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The Myth Behind Jack Johnson and his Plus/Minus

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Old
08-02-2011, 03:38 PM
  #1
Ziggy Stardust
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The Myth Behind Jack Johnson and his Plus/Minus

Much has been made of Jack Johnson's abysmal plus/minus rating over the years. This season he registered career high's in personal stats with 37 assists and 42 points while averaging over 23 minutes of ice time. It was also his worst season in terms of plus/minus with Johnson finishing the season with a -21 in 82 games.

What I decided to do was to focus in on four games from this past season in which Johnson finished as a -3 and analyze whether or not his defensive play was at fault for any of the goals scored against the Kings. I'll provide the analysis game-by-game in separate posts within this thread. Here is the analysis from the most current game from last season in which Johnson was a -3.

2/28/11 vs. Detroit

- At 0:15, Scudri attempts to get the puck out of the zone, the Kings forward (Simmonds) fails to gain possession of the puck along the boards, and Drew Miller scores from an odd angle.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.

- At 1:15, Williams with a bad pass attempt as Doughty is caught in a vulnerable position, Helm gains possession of the puck on a partial breakaway as Johnson properly cuts off the middle of the ice, but Helm beats Quick cleanly for a shorthanded goal.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.

- At 1:30, the Kings turnover the puck in their own end as Richardson fails to get the puck out of the zone and Kopitar can be seen attempting the leave the zone early when the turnover occurs, Jack Johnson is covering a Wings player in front of the net as Scuderi plays the shooter. The puck takes a crazy hop as Scuderi attempts to whack at it and Johnson still has his man tied up, but a trailing Red Wings forward, Drew Miller, bangs in the loose puck while the Kings forwards look on. The Kings defense is outnumbered 3-2 in front of the net.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.

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08-02-2011, 03:42 PM
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so to it's everyone else's fault but his, gotcha.

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08-02-2011, 03:45 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobafettish View Post
so to it's everyone else's fault but his, gotcha.
Watch the clips and see for yourself. His defensive play is being made out to be atrocious by some posters on these forums when I'm providing visual evidence to prove that those claims are far overblown and an exaggeration of his play.

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08-02-2011, 03:47 PM
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Ziggy, 3 plays do not a season make.

/yoda

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08-02-2011, 03:50 PM
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Let the guy finish with his analysis.

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08-02-2011, 03:52 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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11/17/10 vs. Columbus


- At :35, Columbus has possession of the puck as they enter the Kings' zone after killing a penalty, Doughty playing the puck carrier while Johnson covers the front of the net. The puck carrier connects with a pass for a one-timer from the trailing Columbus defenseman, who Brad Richardson failed to cover.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.

- At 1:43, Rick Nash makes Davis Drewiske look like a minor league defenseman.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.

- At 1:55, the Blue Jackets score an empty net goal.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.

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08-02-2011, 03:54 PM
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Good timing. I was about to post this blog from today on the subject:

http://www.battleofcali.com/2011/8/2...he-jmfj-effect

"Overall, the Kings were +112 GF and -93 GA without JMFJ (+19, .546), and +55 GF and -72 GA with him (-17, .433).

Jack Johnson is either a victim of the greatest conspiracy in hockey history to make his plus-minus look poor... or he's just a ****ty defenseman."


Both Ziggy's points and Rudy's points are accurate. He IS a victim of circumstance in some cases given Ziggy's analysis, AND he's also got a lot of work to do to shore up his game defensively so he's not such a liability.

Playing at Michigan did NOT help his development - at all. He's been learning on the job. If anyone could have used a couple of seasons in the AHL, it's Jack.

That said, he IS improving.


Last edited by TonySCV: 08-02-2011 at 04:00 PM.
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08-02-2011, 03:54 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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So far I've provided visual evidence of six goals scored against the Kings while Jack Johnson was on the ice. All six goals did not result from Jack Johnson's defensive play. I'll continue on with more game highlights to further prove my stance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonySCV View Post
Good timing. I was about to post this blog from today on the subject:

http://www.battleofcali.com/2011/8/2...he-jmfj-effect

"Overall, the Kings were +112 GF and -93 GA without JMFJ (+19, .546), and +55 GF and -72 GA with him (-17, .433).

