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Eakins cold-called Dallas Cowboys' HC, sits in on Cowboys' TC

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Old
08-13-2014, 01:56 PM
  #326
Beatle17
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Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
Comparing Sutter, one of the best hockey minds in the business and a tireless worker when he is at work with Eakins a raw rookie NHL coach without a clue is a tad misleading no?

Additionally the LA Kings have a club that can sleep walk through the regular season and get to the playoffs. Its a team that cares about the playoffs. So in that sense as well completely different.
Sorry it came across that way. Not comparing Sutter at all. Response was based upon tongue in cheek comment about coach taking time to farm and drink beer.

My comment was only based on the fact that nobody knows what Eakins actually has done to prepare, maybe he has already laid out everything, and then he took time to travel and see how other sports prepare. If this is what he has done then the comparison to Sutter about already preparing for next season is appropriate. But if he hasn't done this preparation then other posters comments and concerns about him traveling about and training for ultra marathons type events are appropriate.

Oiler fans should hope it is the first scenario and not the latter.

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08-13-2014, 02:35 PM
  #327
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Its interesting in the exchange that Eakins for weeks visiting NFL/NCAA camps, taking part in extreme events is considered "breaks from work" (assuming he's working a lot on NHL headcoaching) and hey, he has 5mths "break" while the mere observation that Eakins is out of town chasing rainbows, and not in town, just like last year, is rendered null and void analysis.

Neither of us know what is actually occurring.

However, nobody should be arguing that a rookie head coach coming into town last season a week in advance was a good idea. So its obvious that people are going to want to track his movements this year. He's earned that scrutiny entirely.

As stated it is my hope that Eakins has recognized this mistake. Its my hope I find out he's in Edmonton hitting up the prep today. Which maybe happens, maybe it doesn't.

In anycase the proof will be in the pudding. We'll know soon enough if Eakins preparations were adequate.
This is what it all boils down to. Truth is we don't know **** what Eakins have been doing to prepare himself for the season or what he needs to succeed. Personally I don't care if he's been riding around on butterflies, blowing bubbles and chasing flying saucers with his magic ping-pong racket as long as he ends up coaching a winning team when the show starts.

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08-13-2014, 02:59 PM
  #328
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Sorry it came across that way. Not comparing Sutter at all. Response was based upon tongue in cheek comment about coach taking time to farm and drink beer.

My comment was only based on the fact that nobody knows what Eakins actually has done to prepare, maybe he has already laid out everything, and then he took time to travel and see how other sports prepare. If this is what he has done then the comparison to Sutter about already preparing for next season is appropriate. But if he hasn't done this preparation then other posters comments and concerns about him traveling about and training for ultra marathons type events are appropriate.

Oiler fans should hope it is the first scenario and not the latter.
WEll hypothetically I can hope, but I spent that last year. Eakins coaching has removed me of any hope for how this season starts.

I think the only thing I didn't fully expect last year is how completely Eakins as headcoach would manage to deepsix the club with great efficiency. Something Tambo and his **** eating grin would've been proud of.

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08-13-2014, 04:44 PM
  #329
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Speculating on coaching is all garbage to me, the only people who can properly judge how good the coach is properly are the people inside the dressing room. Eakins may not have had a great season, probably due to some things he could control, and lots of things he couldn't (Dubnyk, starting season injuries etc etc..) He was a rookie and is actively trying to improve himself, we all get better at what we do given time and effort. It's evident that he is putting in both his time and effort right now and that deserves credit whether or not you are a fan of him. There's a chance he comes in and the team doesn't perform as expected once again, but there's also a chance that Eakins shows the kind of improvement that we saw glimpses of at the tail end of last year. Most people expect this team to be garbage, so I guess we can't expect playoffs out of Eakins... Since that is more of an on ice personnel issue....

Anyways, he's clearly trying to gain inspiration and obviously actively introspecting. It's refreshing and sets a good example to players that one can always continue to grow and reinvent oneself. He is setting an example of commitment this summer and even if he doesn't gain much tangible skills through his time with the Cowboys he's showing our players that he is willing to work as hard as he can for them and can expect them to do the same for him. Whether your a fan of him or not, it seems absolutely ridiculous to twist this in any negative way. I'd rather him do this than go away to mexico and drink tequila all summer. Coaches can improve themselves, coaches can change their methods and a coach whose open to exploring other methods is a coach willing to change for the better. Lets all hope Eakins can change for the better, it's evident he's trying.

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08-13-2014, 05:42 PM
  #330
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About the hours that coaches work, I think the Cult of the Coach, has some fairly serious hour pumping going on. Let's look at their job - they hire their buddies, they work in ultimate man caves, they have free meals, have a crap load of televisions and other toys, plus they get to talk about their favourite sport most of their time. I can't help thinking that a significant amount of their time equates to what I call lunch.

p.s. The Cult of the Coach applies more to football coaches. If I am to believe their self promotion and the media's response, the biggest problem with coaches is that they are dealing with sports not curing cancer, ending hunger, or bringing peace to the Middle East.


