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I want a defensive powerhouse

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Old
04-26-2012, 08:56 AM
  #26
vikingGoalie
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the thing is alot of this is mindset.

When the coach preaches responsible play, sound defense first and sits those that don't buy in. Heck Crosby would have been sat for a few minutes at points in the flyers series if Dale Hunter was the coach. (I am NOT saying Crosby doesn't normally play well both ways, but he did have some big gaffs that coughed up the puck in bad spots at bad times in this series). It becomes part of the teams DNA.

My point is, it's a team identity thing. If everyone is doing this it wins in the playoffs because everyone has it ingrained in their heads what to do. Playing good defense doesn't win you any shiny individual trophies and it's a lot harder work then free wheeling offense. To do so you must be working hard, be disciplined and out will your opponent many times.

That's why defense wins when it matters. Free wheeling offense is what we became right before the playoffs, we played like we didn't care about goals against because we figured if they put up 5, we'll just put 6 goals.

We can be an offensive power house, but we have to do it with a defense FIRST mentality. That is what is missing in Blysma's system. His main idea is just move the puck North, and try and play in the other teams end. The problem is it has degenerated into this free wheeling, careless with the puck system. Whether that is our players not listening I don't know. I do know that he should limit minutes of ANY PLAYER that does careless things with the puck. Players should be playing for the logo on the front, not the name on the back.

While I think that Paul Martin should be put on a rocket ship to the moon ASAP, and that Oprik looked like he was skating in concrete. I say that even the great Lidstrom in his prime would look bad if you continually had your forwards being careless with the puck and giving the opponent the puck in the neutral zone with speed, and he is caught flat footed as the play changes direction abruptly.

That's why we got killed, it's been discussed here in various forms. But our system is prone to turning the puck over and giving up glorious scoring chances.
During the regular season Fleury played exteremely well and covered up a lot of these glaring defencies (why the players voted him co-mvp of the team). But he was over worked (imo) and in the playoffs could no longer stop all the glorious chances that philly had. You combine great scoring chances with sub-average goal tending and you get what happened to us.

Damn thing is I hate the capitals, but I like how Hunter is running them now. Ovechkin doesn't play both ways, so he sits. You see guys giving up their bodies to stop pucks, you don't see hardly any careless turnovers. I lost track of how many 3-2 chances we gave the Flyers. Heck the first goal that set the tone in game 6 was the perfect example. Puck is given to Giroux with speed in the netural zone, Sully doesn't play the body but simply goes for a poke check, he misses. Orpik doesn't know what to do and gives him an unimpeded lane to the net. Sure Fleury *could* stop that. But that was a damn good shot that will go in on most goalies.

whew. done ranting... I think it's gonna take a while to get the anger out over how we blew it this year...

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04-26-2012, 09:04 AM
  #27
vyktor
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Originally Posted by bigd View Post
We have the defense in our system. We just have to bring them up and give them a chance. Strait and Bortuzzo have been the top shutdown pairing in the AHL the past two years and Despres is ready to step in also. Get rid of Lovejoy and Martin this off season. Start season with 8 D-men and let them fight it out for playing time. If Despres can't cut it he can be shipped back to WBS. If Strait or Bortuzzo can't cut it then waive one of them. It's time to see if these guys can take the next step.
We might have the guys in system, we might not, but we will have to play them to find out. The big thing IMO that we are missing, and have been for quite some time is a Leader on D, that leads by example on the ice as well as in the room(I'm focusing my non-blinking stare at you Orpik)

RS needs to ship out Martin, who doesn't fit the system and Orpik

UFA dman Vet leader
Letang
Michalek
Engelland

Strait
Despres
Bortuzzo

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04-26-2012, 09:12 AM
  #28
bigd
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I believe we need Vet leadership but it doesn't have to be a defenseman.

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04-26-2012, 09:25 AM
  #29
vikingGoalie
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A lot of the change is NOT personnel per se. Our mindset must change, the coach must hold players accountable. Martin is awful for us, and must go.

But the forwards must be bought in that their first responsiblity is Defense and not giving the puck to the other team so that they can attack our zone with speed. Scoring will come, we are too talented there for it not too.

Towards the end of the regular season, the team was more concerned about getting Geno 50 goals then the fact they were giving up goals like crazy.

Our last 10 games of the regular season we averaged 3.7 goals against.

If we change a few people out but keep the same mindset we are going to be talking on this board this time of year again about who the next coach will be...

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04-26-2012, 09:26 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by eXile59 View Post
Yeah UFA has helped our defense so much in the past.
Absolutely. We need to build from within, with defensemen who have only ever played in our system, or are too raw and overwhelmingly talented (Morrow and Harrington?) to know any better.

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04-26-2012, 09:31 AM
  #31
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If anyone watched the physical battle between Ovie and Seidenberg the entire series, think about what would have happened if that were Michalek or Martin. They would have been on a gurney by the end of game 2. Martin took 3 hits the entire Philly series and was concussed by the last one.