Jack Johnson is either a victim of the greatest conspiracy in hockey history to make his plus-minus look poor... or he's just a ****ty defenseman."
Did not see that post, and I hate this type of statistical analysis that takes out the context of the game and looks at the end result. I'd much rather watch the game and breakdown what happened rather than rely on statistics that tell me what happened in the past. It takes more time and a critical eye to provide pin point analysis of what events resulted in a play.


Last edited by TonySCV: 08-02-2011 at 03:59 PM. Reason: merged
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08-02-2011, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
It takes more time and a critical eye to provide pin point analysis of what events resulted in a play.
I was still editing my post when you replied. You're on top of it today .

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08-02-2011, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
Watch the clips and see for yourself. His defensive play is being made out to be atrocious by some posters on these forums when I'm providing visual evidence to prove that those claims are far overblown and an exaggeration of his play.
maybe when he is on the ice everybody around him gets worse.

seriously though while i do think his poor defensive play is overblown, when he does make a mistake it is glaring and makes you scratch you head.

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08-02-2011, 04:27 PM
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How many JJ's points were at even strength? Going off memory alone, it seems like the vast majority of his points come from his PP play. Now, scoring a bunch of the PP is awesome, but improved offense 5 on 5 would go a long way towards balancing his plus/minus. That is of course if his even strength versus PP scoring is as weighted to one side as I remember.

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08-02-2011, 04:30 PM
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Thanks for putting this together, Ziggy! It's mindblowing how unlucky he is but as JDM said with more production 5-on-5 and a little more luck on his side (or a lot lol) his +- should be better.

Poor guy. I'm gonna bookmark this thread for when people start *****ing about him.

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08-02-2011, 04:33 PM
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LOL, this is a great thread Ziggy. I always laugh whenever Johnson gets a minus . . . but I do agree that sometimes, it's really not his fault. But it's still hilarious, I honestly hope he never becomes a plus player . . it's just too much fun to joke about

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08-02-2011, 04:36 PM
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Going through and showing there is no problem is nowhere near as productive as going through and trying to find the problem. I'm not saying it's definitely JJ (although, I do think it is), I'm saying there is definitely a problem. Maybe he's on the ice a lot with a certain player, maybe him and some other player just don't work well, who knows.

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08-02-2011, 04:42 PM
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I completely agree with Ziggy here.........
It's not just these videos.

2/3 of his minus comes on a line change when he just jumps over the bench.

I can't understand how underrated Johnson is.
At the end of last season he was clearly our best defender even before Doughty.

I'm told Simmonds going from +18 to -3 in one year is progress and the same people keep on bashing on players like Johnson.

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08-02-2011, 04:45 PM
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There comes a point where you no longer can just blame it on bad luck and in his fourth NHL season Johnson reached that point.

That said, I'm willing to be patient with him, as are the Kings apparently.

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08-02-2011, 04:56 PM
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Once you go through all the minus points, I will agree. Until then the conclusion is that, while his defensive lapses may be overblown, he does need to be more focused on the defensive end. The analysis of ALL minus situations would prove that, I have no doubt about it. I have watched the games myself and I still have access to all streamed games from previous season.

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08-02-2011, 04:57 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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11/15/10 vs. San Jose


- At :23, Johnson has Dan Boyle covered in a one-on-one situation while is partner, Matt Greene, had the front of the net covered. Boyle puts on the breaks and pulls up as Jack Johnson cuts him off. As a result of this defensive play by Johnson, Boyle makes a safe play of passing the puck deep along the boards.

This is where things fall apart as Matt Greene leaves his post to chase Logan Couture, leaving the front of the net unprotected. Couture allows the puck to pass him as Greene is chasing him, and the puck is collected by Joe Pavelski who is positioned behind the net. He fees the puck to a wide open Ryane Clowe who puts the puck in the net while Jack Johnson slowly made his way back.

This defensive breakdown could be attributed to four skaters on the ice. While Johnson started off making the right play at first, as soon as Boyle made the pass, Jack should have returned to his post. Greene's judgement on this play is even more questionable, and the forwards (Williams and Stoll) do a piss poor job in covering for the defense. The misread by Greene is what I find to be largely at fault on this particular goal, but Johnson and the others could have also helped cover his lapse.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play is partially at fault in this goal.

