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Recurring issues with this team

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Old
10-09-2013, 04:07 AM
  #1
Fanned On It
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Recurring issues with this team

After watching the SJ game last night, it seems like the issues from last year and the year before are still present and the team plays exactly the same way.

1. Getting hemmed in our own zone: Our "great defense" constantly loses one on one battles in the corners in our zone and then when they finally do gain possession what do they do? They throw it blindly up the boards to a player of the opposing team. I made a thread about this EXACT issue either last season or the season before. This is a huge problem and speaks to the lack of composure of our defensive-core. How can this defense be heralded as some great shut-down unit if every time they get the puck in our own zone they just panic and throw it away? This leads to my next point...

2. Inability to make passes: Starting with looking at our defensive-zone passing, one thing I noticed a CRAP ton in the SJ game was our players' unwillingness to hold onto the puck for that split second to actually make a play to another player. I saw too many hacks and whacks at the puck instead of controlling and passing it to safety. I noticed a lot of this from Staal, Pyatt and Pouliot but everyone on the team is guilty of it. It's that whole feel of them playing timidly and not having the confidence (skill?) to settle the puck and themselves and make a god damn play. This then permeates to the neutral zone (the most important area to pass the puck well in) where our players will opt to chip the puck off the boards to no one instead of either passing it back to the D and regrouping or passing East - West to an actual player's stick. What's worse is that when our players DO try to pass laterally they usually don't make the pass tape-to-tape and it slows down the rush to the point where the player receiving the pass is out of room before he has a chance to do anything. It's so frustrating watching our team SUCK at passing while almost every other team's players can connect with relative ease.

3. Deflections are killing us. It seems like most goals scored against us are garbage goals - shots from the point that either hit our players and go in or get deflected by someone on the other team. I'm not really sure how you remedy this because obviously deflections are dangerous for every team in the league but damn do I get angry when Hank makes great saves all game long and then gets beat by a deflection that he had absolutely no chance on (and then I come on here and read people saying that they think Hank had a terrible game/games).

Like I said... these issues are recurring and even though it's only the third game under our new coach, it is still discouraging to see them in full force. I always thought our team's problems were on the players (even back when Torts was here) and their lack of skill/confidence/poise. I guess this season will show whether or not that is the case.

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10-09-2013, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Fanned On It View Post
After watching the SJ game last night, it seems like the issues from last year and the year before are still present and the team plays exactly the same way.
I am also down on this team and I feel I can respond to you reasonably.
Quote:
1. Getting hemmed in our own zone: Our "great defense" constantly loses one on one battles in the corners in our zone and then when they finally do gain possession what do they do? They throw it blindly up the boards to a player of the opposing team.
This is true. Some guys do try to make outlet passes- we saw it in the Kings game the other night. But you have to keep in mind that the ability to make those passes equally depends on the opposing team's presence and positioning in the neutral zone. As a defenseman, you can't risk putting the puck on the tape of an opposing sweater.

This is a strong point that we actually have on the team, and it's part of our strong D- Johnny Moore and Ryan McDonagh, for example, are two guys who are capable of carrying the puck to and through the neutral zone.

But they need the confidence, coaching support, and most importantly on ice support from their forwards to do so. Otherwise they'll just be coming back the other way.

Quote:
I made a thread about this EXACT issue either last season or the season before. This is a huge problem and speaks to the lack of composure of our defensive-core. How can this defense be heralded as some great shut-down unit if every time they get the puck in our own zone they just panic and throw it away? This leads to my next point...
The fact is that our defensive shutdown ability is nothing to be messed with. Being pressed in our own zone means that our D is making smart plays to keep the puck out of high risk areas in most cases.

Their job is to clear the slot. They keep the puck out of high risk scoring areas. When the puck gets forced up the boards or behind the net in our end, the defensemen are doing their job.

We call this keeping the puck outside. Blocking shots is an additional responsibility that a lot of NHL defensemen (and forwards,) particularly our guys, take on. This means that the D does their job of keeping the puck in low percentage scoring areas (portions of the ice where goals are less likely to be scored- outside the faceoff circles, beneath the goal line, towards the blue line, etc.) and add another layer of defense in taking away a layer of lower percentage scoring opportunities.

