on 3 elsewhere in the offensive zone and we all of a sudden have more ice to work with, to move the puck effectively but instead we don't and it kills any puck movement we may be able to get. The other thing is, win a faceoff back to the point and let the big man hammer it right away before anyone gets set. When's the last time anyone remembers where we won a draw, got it right back to Weber and he took a blast and scored right away or where we got a rebound from it and scored? We're so concerned about setting up that it gives the opponent time to set up in the process. Part of the PP is disarray and soon as we finally get setup, the other team is setup as well. Win a draw and shoot the puck on net, there is chaos and there are opportunities to score goals.

This team is way too regimented and while it wins games and makes the playoffs, it doesn't have the ability to change all that much to be successful in other ways and it obviously isn't learning the lesson of how to close out games. Where that responsibility falls is anybodies guess but it gets all the more frustrating to see the same things time after time without any sense of urgency about what's going on. Someone mentioned Trotz was very calm during the presser yesterday. While that's nice and all, the team needed to be ripped for blowing this game. This is three games in 2 weeks where this has happened and it finally cost us? Get the freaking point across already Barry. You close out teams. You smell blood, you go for the kill. You swarm until there is nothing left of your opponent. They would do the same thing to us if given the chance. And why do we play players that are highly touted prospects less minutes than offensively inept players on a consistent basis? Sure, they need to learn how to play two way games but the coaching staff also needs to lessen the need to be such complete two way players and take the good offense with some of the mistakes they're going to make defensively. With guys like Smithson, Spaling and Halischuk, they're going to be good defensively, but when they are allowing other teams to score without any offensive output either, they become useless players/lines. What's the difference if they allow a goal or if Geoffrion's line does it? Nothing. The only difference is Geoffrion's line actually has the ability to put pressure on the other team on a more consistent basis. Hmmmm, keep the puck in their zone and create chances or play defensively responsible all the time?

I get that a team needs balance but the balance seems to be skewed on the defensive side of things and for a team that is devoid of offensive talent, to sit guys with ability over guys who are 4th line talents doesn't make any sense to me, regardless of the results. Also, if it takes this much time to teach Wilson how to play d, Trotz may not be the defensive guru we all praise him for. Yes, there is detail in hockey but not at taking all the creativity out of someone's game either. I'd rather lose with our better players on the ice than to lose with grinders getting big minutes.

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04-03-2011, 08:18 AM
  #4
cleangene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
In regards to te Predator way, I'm really starting to wonder if it stifles players. Trotz is a very good coach. He's not an elite coach though. He gets a lot out of what he's given but I also think he puts the clamps on his players. Latest case in point, Jonathan Blum. When he first came up, he was all over the ice it seemed, using natural instincts, making the right plays and not getting burned. Now it appears he's not doing that as much and pretty much playing the point and being "defensively responsible". While it's important for a defenseman to play his position, if he's creating good things offensively, without getting burned defensively, I don't see the problem in this.

I've noticed this with other players over the years as well and while players have to play a system to be effective, it takes the uniqueness out of their games and doesn't allow them to be them on the ice, instead they are clones of one another. There is no creativeness in the offense. There is no physicality with this bunch. Sure, Weber can throw a big check but with Tootoo out of the lineup, who else is a game changer physically among this bunch? Even with Tootoo in the lineup, he doesn't hit people like he once did when he first came to the team.

The PP ineffectiveness is still a major issue, especially with the playoffs right around the corner. We had a chance to put the foot on the throat of Detroit yesterday and didn't do it. We then had the chance to rectify blowing the lead with the PP and didn't do it. Good/great teams score on the PP at these crucial moments of the game. Blame the SOB fight all you want on losing the game but a 3-0 lead plus 35 or so minutes left of action should've been more than enough to get the job done.

People claiming that Trotz is overusing guys like Weber, Suter and Legwand are off base IMO. To be perfectly honest, why were they not playing more minutes earlier in the season? Studs play big minutes on other teams. Well, these are our main guys and they need to be play big minutes. They either need to be conditioned better or they need to play these sort of minutes throughout the year so they're used to playing that much. Corey Perry is playing over 20 a night as a forward. Great defensemen play over 25 a night and then as the playoffs approach, play close to 30 a night. This is normal.

For all the pundits that say, the Geoffrion line last night was bad defensively, sure, they lost a guy on a goal but didn't Smithson do the same thing, our "shutdown" center, on one of their goals, right in front of the net? Which is worse, losing a guy at the point or getting faked out of ones skates in front of the net? And to be perfectly honest, the only time we had some serious jump was when the Geoffrion line came out since they were fresh. They had some very good effective shifts in Detroit's zone. They controlled the puck and had some good scoring opportunities.

Back to what I was saying about the clamping down of a players style, I watched Weber and Suter in the Olympics last year and they raised their games against the best competition in the world. While they are still great players, elite even, I just don't sense that in their games when they play for us. They don't seem like the world's best pair when they're out there. They've looked awfully human as of late.