- At :38, Greene attempts to cut off a pass as Simmonds fails in his attempt to pick up the loose puck at the Kings' blueline. McGinn gets to the puck and is covered by Jack Johnson. McGinn's shot hits Greene in front of the net, causing a loose puck to sit in the slot in front of Quick with Torrey Mitchell and Devin Setoguchi getting second and third attempts. During this play, Greene tried to whack at the loose puck and misses then failed to tie up his man, Setoguchi. The two forwards coming back, Simmonds and Handzus, stand idly watching this happen.

Now Johnson's defensive play did not directly result in this goal, but he could have played it better. This defensive breakdown happened quickly here as the puck took some unfortunate bounces on Greene. What Johnson could have done better is to turn to his right rather than to his left. He was too focused in on the player in front of him (McGinn), and could have reacted quicker, but like I said, this breakdown happened so quickly. Nothing that Johnson did led to this goal, but his read of the play could be better.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play is partially at fault in this goal.

- At 2:13, Kopitar out muscles a Shark player in the corner of the Kings' goal line and attempts to get the puck up the ice. The Sharks keep the puck inside the blueline and find a wide open Heatley in the high slot who walks in and rips a wrist shot past Jonathan Bernier. Kopitar got caught down low as normally, the slot area would be covered by the center. The two wings on the play, Brown and Richardson, fail to help defensively. Johnson had the front of the net covered along with Matt Greene. As soon as Heatley was open, Greene attempted to get to the slot but it was too late by then.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.

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08-02-2011, 04:58 PM
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Sometimes it should be about what you do instead of what you didn't do.

Maybe your right that all of these goals weren't jacks "fault" but maybe a better defensemen would have anticipated the plays more accurately and been better prepared to help with whereever the breakdown occured.

Most good defensemen anticipate breakdowns/mistakes and are thus prepared for them. Jack seems to be just trying to react to them after the fact.

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08-02-2011, 05:01 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMoneyMonkey View Post
Going through and showing there is no problem is nowhere near as productive as going through and trying to find the problem. I'm not saying it's definitely JJ (although, I do think it is), I'm saying there is definitely a problem. Maybe he's on the ice a lot with a certain player, maybe him and some other player just don't work well, who knows.
I'm not saying there is no problem, I'm detailing what is happening and do suggest where Johnson can improve on his reads defensively. A detailed breakdown of these goals scored against while Jack Johnson is on the ice could reveal a lot about his play.

The most recent video I posted proves that Jack Johnson and Matt Greene do not make a good defensive pair for example. Greene has a tendency to be overaggressive and chase the puck carrier in an attempt to force a decision. This is also a tendency shared by Jack Johnson, thus having those two paired together could lead to undesirable results.

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08-02-2011, 05:07 PM
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Conversely, you could analyze plays in which JJ received a +1, and deduce that many of those were not the result of his own play.

Johnson has good all around skills, but his hockey sense and decision making both appear to be mediocre at best. He's not particularly physical or aggressive either. I don't think it's a coincidence that he's consistently a minus player; breaking down individual plays doesn't convince me.

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08-02-2011, 05:16 PM
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Ziggy Stardust
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjm22 View Post
Conversely, you could analyze plays in which JJ received a +1, and deduce that many of those were not the result of his own play.

Johnson has good all around skills, but his hockey sense and decision making both appear to be mediocre at best. He's not particularly physical or aggressive either. I don't think it's a coincidence that he's consistently a minus player; breaking down individual plays doesn't convince me.
Those are all areas of the game Johnson could improve upon. He didn't get the benefit of spending a couple of years in the minors to refine his defensive play. Making the jump straight from the amateur ranks to the NHL was a huge leap for Johnson, as another posted suggested earlier. He has the top end skills and abilities, he is good at handling the puck and is one of the best skaters on the team.

I think one area he can improve upon is his passing. I find that he passes too hard at times, making it difficult for the accepting forward to control the puck. Johnson has improved his positional play, and yes, he can make better decisions out there, but the intent of this thread was to nullify those who label Jack Johnson as a terrible defenseman, and that is exactly what the evidence is proving.