I think I can address your primary concerns right here, which is our inability to make outlet passes or carry the puck into neutral territory. I completely agree that this is an issue, especially against physical teams.

We absolutely need defensive duos to force turnovers in our own end and either feed outlet passes or carry the puck. The trouble is that we really don't have any Beukeboom's in the system, and our Leetch types (Moore and McDonagh) haven't quite grown into the puck carrying role yet.

All that being said, there's really nothing to worry about in our D. I think the scouts and development folks have been placing great emphasis on those big D men we need, and we've already happened upon some great puck carrying D.

And yes, we have amazing shutdown guys in the meantime. I hope this helps.

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10-09-2013, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanned On It View Post
After watching the SJ game last night, it seems like the issues from last year and the year before are still present and the team plays exactly the same way.

1. Getting hemmed in our own zone: Our "great defense" constantly loses one on one battles in the corners in our zone and then when they finally do gain possession what do they do? They throw it blindly up the boards to a player of the opposing team. I made a thread about this EXACT issue either last season or the season before. This is a huge problem and speaks to the lack of composure of our defensive-core. How can this defense be heralded as some great shut-down unit if every time they get the puck in our own zone they just panic and throw it away? This leads to my next point...

2. Inability to make passes: Starting with looking at our defensive-zone passing, one thing I noticed a CRAP ton in the SJ game was our players' unwillingness to hold onto the puck for that split second to actually make a play to another player. I saw too many hacks and whacks at the puck instead of controlling and passing it to safety. I noticed a lot of this from Staal, Pyatt and Pouliot but everyone on the team is guilty of it. It's that whole feel of them playing timidly and not having the confidence (skill?) to settle the puck and themselves and make a god damn play. This then permeates to the neutral zone (the most important area to pass the puck well in) where our players will opt to chip the puck off the boards to no one instead of either passing it back to the D and regrouping or passing East - West to an actual player's stick. What's worse is that when our players DO try to pass laterally they usually don't make the pass tape-to-tape and it slows down the rush to the point where the player receiving the pass is out of room before he has a chance to do anything. It's so frustrating watching our team SUCK at passing while almost every other team's players can connect with relative ease.

3. Deflections are killing us. It seems like most goals scored against us are garbage goals - shots from the point that either hit our players and go in or get deflected by someone on the other team. I'm not really sure how you remedy this because obviously deflections are dangerous for every team in the league but damn do I get angry when Hank makes great saves all game long and then gets beat by a deflection that he had absolutely no chance on (and then I come on here and read people saying that they think Hank had a terrible game/games).

Like I said... these issues are recurring and even though it's only the third game under our new coach, it is still discouraging to see them in full force. I always thought our team's problems were on the players (even back when Torts was here) and their lack of skill/confidence/poise. I guess this season will show whether or not that is the case.
This is exactly why I go on and on about Strålman to the point where I've alienated 86.7% of the posters on this board. His strong points are exactly what you bring up here, he is calm with the puck which makes him our best break out passer as it is hard to pressure him into a mistake. Concurrently, we don't spend a lot of time in our own end with him on the ice. Running around in our own end is what leads to these deflection goals as even a stray wrister becomes dangerous with enough traffic in front.

He led our team in TOI vs the Sharks and managed to be even in +/- and a freaking positive in Fenwick differential (17-16) in a game where the Sharks won Fenwick 62-33. That means the Sharks had a 46-16 advantage when Strålman was off the ice (Fenwick is shots on goal plus missed shots for those rusty on your #fancystats).

We have our Dan Girardi on the first pairing, the Sharks have their two "Girardi"s (Stuart, Hannan) on the third pairing or in the press box. They've built their defence the right way: with emphasis on puck movement instead of hitting and blocking shots.

Though I have to say that our passing game likely will get better as the season goes along. I think a lot of it is rust from the Torts days where the players basically weren't allowed to pass the puck in that manner, the only thing that mattered was to get it up the ice and behind the opponent's net ASAP no excuses. That isn't a viable strategy in modern hockey (IMO), but it takes some readjustment after spending four years in that system.