Personnel, the RIGHT personnel, actually does make as much of a difference as systems do.

There's also WANT. You can just tell when a team flat out commits to puck pursuit and blocking shots, and that's the impression I got from the Caps the entire series. They WANTED to defend, they WANTED to block shots.

The more I look back on things, the more disgusted I am with the entire team and how lackluster their performance was. It also didn't help that our goaltender looked like an ECHL goalie either.

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04-26-2012, 09:40 AM
  #32
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To hell with it.....Put all these draft picks to use.

Letang-Despres
Nisky-Engo
Strait-Bortuzzo
Sneep

Morrow and Harrington on the way....

In all seriousness, Id love to see Despres become a more physical player. He definitely has the size. Wipe that goofy smile off your face and get a mean streak! Id like to think Bortuzzo could be similar to Engo, but a better skater, less of a fighter.

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04-26-2012, 09:44 AM
  #33
spcastlemagic
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Originally Posted by MtlPenFan View Post
There's also WANT. You can just tell when a team flat out commits to puck pursuit and blocking shots, and that's the impression I got from the Caps the entire series. They WANTED to defend, they WANTED to block shots.
This is my biggest concern about the series. Nobody, from Crosby, Malkin and Letang down, played like this. IN THE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS!!!!

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04-26-2012, 09:49 AM
  #34
Hans Rutherford
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I don't think we need a large overhaul or anything but some tweaks to the lineup and system should be necessary. One thing I'd like to see back in the lineup is a pure shutdown pairing, a pairing shuts down the top opposition and just gets the puck the **** out of the zone instead of forcing it through the neutral zone and turning it over, over and over again. There's no doubt Scuds and Gill made a big difference with them as our third pair. I really think Michalek and Strait could be groomed to do that well.

I like the idea of:

Top minute munching pairing -
Letang - (Suter/Despres)

Solid second pairing -
Orpik - Niskanen

Shutdown pairing -
Michalek - Strait

Would hate to see Engelland getting scratched, but he'd be a great depth player and could always be added to the lineup whenever his toughness is needed.

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04-26-2012, 09:51 AM
  #35
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Pens need the no nonsense approach Therrien brought when he was first hired. Ken Hitchcock has done this in St Louis this year. When Therrien was first hired he immediately began to target those who weren't responsible defensively and began to single them out (Orpik on Wing,Whitney on Wing) are extreme measures but effective. Until this kind of atmosphere is brought back this team won't be able to compete against hungry teams no matter how much talent we think the Pens have.

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04-26-2012, 10:48 AM
  #36
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Defensive powerhouses will fail in the playoffs with poor goaltending. The playoffs are about momentum, bad goals kill momentum. Fleury has to be mentally affected by his recent playoff collapses, he's a huge question mark in any plans going forward.

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04-26-2012, 11:03 AM
  #37
Ogrezilla
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Originally Posted by bigd View Post
I believe we need Vet leadership but it doesn't have to be a defenseman.
Our main guys are pretty young but they've been in the league long enough that they really shouldn't need vet leadership. I'm not saying it would hurt, but they shouldn't need it.

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04-26-2012, 11:14 AM
  #38
vikingGoalie
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Originally Posted by gordie View Post
Pens need the no nonsense approach Therrien brought when he was first hired. Ken Hitchcock has done this in St Louis this year. When Therrien was first hired he immediately began to target those who weren't responsible defensively and began to single them out (Orpik on Wing,Whitney on Wing) are extreme measures but effective. Until this kind of atmosphere is brought back this team won't be able to compete against hungry teams no matter how much talent we think the Pens have.


Quote:
Personnel, the RIGHT personnel, actually does make as much of a difference as systems do.

There's also WANT. You can just tell when a team flat out commits to puck pursuit and blocking shots, and that's the impression I got from the Caps the entire series. They WANTED to defend, they WANTED to block shots.
I do agree that personnel will help. My point is that you can bring in anyone, if you don't have a different mindset it won't matter much.

Your other point is spot on, the WANT is part of the mindset. To play good defense, to have it ingrained the players have to WANT to do that. Because it's harder to play like that, it's more disciplined, it is not something for individual accolades. But when the team IS bought in to it, the results are palatable.

We do need some tweaks to our Defensive personnel. We also need our forwards to buy in to this mind set (maybe some new faces there). A lot of issues on D get magnifyied because our forwards play like they are more concerned about scoring.

I could care less if we win another scoring/hart/any individual trophy. The only thing that should matter to this team is Stanley Cups.

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04-26-2012, 11:47 AM
  #39
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I doubt FA acquisitions will help this team much. This roster is as stacked as any in the entire league. On paper we have a much better D and goalie than Philly, and also a superior offense than them.

System was the problem. As was goaltending. None of this was ever a problem during the regular season. Lavvy saw a hole, and he exploited it.IMO it's that simple.