Jack Johnson is a player who is evolving into a complete defenseman. He's hit some rough patches, but his overall play is improving. I find it puzzling that there are so many Kings fans who dislike him. I can pin point more boneheaded plays made by Matt Greene, who I thought had the worst performance among Kings defensemen during the playoffs.

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08-02-2011, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
Much has been made of Jack Johnson's abysmal plus/minus rating over the years. This season he registered career high's in personal stats with 37 assists and 42 points while averaging over 23 minutes of ice time. It was also his worst season in terms of plus/minus with Johnson finishing the season with a -21 in 82 games.

What I decided to do was to focus in on four games from this past season in which Johnson finished as a -3 and analyze whether or not his defensive play was at fault for any of the goals scored against the Kings. I'll provide the analysis game-by-game in separate posts within this thread. Here is the analysis from the most current game from last season in which Johnson was a -3.

2/28/11 vs. Detroit

- At 0:15, Scudri attempts to get the puck out of the zone, the Kings forward (Simmonds) fails to gain possession of the puck along the boards, and Drew Miller scores from an odd angle.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.

- At 1:15, Williams with a bad pass attempt as Doughty is caught in a vulnerable position, Helm gains possession of the puck on a partial breakaway as Johnson properly cuts off the middle of the ice, but Helm beats Quick cleanly for a shorthanded goal.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.

- At 1:30, the Kings turnover the puck in their own end as Richardson fails to get the puck out of the zone and Kopitar can be seen attempting the leave the zone early when the turnover occurs, Jack Johnson is covering a Wings player in front of the net as Scuderi plays the shooter. The puck takes a crazy hop as Scuderi attempts to whack at it and Johnson still has his man tied up, but a trailing Red Wings forward, Drew Miller, bangs in the loose puck while the Kings forwards look on. The Kings defense is outnumbered 3-2 in front of the net.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.
This is nonsense and proves absolutely nothing. EVERY player on the ice gets a minus for every even goal scored at even strength and many times during the season it won't be the fault of 3 or 4 of the skaters who got a minus. On the occasions when the goal is soft, it won't be the fault of any of them. That happens to everyone all the time, just as getting a plus maybe complete luck at times. But if one guy's +/- is worse than everyone else's season after season, it ain't a coincidence and three examples of bad luck prove zilch. Are you going to show all the minuses other people got because of Jack's play? Are you going to put up all the instances where JJ ****ed up royally and didn't get a minus because someone else bailed him out?

I am also not so sure that this smiley is appropriate when it is suggested that other players play worse when paired with Jack. If you are paired with a poor player you tend to do too much, thus harming your own play. Those statistics are pretty damning.

All of the above being said, I haven't lost hope. Yet.

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08-02-2011, 05:25 PM
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+/- is just a number. we all know JJ is the ****

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08-02-2011, 05:35 PM
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I will keep you company, but first couple of thoughts:

- As mentioned before, with many of his +1 points he wasn't directly involved.
- In my opinion you are looking at this wrongly. Minus point doesn't mean that player is the only reason for the goal. It is just what it looks when you look at the stat sheet : player is PARTIALLY responsible for the goal against. These "partially at fault" is exactly what minus point is given for and it makes perfect sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
[B][U]2/28/11 vs. Detroit

- At 0:15, Scudri attempts to get the puck out of the zone, the Kings forward (Simmonds) fails to gain possession of the puck along the boards, and Drew Miller scores from an odd angle.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.
He didn't do anything wrong there, but he did have a chance to break that pass/shot. Valid -1.
Verdict: Good -1

Quote:
- At 1:15, Williams with a bad pass attempt as Doughty is caught in a vulnerable position, Helm gains possession of the puck on a partial breakaway as Johnson properly cuts off the middle of the ice, but Helm beats Quick cleanly for a shorthanded goal.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.
A very fast skater would have caught that one and if he used his stick in a right way, who knows what could have happened. Not his fault, of course, but -1 is not about "fault"
Verdict: Good -1