Last edited by Blue Blooded: 10-09-2013 at 05:23 AM.
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Old
10-09-2013, 05:26 AM
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Why stop there. I'll continue your list. We can rename the thread "Ranger-isms".

4. Losing momentum after scoring a goal. Every other team in the league benefits from scoring. Not only does it give them a lead, they build off of the success and carry it forward. Our special group of ****ing retards thinks it gives them a buffer zone, so they completely lay off the moment they score. The Rangers scoring is often followed up with being trapped in our own zone for minutes at a time, taking a penalty, or getting scored on. It's the tell-tale sign of a group of mentally weak idiots.

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10-09-2013, 06:00 AM
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Maybe the fact that we give up so many deflected goals has to do something with the keeper's inability to stop them. Nah, that can't be it.

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10-09-2013, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by nils2317 View Post
Maybe the fact that we give up so many deflected goals has to do something with the keeper's inability to stop them. Nah, that can't be it.
Yes. Yes it can.

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10-09-2013, 06:55 AM
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The recurring issue is the man in charge of this **** show, and that'd be none other than the man himself I and drew like to call the Teflon GM. Hopefully Henrik leaves so I can see him hoist the Cup because it ain't happening here. Then when this team is a lottery team Dolan will wake up and can his ass

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10-09-2013, 07:31 AM
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5. This team has no collective mental fortitude. They catch a bad break and next think you know it's spinning out of control and a 19 year old is pulling a Malik during the game.

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10-09-2013, 07:49 AM
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The NHL is now a speed dominated league and frankly, we are not a quick team at all.

We were simply overwhelmed by dominant speed last night and it broke us down to the point where there was a total collapse.

Stepan: average skater. Richards: depending on smarts and experience as he has lost most of his quickness. MZA: love how he changed his game and improved his skating but still not fast. Boyle and Pyatt: slow. 4th liners: there for a reason.

Good to very good skaters (but not exactly speed demons): Nash, Cally, Brassard.

On D we have two fast skaters: McD and Moore. Love Staal to death but the thing that keeps him from being an elite D is his lack of speed. MDZ: quick but not fast. Stals: OK. Girardi: OK

We need to upgrade our team speed ASAP: hopefully Hags returns soon. We need Kreider and Miller up and playing instead of our slower players. Have not seen enough of Fast yet to no whether he is quick or fast.

Yes, I know we have other problems that need to be addressed but team speed, often associated with younger players, needs to be fixed now.

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10-09-2013, 08:04 AM
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So it wasn't Tortorella after all? How long before we hire Peter Laviolette?

It was the second night of a back to back. Stepan and Callahan still getting into shape and Nash out after the first period. There were some ****ed up SJ goals as well--such as the referee could have got two assists on the first San Jose goal by Vlasic. Nice job by him of continuing to keep the play alive for them. The Couture goal hitting off the backboards behind our goal and popping over the net into the crease. The one Hertl goal where Dan Boyle's broken stick lying on the ice not only intercepts the pass but deflects the puck back in the opposite direction--our team going one way the puck going the other. I didn't watch the 3rd. I'll not comment on those but San Jose benefited from a lot of strange bounces and they were the fresher team and in their own rink and got momentum off of those breaks.

Now the issue for me--is when your team is getting pasted on the scoreboard--sorry to say it folks but once it hits 4-1, 5-1 and you're missing your best forward clean hit or not it's time to start running people, ****ing with their goalie etc. etc. and looking up and down the Sharks roster last night--they are not a tough team at all--problem is neither are we but they don't even have a Dorsett or Asham. The Rangers had no legs and no grit last night. No one played well.

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10-09-2013, 08:06 AM
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We need to stop turning the puck over in between the blue lines. That solves quite a few of the goals that we let up last night.

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10-09-2013, 08:17 AM
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Bad GMing. Bad coaching. Bad minor league coaching. Bad scouting. Bad drafting. Bad development. No speed. No grit. Lack of skill. Lack of on-ice leadership. Lack of hockey IQ. Mentally soft. The vaunted defense corps is a paper tiger when not playing in an ultra-defensive system. There are maybe five players on this roster worth keeping after this season.

