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How about that W5

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Old
11-02-2003, 07:15 PM
  #1
OYLer
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How about that W5

Again so as not to clutter another thread I offer these musings. Edit required again, sorry ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by thome_26
Pretty decent, except you mixed up the third and fourth lines.
Not including PK & PP minutes, I'd sure like to see the Oilers grow into, a time and place, where at, any give time and on any team's ice, MacT could play any of the four lines at will. Depending on the score and whose playing well, a more equal distribution of ice time would be a positive. Given the reality of the current CBA, the Oilers can't out-Star and/or always out-Skill the bigger budget teams. But the 'Oil' can out-team and tire out, especially in even-strength situations, other older teams by rolling 4 youthfully aggressive, fast skating, and defensively committed lines.

Plus, if the Copper & Blue can get the skilled players they do possess gelling on the power play, then our E-Towners could finish higher in the Western Conference standings this year. So maybe: Whose on First is somewhat less important than What's on Second, and Why can't we appreciate how good we need to be on Third. Determining Where and When we can steal a game on Fourth is perhaps the hardest challenge of all. If every line is playing even up, does it really matter Who wins it for the home fans and for themselves, on any given night, in the long run.

Isn't getting to homeplate, a base 4 equation even in hockey: our end, the neutral zone, their end, and into their goal. It is hard to be scored on whilst play is focused in-and-around those last 3 places, most of the time. So let's pick where each of our unique 4 lines need to play best in those three preferred zones. But how all 4 lines break out of that dangerous first place, that crucial place of defense is fundemental to overall team success. Let's get simple first-base systems in place so we can rely on all 4 forward lines to just get the puck out of our end safely.

Add 3 defensive pairings to make up squads of 5 and the combinations will drive any coach crazy. Unless those three pairing are reliably interchangeable, workhorses all, Keeping It Simple to KISS Stanley.

So, in some crazy team way it's W5 plus H. I know some out there will think this is just another long-winded, crackpot post by that OYLer guy again, but I hope it makes sense to those who want to count higher than 4 ordinals and break out of being just ordinary. Hopefully, we can get to a place where every night each line delivers no less than 10 solid minutes of ice time. Getting the lead can be creative but maintaining a lead has got to be systematically and mind numbingly persistent.

Most nights with the lead, shouldn't the style of play, be off the glass and out, but especially with a 2 goal or more advantage? All the while with the boys banging and scratching, just forcing the puck forward like New Jersey, anything to keep the play on the good side of the red line, shouldn't we the fans cheer for the small battles won. It's during those times the skilled guys can catch a breath whilst the Muckers and the Rakers are relied upon to KISS the opposition into distraction. So, if we happen to give up a goal, unlucky or otherwise, the rested, skilled guys can go out hard, do their job, and get that goal back. I guess "H" really stands for Hockey - a team game ... How about that?

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11-03-2003, 06:09 AM
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I am still trying to figure out the need to try and thread the needle through the neutral zone when your team is up by a pair of goals...

I can understand needing to take a chance when you are down and time is running out... but you need to pick your spots.

And I know the Oilers need to use their speed, but there is nothing wrong with cricling back and reseting if there is nothing there for you.

That is one thing I never understood about hockey. There is no shot-clock, no backover, but there is a huge reluctance to simply turn back and try again. Continuously, there is a forced play, which doesn't need to be made.

Apparantly the need to score 30 seconds from now is so great that it over-shadows the need to make the best play.

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11-03-2003, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
I am still trying to figure out the need to try and thread the needle through the neutral zone when your team is up by a pair of goals...

I can understand needing to take a chance when you are down and time is running out... but you need to pick your spots.

And I know the Oilers need to use their speed, but there is nothing wrong with cricling back and reseting if there is nothing there for you.

That is one thing I never understood about hockey. There is no shot-clock, no backover, but there is a huge reluctance to simply turn back and try again. Continuously, there is a forced play, which doesn't need to be made.