Quote:
- At 1:30, the Kings turnover the puck in their own end as Richardson fails to get the puck out of the zone and Kopitar can be seen attempting the leave the zone early when the turnover occurs, Jack Johnson is covering a Wings player in front of the net as Scuderi plays the shooter. The puck takes a crazy hop as Scuderi attempts to whack at it and Johnson still has his man tied up, but a trailing Red Wings forward, Drew Miller, bangs in the loose puck while the Kings forwards look on. The Kings defense is outnumbered 3-2 in front of the net.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.
A classic -1, he was right there in the middle, he did have not just one but more chances to prevent the goal. It was theoretically possible to prevent the goal and he didn't do it. Impossible to blame him, but the minus -1 is not questionable in my opinion.
Verdict: Good -1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
11/17/10 vs. Columbus

- At :35, Columbus has possession of the puck as they enter the Kings' zone after killing a penalty, Doughty playing the puck carrier while Johnson covers the front of the net. The puck carrier connects with a pass for a one-timer from the trailing Columbus defenseman, who Brad Richardson failed to cover.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.
Agreed, but he lost his man, what if there was a rebound to the other side?
Verdict: No -1

Quote:
- At 1:43, Rick Nash makes Davis Drewiske look like a minor league defenseman.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.
He was on the player that entered the zone. There is a thing called takeaway in hockey, good defensemen do it more often than bad defensemen. He had the chance to break that attack and he didn't do it. Blaming him for the goal would be silly, but that is a classic -1.
Verdict: Good -1

Quote:
- At 1:55, the Blue Jackets score an empty net goal.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.
Agreed.
Verdict: No -1.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
11/15/10 vs. San Jose

- At :23, Johnson has Dan Boyle covered in a one-on-one situation while is partner, Matt Greene, had the front of the net covered. Boyle puts on the breaks and pulls up as Jack Johnson cuts him off. As a result of this defensive play by Johnson, Boyle makes a safe play of passing the puck deep along the boards.

This is where things fall apart as Matt Greene leaves his post to chase Logan Couture, leaving the front of the net unprotected. Couture allows the puck to pass him as Greene is chasing him, and the puck is collected by Joe Pavelski who is positioned behind the net. He fees the puck to a wide open Ryane Clowe who puts the puck in the net while Jack Johnson slowly made his way back.

This defensive breakdown could be attributed to four skaters on the ice. While Johnson started off making the right play at first, as soon as Boyle made the pass, Jack should have returned to his post. Greene's judgement on this play is even more questionable, and the forwards (Williams and Stoll) do a piss poor job in covering for the defense. The misread by Greene is what I find to be largely at fault on this particular goal, but Johnson and the others could have also helped cover his lapse.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play is partially at fault in this goal.
Minus -1 is of course ok.
Verdict: Good -1

Quote:
- At :38, Greene attempts to cut off a pass as Simmonds fails in his attempt to pick up the loose puck at the Kings' blueline. McGinn gets to the puck and is covered by Jack Johnson. McGinn's shot hits Greene in front of the net, causing a loose puck to sit in the slot in front of Quick with Torrey Mitchell and Devin Setoguchi getting second and third attempts. During this play, Greene tried to whack at the loose puck and misses then failed to tie up his man, Setoguchi. The two forwards coming back, Simmonds and Handzus, stand idly watching this happen.

Now Johnson's defensive play did not directly result in this goal, but he could have played it better. This defensive breakdown happened quickly here as the puck took some unfortunate bounces on Greene. What Johnson could have done better is to turn to his right rather than to his left. He was too focused in on the player in front of him (McGinn), and could have reacted quicker, but like I said, this breakdown happened so quickly. Nothing that Johnson did led to this goal, but his read of the play could be better.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play is partially at fault in this goal.
Classic, that's what -1 is about.
Verdict: Good -1.

Quote:
- At 2:13, Kopitar out muscles a Shark player in the corner of the Kings' goal line and attempts to get the puck up the ice. The Sharks keep the puck inside the blueline and find a wide open Heatley in the high slot who walks in and rips a wrist shot past Jonathan Bernier. Kopitar got caught down low as normally, the slot area would be covered by the center. The two wings on the play, Brown and Richardson, fail to help defensively. Johnson had the front of the net covered along with Matt Greene. As soon as Heatley was open, Greene attempted to get to the slot but it was too late by then.
Verdict: Johnson's defensive play did not result in this goal.
Again same argument as before, the puck went past him, he was in the center of movement. Somebody with better reflexes, better anticipation and a fast stick might have prevented that. Blame? No.
Verdict: Good -1

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