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10-09-2013, 08:28 AM
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There's another 79 games to be played with a brand new coach... Hagelin is a big piece we're missing... The team seemed to really struggle when Nash was sent to the locker room... After that point, these guys were getting walked around like turnstiles in their own defensive zone.

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10-09-2013, 08:29 AM
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AV's system is prone to these meltdowns sometimes when lots of players have a bad night. The Vancouver fans on their board just chalked it up to being one of "those games".

Let's just hope our share of "those games" doesn't end up being in the SCF.

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10-09-2013, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by iamitter View Post
AV's system is prone to these meltdowns sometimes when lots of players have a bad night. The Vancouver fans on their board just chalked it up to being one of "those games".

Let's just hope our share of "those games" doesn't end up being in the SCF.
SCF? What? Did you not see a bunch of journeymen and low compete players mail it in during game 3 of the season? What do you think is going to happen during meaningful minutes?

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10-09-2013, 08:37 AM
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What exactly is the magic number that allows a team to play an offensive-ish system versus a 'collapse the net at all costs' defensive system? Renney didn't have the horses. Torts didn't have the horses. Now AV doesn't have the horses? If the benchmark for an offensive system is being able to ice the lineup that the Pens, Blackhawks or Sharks have.. then there's something wrong there.

The fact that we have the same issues year after year has as much to do with the people running the show as it does the players.

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10-09-2013, 08:37 AM
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AV's system is prone to these meltdowns sometimes when lots of players have a bad night. The Vancouver fans on their board just chalked it up to being one of "those games".

Let's just hope our share of "those games" doesn't end up being in the SCF.
Yea....something tells me we aren't going to have to worry about that.

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10-09-2013, 08:42 AM
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Bad GMing. Bad coaching. Bad minor league coaching. Bad scouting. Bad drafting. Bad development. No speed. No grit. Lack of skill. Lack of on-ice leadership. Lack of hockey IQ. Mentally soft. The vaunted defense corps is a paper tiger when not playing in an ultra-defensive system. There are maybe five players on this roster worth keeping after this season.
Then why watch?

Wouldn't these be the kinds of things that would cause you to support another team altogether?

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10-09-2013, 08:44 AM
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SCF? What? Did you not see a bunch of journeymen and low compete players mail it in during game 3 of the season? What do you think is going to happen during meaningful minutes?
See: Vancouver had these kinds of games

See: 2011 Stanley Cup Final

This game means nothing

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10-09-2013, 08:45 AM
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Bad GMing. Bad coaching. Bad minor league coaching. Bad scouting. Bad drafting. Bad development. No speed. No grit. Lack of skill. Lack of on-ice leadership. Lack of hockey IQ. Mentally soft. The vaunted defense corps is a paper tiger when not playing in an ultra-defensive system. There are maybe five players on this roster worth keeping after this season.
And somehow we keep managing to make the playoffs year after year

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10-09-2013, 08:46 AM
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Is this the return of the annual "This is a bad hockey team" thread?

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10-09-2013, 08:46 AM
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So it wasn't Tortorella after all? How long before we hire Peter Laviolette?

It was the second night of a back to back. Stepan and Callahan still getting into shape and Nash out after the first period. There were some ****ed up SJ goals as well--such as the referee could have got two assists on the first San Jose goal by Vlasic. Nice job by him of continuing to keep the play alive for them. The Couture goal hitting off the backboards behind our goal and popping over the net into the crease. The one Hertl goal where Dan Boyle's broken stick lying on the ice not only intercepts the pass but deflects the puck back in the opposite direction--our team going one way the puck going the other. I didn't watch the 3rd. I'll not comment on those but San Jose benefited from a lot of strange bounces and they were the fresher team and in their own rink and got momentum off of those breaks.