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04-26-2012, 11:58 AM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Ziggyjoe21 View Post
I doubt FA acquisitions will help this team much. This roster is as stacked as any in the entire league. On paper we have a much better D and goalie than Philly, and also a superior offense than them.

System was the problem. As was goaltending. None of this was ever a problem during the regular season. Lavvy saw a hole, and he exploited it.IMO it's that simple.
Go back and look at how many games we gave up 4-5 goals in the last 1/4 of the season, a lot of which we managed to win btw.

As for system, I've never seen one that advocates laying down and letting Vorachek skate around you, or repeatedly failing to stop a cross crease pass on a odd man break when D are taught from squirts that that is your #1 job on a 2 on 1.

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04-26-2012, 01:03 PM
  #41
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How many block shots did we have? It seemed like none. There was no desperation on defense. Shero call's it "compete level" & it wasn't there at all.

Like I said I don't think a roster over haul is going to do any good if you don't fix the systematic problems.


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04-26-2012, 01:10 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by vyktor View Post
Go back and look at how many games we gave up 4-5 goals in the last 1/4 of the season, a lot of which we managed to win btw.

As for system, I've never seen one that advocates laying down and letting Vorachek skate around you, or repeatedly failing to stop a cross crease pass on a odd man break when D are taught from squirts that that is your #1 job on a 2 on 1.
Shero even called it out. The last 11 games of the regular season and the playoff we probably averaged 3.75 goals against... we've played very very bad as a team defense for the last 17 games or so.

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04-26-2012, 01:12 PM
  #43
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I do think that they should get a new goalie coach at the very least.
This. I've defended Fleury a ton in the past but what good does a great defense do when the goalie behind them is letting in soft goals on a consistent basis?


Bylsma needs to be harder on the team and start busting balls. This "player's coach" crap doesn't last very long.

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04-26-2012, 01:21 PM
  #44
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I'd like a defensive powerhouse that is also an offensive machine. I think we have the talent and personnel for both.
We were 2nd in goal scoring and 6th in goals against in March. Something happened those last dozen games, and this organization needs to learn from it or we are doomed to repeat it. I want to see this team in the top 5 in goals for and goals against next year.

If I was running the show, we bring in a new goalie coach, and replace one or two of the other assistant coaches. And I am a big fan of bringing "the passion of the Tochett" back to the organization.

I also trade Martin for the highest pick/player I can get, and trade/wave Lovejoy. A revamp of the 4th line wingers is in order, and I try to upgrade a wing for Sid, hopefully either Chris Stewart through trade or Ray Whitney through free agency. I only consider trading one of our centers if I can't resign Staal.

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04-26-2012, 01:37 PM
  #45
Hans Rutherford
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I don't know, bringing Tochett in might be a gamble.

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04-26-2012, 01:52 PM
  #46
Saving Greiss
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I'm not sure about Tochett. He could help the pp, but defence (overall) needs to be addressed first.

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04-26-2012, 02:25 PM
  #47
Crafton
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I don't know, bringing Tochett in might be a gamble.


but let's not forget from the twitter thread:

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Originally Posted by Lost in Crafton View Post
Rick Tocchet ‏ @RealRocket22
When we talk defenseman , we don't really say this guys name that often and he might just be the best one !! Kris Letang ..he is so good

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04-26-2012, 03:01 PM
  #48
MtlPenFan
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I'm not sure about Tochett. He could help the pp, but defence (overall) needs to be addressed first.
I've repeated it often enough, but I'll do it again:

Bring in Larry Robinson to coach the D
Bring in Tochett for the PP

Both can be the hard ***** to DB's even keel persona.

We need to DEMAND this. Hit twitter, start websites, send e-mails and letters to the team...

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04-26-2012, 03:32 PM
  #49
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So if Philadelphia wins the Cup, then what? There'll be a new thread about wingerz and upgrading the offense?

NONE of the other East teams could have exposed our defense like Philly did.

But to want a defensive team with our roster is just stupid. That's trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. The Caps are making a long-term mistake for short-term success with their newfound collapsing defensive style. And Ovi looks like a fish out of water. It's working because they're desperate to finally have some success. But it's not a great long-range plan. They've just run out of ideas.

We won the Cup 3 short seasons ago, and with this core. What we are missing now that we had then was the Rob Scuderi, Hal Gill, Mark Eaton types. And we need somebody to light a fire under Fleury. And I agree, the fourth line needs to start grinding more than it has. But those are things that we need, which are fixable.

Actually acquiring defensive defensemen would help us to become much much better defensively, even if not a defensive powerhouse.

We don't have the roster to play Ken Hitchcock hockey.

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04-26-2012, 03:33 PM
  #50
vikingGoalie
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Originally Posted by MtlPenFan View Post
I've repeated it often enough, but I'll do it again:

Bring in Larry Robinson to coach the D
Bring in Tochett for the PP

Both can be the hard ***** to DB's even keel persona.

We need to DEMAND this. Hit twitter, start websites, send e-mails and letters to the team...
how do you email the team/shero?

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