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08-14-2014, 10:57 AM
  #331
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Not sure where to post this so I'll post it here.

I know it's old news (the swarm system.) But a thought occured to me after reading a posters take on his 2nd favorite team, the Bruins.

From my understanding of the swarm, it looks like a fairly complex system, as the B's fan pointed out that an experienced D like the Bruins can pull off.

I'm not going to try to give Eakins a free pass on a failed system, but here was and is my thought on it, especially after reading this article on Oilers Nation:

http://oilersnation.com/2013/10/1/sy...s-at-the-swarm

Is it possible that Eakins used a more complex system like the swarm (seems complex to me anyways) to see where the Oil D and positioning actually stood. You know, kind of a litmus test which would prove to be difficult for the players.

It probably showed Eakins and MacT how defensively inept (or inexperienced to be politically correct) the team was under the previous coaches as well.

Just a thought I thought I'd share for you vultures to pick apart at the rotting bones and fetid sinew morsels that was the teams Defence last year.

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08-14-2014, 11:59 AM
  #332
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Originally Posted by Dorian2 View Post
Not sure where to post this so I'll post it here.

I know it's old news (the swarm system.) But a thought occured to me after reading a posters take on his 2nd favorite team, the Bruins.

From my understanding of the swarm, it looks like a fairly complex system, as the B's fan pointed out that an experienced D like the Bruins can pull off.

I'm not going to try to give Eakins a free pass on a failed system, but here was and is my thought on it, especially after reading this article on Oilers Nation:

http://oilersnation.com/2013/10/1/sy...s-at-the-swarm

Is it possible that Eakins used a more complex system like the swarm (seems complex to me anyways) to see where the Oil D and positioning actually stood. You know, kind of a litmus test which would prove to be difficult for the players.

It probably showed Eakins and MacT how defensively inept (or inexperienced to be politically correct) the team was under the previous coaches as well.

Just a thought I thought I'd share for you vultures to pick apart at the rotting bones and fetid sinew morsels that was the teams Defence last year.
you are right as a whole of your idea. the Swarm which 90% of the people here that reference have no idea what it entails is not exactly a complex system but not one that you can impose on players in a training camp and expect it to work. it takes a ton of player education to properly execute. Like a defensive system in football if one or more of the parts are too slow to react or caught out of position it can end up a disaster. I dont think eakins installed the system to gauge where the team was at i think he legit thought it would work with our team speed. It didnt, it looked horrible but the pieces that were the majority of the fail have moved on. i dont think it is unrealistic to see a variation of it next season with the improvement on the back end in the off season.

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08-14-2014, 12:39 PM
  #333
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you are right as a whole of your idea. the Swarm which 90% of the people here that reference have no idea what it entails is not exactly a complex system but not one that you can impose on players in a training camp and expect it to work. it takes a ton of player education to properly execute. Like a defensive system in football if one or more of the parts are too slow to react or caught out of position it can end up a disaster. I dont think eakins installed the system to gauge where the team was at i think he legit thought it would work with our team speed. It didnt, it looked horrible but the pieces that were the majority of the fail have moved on. i dont think it is unrealistic to see a variation of it next season with the improvement on the back end in the off season.
That's what struck me as well, after reading that very well written article on it...I think it was well written and explained allot anyways. Proper positioning seems to be a very key factor in the practice and execution of the system.

And since at some point in the season Eakins went on record saying that his team pretty much knew squat about D, I thought that maybe he employed it to see where they actually were as far as positioning skills were involved.

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08-14-2014, 02:59 PM
  #334
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That's what struck me as well, after reading that very well written article on it...I think it was well written and explained allot anyways. Proper positioning seems to be a very key factor in the practice and execution of the system.

And since at some point in the season Eakins went on record saying that his team pretty much knew squat about D, I thought that maybe he employed it to see where they actually were as far as positioning skills were involved.
i actually read the article over lunch here and i would agree with most of what it said, from a coaching point of view you can have the best system available in an ideal situation but it is alos more important to have a system that fits your teams strengths.

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08-14-2014, 05:05 PM
  #335
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In short... the swarm didn't work because the Oilers didn't have players who had the defensive awareness and hockey sense without the puck to be applying that system... in general too young, too small, too inexperienced, too much roster turnover with very little team chemisty.

I know it's 20/20 hindsight to some degree... but a coach coming in and pulling that out of the bag thinking it would work can't help but be labelled naive at best... or incompetent at worst.