Now the issue for me--is when your team is getting pasted on the scoreboard--sorry to say it folks but once it hits 4-1, 5-1 and you're missing your best forward clean hit or not it's time to start running people, ****ing with their goalie etc. etc. and looking up and down the Sharks roster last night--they are not a tough team at all--problem is neither are we but they don't even have a Dorsett or Asham. The Rangers had no legs and no grit last night. No one played well.
Seriously, how hard is this to comprehend? The right side of our D could use some tweaking and I'd like to see some of the kids playing over the Pyatts of the world, but 90% of this game can be put down to: crazy road trip, new coach, two forwards just getting into shape (plus a third still missing), best forward getting injured in the first, and - most importantly - second game of a back-to-back against a damn good team in their building.

This happens again with a full squad after two days of rest playing in MSG in mid-November and then it's time to panic.




(For the record, Laviolette was the guy I wanted when we hired Torts, so I wouldn't be upset if we got him at all, but you've got to give AV at least a full season, no?)

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10-09-2013, 08:49 AM
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SCF? What? Did you not see a bunch of journeymen and low compete players mail it in during game 3 of the season? What do you think is going to happen during meaningful minutes?
I'm sure our players are all more embarrassed after that game than you or any other fan is.

Alas, unlike some "true fans" here, I'm not ready to call the season over. Remember, even the 10-11 season, we started out on the road and came back 3-3-3 and we didn't even deserve those points - we played like absolute ****.

It'll take a bit of time to adjust to a new system. Players will have to learn that you can jump in, but that's not an excuse for forgetting how to play defense. I'd rather they get this wake up call now than in the middle of the season.


There were many points in the Kings game where we absolutely dominated them as badly as the Sharks dominated us last night. That game, in the end, is no more or less important than the LA game or the PHX game.

After that abortion of a game, I fully expect us to come out with a fire in our belly Thursday and play like we did with the Kings.

AV's teams are notoriously slow starters. If we end the season 50-25-7, nobody will remember this travesty except for the players, who'll do their best it never happens again. I'd like to be a fly on the wall in our locker room after the game. The way some of you talk, it's like you expect our team to be happy with the way they played. It's G3. Maybe let's not throw in the towel just yet.


To all you lovers of the 11-12 season, go back and look at some of the PGT's of the first few games of that season.

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10-09-2013, 08:59 AM
  #24
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I'm sure our players are all more embarrassed after that game than you or any other fan is.

Alas, unlike some "true fans" here, I'm not ready to call the season over. Remember, even the 10-11 season, we started out on the road and came back 3-3-3 and we didn't even deserve those points - we played like absolute ****.

It'll take a bit of time to adjust to a new system. Players will have to learn that you can jump in, but that's not an excuse for forgetting how to play defense. I'd rather they get this wake up call now than in the middle of the season.


There were many points in the Kings game where we absolutely dominated them as badly as the Sharks dominated us last night. That game, in the end, is no more or less important than the LA game or the PHX game.

After that abortion of a game, I fully expect us to come out with a fire in our belly Thursday and play like we did with the Kings.

AV's teams are notoriously slow starters. If we end the season 50-25-7, nobody will remember this travesty except for the players, who'll do their best it never happens again. I'd like to be a fly on the wall in our locker room after the game. The way some of you talk, it's like you expect our team to be happy with the way they played. It's G3. Maybe let's not throw in the towel just yet.


To all you lovers of the 11-12 season, go back and look at some of the PGT's of the first few games of that season.
I had a wait and see approach until the Vancouver game this preseason before things starting becoming obvious. Considering its game 3 of the regular season, after 6 in the preseason, and the team is 2-7... has been badly outscored several times, and just quit on a game where it's top forward took a headshot without a response....

Well all I'll say is my sense of pragmatism outweighs my sense of optimism. I don't think unconditional loyalty should get in the way of what the eye sees.

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10-09-2013, 09:00 AM
  #25
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I had a wait and see approach until the Vancouver game this preseason before things starting becoming obvious. Considering its game 3 of the regular season, after 6 in the preseason, and the team is 2-7... has been badly outscored several times, and just quit on a game where it's top forward took a headshot without a response....

Well all I'll say is my sense of pragmatism outweighs my sense of optimism. I don't think unconditional loyalty should get in the way of what the eye sees.
Hey, I agree with this in general - I just don't think the eye has seen a large enough sample size until about mid-November.

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