And as far as the PP and it's ineffectiveness, why is Hornqvist playing the perimeter and handling the puck? Why is Ward out there on the PP? Hornqvist's one job should be to stand in front of the net and screen the goalie and score garbage goals or tip the puck in or screen the goalie. He doesn't have the puck handing skills to play the perimeter on the PP. Ward should be in front doing the same thing as he doesn't have the skills to move the puck effectively either. Soon as we take those guys from the front of the net, the other team is able to kill the passing lanes as we're a perimeter team and we have nowhere to go with the puck. I've said it time and time again, plant someone in front of the net, let it be a 4 on 3 elsewhere in the offensive zone and we all of a sudden have more ice to work with, to move the puck effectively but instead we don't and it kills any puck movement we may be able to get. The other thing is, win a faceoff back to the point and let the big man hammer it right away before anyone gets set. When's the last time anyone remembers where we won a draw, got it right back to Weber and he took a blast and scored right away or where we got a rebound from it and scored? We're so concerned about setting up that it gives the opponent time to set up in the process. Part of the PP is disarray and soon as we finally get setup, the other team is setup as well. Win a draw and shoot the puck on net, there is chaos and there are opportunities to score goals.

This team is way too regimented and while it wins games and makes the playoffs, it doesn't have the ability to change all that much to be successful in other ways and it obviously isn't learning the lesson of how to close out games. Where that responsibility falls is anybodies guess but it gets all the more frustrating to see the same things time after time without any sense of urgency about what's going on. Someone mentioned Trotz was very calm during the presser yesterday. While that's nice and all, the team needed to be ripped for blowing this game. This is three games in 2 weeks where this has happened and it finally cost us? Get the freaking point across already Barry. You close out teams. You smell blood, you go for the kill. You swarm until there is nothing left of your opponent. They would do the same thing to us if given the chance. And why do we play players that are highly touted prospects less minutes than offensively inept players on a consistent basis? Sure, they need to learn how to play two way games but the coaching staff also needs to lessen the need to be such complete two way players and take the good offense with some of the mistakes they're going to make defensively. With guys like Smithson, Spaling and Halischuk, they're going to be good defensively, but when they are allowing other teams to score without any offensive output either, they become useless players/lines. What's the difference if they allow a goal or if Geoffrion's line does it? Nothing. The only difference is Geoffrion's line actually has the ability to put pressure on the other team on a more consistent basis. Hmmmm, keep the puck in their zone and create chances or play defensively responsible all the time?

I get that a team needs balance but the balance seems to be skewed on the defensive side of things and for a team that is devoid of offensive talent, to sit guys with ability over guys who are 4th line talents doesn't make any sense to me, regardless of the results. Also, if it takes this much time to teach Wilson how to play d, Trotz may not be the defensive guru we all praise him for. Yes, there is detail in hockey but not at taking all the creativity out of someone's game either. I'd rather lose with our better players on the ice than to lose with grinders getting big minutes.
My vote for POST OF THE DAY!!!!!!!

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Old
04-04-2011, 11:55 AM
  #5
David Singleton
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Apologies...

First, my apologies for not having a new Friday Face-Offs on 4/1. I spent last week designing my kids new tree house and missed the game against the Wings starting that construction (for those interested, here are the results for Construction: Day 1- which is amazing for me, ).

As such, I've been almost completely out of pocket this week and, especially, this weekend.

Now...

Wow Glenn.

I share some of your specific concerns, particularly regarding Hornqvist's PP positioning. I've never understood why Hornqvist has moved (been moved?) away from the net. Unless Hornqvist remains in front of the net, he is not very effective.

I'll add some more later.

Thanks!

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04-04-2011, 12:38 PM
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agree with a lot of what glenn said. the point about Blum is well taken. He's still playing beyond what I expected, but I think he's kind of tailed off from the point he was at when first called up.

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04-04-2011, 01:06 PM
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couple of quick thoughts:

first on glenn's post, particularly the part of ripping the team: Trotz comes from the scotty bowman type of thinking: you never rip a team, bag skate them, or really get on their case when they struggle and the effort is there. you try and teach and move on, take the positives and run. It is when there is no effort, or the team is playing well you rip guys. Take the Columbus game a few weeks ago for example. The players talked about how Barry peeled some paint after a very lazy first period. This game also was at the end of the last losing streak/start of the winning streak when we went out to CA in March. Timing there was perfect. I know the popular thing is to want to berate guys like they are high school football players for every mistake, but I don't think everyone understands what it feels like to get hammered for every thing you do wrong. (ok, married guys will) Have to pick and choose moments to drive points home, especially when we are having a good stretch of games, which we are doing, we are what, 7-2-1 or something like that. Beat Atlanta soundly, and trotz should be able to have his last scream and teach lesson before the playoffs.

We have a couple days here to right what went wrong with Detroit, and a couple more days before a big divisional series this weekend where we hopefully roll into the playoffs a 4 or 5 seed.


The powerplay....Honestly, and I don't blame them a single bit, I think they are afraid of Weber shooting the puck. He almost finished off Erat the other night, and every year, he hurts someone going in-Legwand's face, erat's leg, tootoos leg. Dunno if it was Weber's shot, or a dirty hit by the coyote last year on Hornquist, but you know that has to be in his head somewhere. I understand having ward out there to dig pucks. I just don't like it. I really wish dumont or Wilson were harder on the boards so they could be out there. Much better passers.

