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Havlats defense

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Old
10-19-2003, 01:03 PM
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thinkwild
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Havlats defense

Because of Havlats +- last year, he seems to have been attributed with a great leap in his defensive skills. I dont think much of that stat. And find perhaps it more shows the improvement in his offense and when he played rather than his defense. Have Havlats defensive skills really improved as much as that stat might lead us to believe. Im not sure I see it yet.

Course I havent seen him for awhile. I may be experiencing short term memory problems. I guess we'll see soon.

However it his offense that makes me enjoy him more.

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10-19-2003, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkwild
Because of Havlats +- last year, he seems to have been attributed with a great leap in his defensive skills. I dont think much of that stat. And find perhaps it more shows the improvement in his offense and when he played rather than his defense. Have Havlats defensive skills really improved as much as that stat might lead us to believe. Im not sure I see it yet.

Course I havent seen him for awhile. I may be experiencing short term memory problems. I guess we'll see soon.

However it his offense that makes me enjoy him more.
he did indeed improve him defensive play by leaps and bounds last year. That's not even debateable...

He's not going to win any selke's but he's not a defensive liability in any sense of the word...well...maybe in one game last year...

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10-19-2003, 03:01 PM
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V for Voodoo
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havlat's best defensive skill is his forechecking ability. other than schaefer and perhaps hossa, nobody on the team does it better. knowing that ottawa capitalizes on turnovers like no other team, i think havlat is a main contributor to that, hence the good plus minus.

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10-19-2003, 03:33 PM
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I tend to be very critical of players who play poor defence. I get really irritated when people point at defensively strong teams and call them boring or the trap. To me, the Sens are way beyond that and it's because they're all (with a couple exceptions) defensively responsible.

I've watched Havlat develop since his draft, along with the rest of you and he's come a long way. I remember when he first got here. He was young, dynamic and completely geared towards exploiting his offensive capabilities. To him, defence was something the guys in the back took care of. He is way beyond that now. Forechecking, backchecking, positioning... I've seen it all from Marty on a consistent basis. Yes, he still makes mistakes, but so do all players. I have no issues with his defensive play at all. A part of me is still surprised that Jacques Martin was able to get Havlat to work so hard at it - it's a credit to him, but it's a bigger credit to Marty Havlat. He's 22 years old with the world at his fingertips really. It would have been normal for him to think he knows what's best for himself, etc. Instead, he listened and he learned and he made himself better and he's still working at it. I have no issues with it at all. He's come a long way.

As someone that watches defence closely, I used to harp on Marty's, but last year has effectively silenced me. He's done well. I'd be the first to admit it.

It's a good thing too, because I think Jacques Martin is going to have his hands full with Jason Spezza's defence. Even last night, the Sharks were deliberately matching their top offensive line out there with Spezza's line because the kid looked lost. He was out of position often, confused as to what the Sharks were doing... in general, he looked really bad defensively in the first two periods. In the third, I thought he looked much better. Vermette is much more sound defensively. The other thing is that I think Spezza still harbours a bit of a grudge against Jacques Martin for his half-Bingo, half-Ottawa year, last season. I'm not sure he's open to 'suggestions' from Martin and I haven't seen anything that would lead me to believe he's willing to work on his defence much. He's improved, but he's got a long way to go and he doesn't seem to want to do it. I hope I'm wrong.

I think the +/- stat is more indicative than most want it to be. It's hard to be a top points producer and still have a big +/-; easier to just ignore the +/- and focus on the goals scored. Still, Peter Forsberg is considered the best not just because he had 106 pts last year, but also because he was a +52 on the season.

Marty Havlat's defence is fine. So long as he keeps it at this level, I think we're in for a big treat because the coaching staff is going to start egging him on offensively which is where his true talent lies anyway. This could be his year.

 
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