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08-14-2014, 06:55 PM
  #336
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In short... the swarm didn't work because the Oilers didn't have players who had the defensive awareness and hockey sense without the puck to be applying that system... in general too young, too small, too inexperienced, too much roster turnover with very little team chemisty.

I know it's 20/20 hindsight to some degree... but a coach coming in and pulling that out of the bag thinking it would work can't help but be labelled naive at best... or incompetent at worst.
Although I'm one of the Eakins backers, more because I want to see some consistency in the coaching ranks for this team that has gone through a game of 52 pickup with coaches.....I do happen to agree with many of the things you and other posters post that are on his case all the time.

Just remember that I'm very well aware of what Eakins has messed up in his first season when I post something to back him up from the pitchforks that are, rightfully so, out.


Just covering my butt here.

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08-14-2014, 07:00 PM
  #337
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In short... the swarm didn't work because the Oilers didn't have players who had the defensive awareness and hockey sense without the puck to be applying that system... in general too young, too small, too inexperienced, too much roster turnover with very little team chemisty.

I know it's 20/20 hindsight to some degree... but a coach coming in and pulling that out of the bag thinking it would work can't help but be labelled naive at best... or incompetent at worst.
Only part I'd disagree with is any of this being hindsight. Eakins made many comments that were scary prior to a puck ever being dropped last season and that gave pause for thought

The notion that was apparent in his comments is this is somebody out in left field. People here try to think of it as thinking outside of the box. Not really, his ideas are ludicrous. For instance one of Eakins statements he talks about there being a playbook in football with many plays players have to know, read, adapt to and felt that hockey should have the same. In fact he stated its "CRAZY" that hockey doesn't involve the same and that hockey players should have several plays and schemes drilled into them which they should automatically adopt in real time during the play of the fastest game on the planet.

That Eakins couldn't draw distinction between football, a set piece static game, and free flow hockey is an indictment. I hear comments like that from Eakins and know this guy will go down in history here for the wrong reasons.

Its not just that Eakins adopted the swarm, its that he's overthought and overshot what is reasonably possible in realtime pattern recognition in hockey. Especially considering a team that had trouble applying any system. Eakins came in here thinking a club that had demonstrated consistent difficulty understanding such basics as covering trailers and passing lanes would be able to adopt a high risk high reward pressure scheme complete with hot options. That this was going to be a bomb consistently going off should have been evident to most posters if not Eakins himself.

Lets compare it to football. An astute guy like Stubler will run aggressive stunting schemes when afforded the talent, speed and aware players to do that. Basically guys that can read with speed and know the play that's being run most of the time. To play aggressive and complex schemes with players not yet ready for primetime is the perfect way to showcase their inability. In most any team sport.

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08-14-2014, 09:18 PM
  #338
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In short... the swarm didn't work because the Oilers didn't have players who had the defensive awareness and hockey sense without the puck to be applying that system... in general too young, too small, too inexperienced, too much roster turnover with very little team chemisty.

I know it's 20/20 hindsight to some degree... but a coach coming in and pulling that out of the bag thinking it would work can't help but be labelled naive at best... or incompetent at worst.
Clode in Boston has box protective Dmen.

To sum it up...and put it in simple terms a swarm is extreme committee play. The focus is on the puck and everyone is focussed on possession.

Looking at how MacT assessed the roster he was given in his first solo presser as GM...he said his d were basically impotent, his bottom six was a black hole, and his top six were too small and passive to play a slow paced game in closed quarters. Without drastic overhauls it would seem that the oilers needed to rely on speed and agility combined with their skill and perform defense, and offense, by aggressive committee puck support and pursuit.
That equals swarm.

Lets nit forget that teams adjust their systems and have different systems for different situations five on five. I am not a coach but as a player i worked with triangle in my mind at all times. Me, my d partner and my centre, or who took that responsibility formed a triangle of support and coaches would adjust how those points were to be spaced and under what situations, under what

Boston is great to watch because they can play a collapse, an overload, and swarm...all shown in high def on three back to back to back opposition entries. Watch a player with the puck try to turn his back, go to his back hand onehanded, or lose control and you start seeing boston players change positions to assess a swarm.

The difference is Boston has the D and Centres they have. Like i said...i am no coach, and i ran EVERYTHING in my head off a tringle of 2d and centres. Boston has Chara, Boychuk, Seids... And Krejci and Bergeron (as far as iam concerned two of the three BEST BEST centres in the world). All os the players they choose to draft have high hockey IQ and thats their deciding factor, not just skill. Ability to read plays, ability to read a defensemans next two seconds of decisions, ability to manipulate their covers, identify opposing systems in the moment.