Apparantly the need to score 30 seconds from now is so great that it over-shadows the need to make the best play.
dawgbone, I agree with you in spirit and your points are well made. But I'm wondering if this retreating style of complusive puck possession is working too well for the Oilers right now? To quote myself off of another thread (hope I'm not being too full of myself or that Bad Smell here) "The Oilers need to tighten up on D before other teams gain entry into our own end and make the simple play to get the puck out more quickly. Too much retreating into our own end causes horrible give-aways and needless turnovers. Gaining position in the neutral zone is less risky defensively."

So maybe dawgbone after the Oilers' defensive pairings have solidified and have more confidence, guys like Brewer, Staios, and Bergeron can handle the puck more. But guys like Cross, Ferggy, Smith and Semenov I'd prefer always to employ the KISS method - Keep It Strickly Simple. I would add that the 'Oil' have chosen to play an aggressive forecheck style. With two forwards going deep into the offensive end. This style can and does produce instant offense on the turnover we cause in the oppositions end.

The down side comes if the other team turns-it-around quickly and the C & B boys get caught with two forwards deep, too much separation between the D and the forwards on the odd man counter attack. Just smacking the puck out and or standing up at the blueline allows the stranded forwards more time to get back and help on defense. It might cause more scrabbled play in the neutral zone, but it's hard to get scored on from the neutral zone and right now the Oilers need to bring down goals against. What do you think and what would you do differently?

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11-03-2003, 07:23 AM
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I completely understand about making the simple play and that, especially during the forecheck, and that... but a lot of times in the Wings game, the Oilers had tonnes of time to make a good play, and failed to make it, most of the time by trying to rush a bad pass.

There were times when the Oilers turned the puck over when Detroit was making a line change, and there was no one within 30 feet of the puck carrier... stuff like that will kill you.

But i'll agree with you on one point... this team doesn't seem to like giving the other team the puck when the Oilers have 5 men back (i.e. the simple dump out to clear the zone), they seem much more willing to do it when they only have 2 men back.

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11-03-2003, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
I completely understand about making the simple play and that, especially during the forecheck, and that... but a lot of times in the Wings game, the Oilers had tonnes of time to make a good play, and failed to make it, most of the time by trying to rush a bad pass.

There were times when the Oilers turned the puck over when Detroit was making a line change, and there was no one within 30 feet of the puck carrier... stuff like that will kill you.
I hear ya' and share the frustration, the experience to know when to change the pace and capitalize on the oppositions immediate on-ice weakness, is I hope, for some Oilers' players a learned skill. Hemsky could be the one to show the way. Of course, when I played recreational hockey I was haplessly just trying to just stay with the play.

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11-03-2003, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
And I know the Oilers need to use their speed, but there is nothing wrong with cricling back and reseting if there is nothing there for you.

That is one thing I never understood about hockey. There is no shot-clock, no backover, but there is a huge reluctance to simply turn back and try again. Continuously, there is a forced play, which doesn't need to be made.

Apparantly the need to score 30 seconds from now is so great that it over-shadows the need to make the best play.
This strategy is exactly what made the old Soviet puck possession teams so dangerous. If they didn't see a play developing they simply turned the puck back into their zone and started another rush

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11-03-2003, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OYLer
dawgbone, I agree with you in spirit and your points are well made. But I'm wondering if this retreating style of complusive puck possession is working too well for the Oilers right now? To quote myself off of another thread (hope I'm not being too full of myself or that Bad Smell here) "The Oilers need to tighten up on D before other teams gain entry into our own end and make the simple play to get the puck out more quickly. Too much retreating into our own end causes horrible give-aways and needless turnovers. Gaining position in the neutral zone is less risky defensively."
Good point allthough i think the Oilers defensive turnovers haven't necessarily been the result of trying to turn the play back into their own zone to reset, but rather just a poor breakout pass....if they learned not to force the breakout pass if it isn't there I think Salo would be grateful. If they could learn to assess th eplay, decide there is no quality breakout pass available or/and there is no pressing need to make the simple easy play (IE: dump the puck) then why not turn the puck back into the zone and reset?