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04-04-2011, 10:25 PM
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glenngineer
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Grinder, I don't necessarily disagree that you rip a team when they've played hard but my problem is, when are they going to learn? When is Trotz going to learn? You get a big lead, you bury the other team. I'm watching the Sharks right now, they had a 2-0 lead going into the 2nd, LA scores on the PP and within a few minutes the Sharks are up 5-1. We had a 3-0 lead at home. The SOB fight was stupid but it didn't cost us the game. Detroit scores a few crazy goals but that didn't cost us the game. It's the same thing that cost us the game, the taking the foot off the pedal. You can't do that in the NHL. Teams are way too good. If you ease up on them, they will pounce and in a hurry. Guess what, around the playoffs you have to have your intensity for a full 60 and then more if you go to OT. We let off and they jumped all over us. We did the same thing against Anaheim and almost blew a 3 goal lead. We came back from a 2 goal deficit against Buffalo so we should know what it feels like on both sides of this. We blew a lead against Chicago in the playoffs last year. When does it sink in? I loved the effort for the most part on Saturday but I hate that this team cannot put other teams away when we have them on the ropes. Once in a while it happens, the 8-0 drubbing of Detroit two years ago but how often does that happen? You go up 3-0 on Detroit, you put them away and never give them a chance to get back in the game. We did and it cost us at least a point.

I'm not advocating a bag skate but I am advocating having more than a laid back approach with the media and basically brushing it off. This is a huge issue. It's an issue that needs to be addressed. The PP is an issue that needs to be addressed that doesn't get the attention it deserves either. When will this happen? Is it on the players? Is it on the coach? Is it on the organization as a whole? At some point the culture needs to change. It has to get thru to the players and the coach is the one who needs to get it thru to them. I just get tired of seeing this happen, especially as we're about to enter the playoffs.

Maybe this was a fluke and we finish out the season strong. I hope that's the case but at the same time history makes me believe otherwise. The team and Trotz need to prove it to me for me to think this has changed and I really have my doubts right about now.

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04-05-2011, 09:02 AM
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I agree it needs to be addressed. I disagree it has to be through the media. That feeds all the writers and message boards and probably lets the fan too close to the team. I think trotz does a good job with the media and the fact he doesn't blast them too often in the media helps more than it hurts. goes into the whole trotz treats them like men thing. if they wanted to play in a fishbowl, they can go somewhere where they don't acknowledge nashville as a hockey market.

I want to believe that it is addressed. I don't think the last few games is indicitve of the season. We have won too many one goal games for it to be. Saying that the last week does bring concern, but also I think I can understand why it happened. Take the Anaheim game, Legwand trying to be a good teammate, blows up in his face. I get that. Maybe a sign of togetherness, I dunno. Next game, leaves no doubt vs dallas. Vancouver-expecting to hold Vancouver to 0 goals, which is what we tried to do (again) isn't gonna work. Too much talent that works too hard. Fact is, Burrows sliced through the best D pair in the world to get that goal. Great players (sedin with the pass) make great plays.

The Detroit game bothers me a bit. It perplexes me, because at no point did we quit. At times, we outskated them (and we scored 3 times) and at times they outskated us (and they scored 3 times) I hate the 4th goal becasue the center tackled Smithson after winning the draw. (good shot, good tip. it happens) What scares me is that our goaltender was outplayed.

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04-05-2011, 09:30 AM
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PredsV82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by token grinder View Post
IThe Detroit game bothers me a bit. It perplexes me, because at no point did we quit. At times, we outskated them (and we scored 3 times) and at times they outskated us (and they scored 3 times) I hate the 4th goal becasue the center tackled Smithson after winning the draw. (good shot, good tip. it happens) What scares me is that our goaltender was outplayed.
see, I think its not as perplexing as you think. Rinne was worse than his usual, Howard was as good as or better than his usual, and that was the difference.

I feel better knowing we skated with them and played as well or better than they did for about 58 minutes.

Rinne wont suck like that very often(if he does we are screwed no matter how well we play otherwise) and so if we can take what we did for the 58 good minutes of that game and play it for 60 in front of Rinne having a reasonably good day, we will be fine.


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04-05-2011, 09:50 AM
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token grinder
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see, I think its not as perplexing as you think. Rinne was worse than his usual, Howard was as good as or better than his usual, and that was the difference.

I feel better knowing we skated with them and played as well or better than they did for about 58 minutes.

Rinne wont suck like that very often(if he does we are screwed no matter how well we play otherwise) and so if we can take what we did for the 58 good minutes of that game and play it for 60 in front of Rinne having a reasonably good day, we will be fine.
Maybe it wasn't so much our goalie got outplayed, it was how howard rose to the occasion and rinne didn't. I hope things fall right and we can give lindback a start (preferably saturday) and have a completly refreshed and energized peks for the playoffs. We all know what a hot goalie can do.

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