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11-04-2003, 06:13 AM
  #8
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Tripping Away

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marconius
Good point allthough i think the Oilers defensive turnovers haven't necessarily been the result of trying to turn the play back into their own zone to reset, but rather just a poor breakout pass....if they learned not to force the breakout pass if it isn't there I think Salo would be grateful. If they could learn to assess the play, decide there is no quality breakout pass available or/and there is no pressing need to make the simple easy play (IE: dump the puck) then why not turn the puck back into the zone and reset?
Observing how the Oilers play Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto will be instructive, indeed. These first 3 away games will be extremely revealing indicators as to, if and how, the Oilers' defensive systems, can and will, adjust to these three very different styles of play. Employing the deep neutral zone smother and the defensive zone strangle, Montreal is very defensively oriented and endeavors to limit and stall the play until they gain possession. They play to win 1 - 0 and are happy when shots against are kept well below 20. When they have a lead their play stays the same. The Habs win best by stealing games, converting other teams' mistakes into goals. Patience is the foundation of their limited offensive counterthrust. By frustrating their adversary into making dumb plays that are too aggressive and then pouncing on those errors, the Canadiens eke out wins.

Ottawa's larger talent pool allows the Sens to upgrade their particular counter-punching neutral zone style to become more effective offensively. Using the Cab-Forward version of the trap, the Sens employ a center forward trap that pressures at the opposing teams blueline and creates turnovers before their opposition hits the red line. The Senators pressure poach and pinch off play with pre-designed trapping schemes that try to force players to make bad breakout passing decisions. As a team, they try to always out number the opposition players. This proactive puck support philosophy gives other teams fits, unless they simply dink the puck ahead to an open space and chase it down and regain possession. Strategies that break territorial containment, force the Sens to regroup and allow attacking offensives with skating speed time to secure entry into the Sens' end, earning a fastbreak scoring chance and/or time to set up and cycle. The Sens are susceptible to the low cycle and play punt the puck out to relieve the pressure in their defensive zone. They then chase defensemen back into their own end with a full-court press to cause the turnover, but back off quickly to reset their cab-forward trap if they don't gain control of the rubber disc.

Until Toronto gets a 2 goal lead, the Leafs employ a forechecking style very similar to the Oilers. They pressure and hit the other teams' defensemen and gaining puck possession before they can make considered decisions and thinking-man plays in their own end. Reactive puck movement must be employed to counteract these pressure tactics. The Leafs utilize the dump & chase effectively, especially against goalies who handle the puck poorly. They slip the puck up the boards and then lob the rubber disc into the corners, which forces opponents to spread out their defensive zone cloverage. If the Leafs can gain possession after an easy corner dump-in, then natural goal scorers like Mogilny drive to the holes and are set up for onetimers in the slot. If the opposing forwards collapse, the pass goes back to the point for the shot and deflections.

These three unique and different styles will test the Oilers' ability to show how they can defend and attack with success early in this six game road trip. Can the Oilers change-up and adjust their own attacking and skating style and adapt to each of these radically different approaches? Only time and an intense desire to play well and win, will tell the tale of Oiler adaptation or extinction. Survival of the Fittest requires exercising that collective muscle to produce team brainpower. Translation of that nervy energy into a steady force that produces wins will require selective regearing and sudden punches into overdrive. Just as long as youthful drive doesn't recklessly ignore the the local hazards and outdistance practical pursuit of success, the trip will have a chance of getting off to a good start.

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Old
11-04-2003, 10:00 AM
  #9
oilflash
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Oyler, you make alot of sense to me. Excellent comments, I just wish I would have read this first and not read that article about all those politicians getting freebies. I got angry and will not be watching the game tonight on - pay for view - in protest - I might turn on rod - once I've made dinner though.

I have one question. What did you mean exactly when you said?

"Survival of the Fittest requires exercising that collective muscle to produce team brainpower."

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