Now MacT has given us better box defending d...you can look up the advanced box stats...who are still mobile. He has gotten us two wingers with size that are good at performing in an overload system and can be versatile for a coach thru the roster.
Finally i think MacTs questions of our goaltending being the questionable major problem with the team(so questionable in his mind that he avoided talk of goaltending at first and tried to deflect those questions which showed he had no trust)..that led to the defense by committee mantra...has been proven and put to bed. The idea that we needed to go all in at having the puck...that even a long shot from centre could kill us kind of mentality...is done now. Yes our goalies sucked. Soon the long lupul shots along the ice from thirty feet were going in with no price to pay and regularity akin to the sun rising in the morning.

I suspect the more conservative system will evolve more now with the incoming d and as the core grows we will see more systems implemented in the same game. I dont blame Eakins for thinking it could work with the speed and agility available. When i think of swarm i think...weak d and very fast and agile players...Swarm with weak goalie? DONT DARE LOSE THE PUCK.


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08-14-2014, 09:42 PM
  #339
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So since the swarm didn't work, what system will/should Eakins employ to fully utilize the team's strengths? That swarm article was the first system type of thing I've read, and I found it very enlightening. If someone suggests a system to use, I will most likely research it as well.

I'm a total retard when it comes to systems. I haven't really looked at them at all in my 35 years of watching hockey.

I'll admit it, I'm systemly declined.


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08-14-2014, 09:58 PM
  #340
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Clode in Boston has box protective Dmen.

To sum it up...and put it in simple terms a swarm is extreme committee play. The focus is on the puck and everyone is focussed on possession.

Looking at how MacT assessed the roster he was given in his first solo presser as GM...he said his d were basically impotent, his bottom six was a black hole, and his top six were too small and passive to play a slow paced game in closed quarters. Without drastic overhauls it would seem that the oilers needed to rely on speed and agility combined with their skill and perform defense, and offense, by aggressive committee puck support and pursuit.
That equals swarm.

Lets nit forget that teams adjust their systems and have different systems for different situations five on five. I am not a coach but as a player i worked with triangle in my mind at all times. Me, my d partner and my centre, or who took that responsibility formed a triangle of support and coaches would adjust how those points were to be spaced and under what situations, under what

Boston is great to watch because they can play a collapse, an overload, and swarm...all shown in high def on three back to back to back opposition entries. Watch a player with the puck try to turn his back, go to his back hand onehanded, or lose control and you start seeing boston players change positions to assess a swarm.

The difference is Boston has the D and Centres they have. Like i said...i am no coach, and i ran EVERYTHING in my head off a tringle of 2d and centres. Boston has Chara, Boychuk, Seids... And Krejci and Bergeron (as far as iam concerned two of the three BEST BEST centres in the world). All os the players they choose to draft have high hockey IQ and thats their deciding factor, not just skill. Ability to read plays, ability to read a defensemans next two seconds of decisions, ability to manipulate their covers, identify opposing systems in the moment.

Now MacT has given us better box defending d...you can look up the advanced box stats...who are still mobile. He has gotten us two wingers with size that are good at performing in an overload system and can be versatile for a coach thru the roster.
Finally i think MacTs questions of our goaltending being the questionable major problem with the team(so questionable in his mind that he avoided talk of goaltending at first and tried to deflect those questions which showed he had no trust)..that led to the defense by committee mantra...has been proven and put to bed. The idea that we needed to go all in at having the puck...that even a long shot from centre could kill us kind of mentality...is done now. Yes our goalies sucked. Soon the long lupul shots along the ice from thirty feet were going in with no price to pay and regularity akin to the sun rising in the morning.

I suspect the more conservative system will evolve more now with the incoming d and as the core grows we will see more systems implemented in the same game. I dont blame Eakins for thinking it could work with the speed and agility available. When i think of swarm i think...weak d and very fast and agile players...Swarm with weak goalie? DONT DARE LOSE THE PUCK.
To me this is twisted. The last thing a club like the Oil should want to do is play an aggressive attacking system which only served to open up critical areas of the ice, i.e. slot, crease, for opponents. This was evident immediately. Teams at this level were playing games with our overcommitment. What the Swarm did was create more critical situations where the Oil were outmanned in critical areas.

The Oilers could've used any collapse scheme employed by Euro teams to put and keep bodies in critical areas and at least try to limit the quality of opponent chances. We even had players like Smid, N Schultz, Fraser, more capable of playing that kind of game.

I'll maintain always that good clubs can play an aggressive scheme and not get caught as often. For a bad team with poor attention to detail to try it was certain death.

This compounded our goaltending problems, it certainly didn't help.

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09-05-2014, 04:38 PM
  #341
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This whole article is good, but this tidbit was interesting...

Quote:
Johnston is a football fan who once observed Chip Kelly’s practices at the University of Oregon and has already visited a Steelers practice in Pittsburgh, hoping to pick up ideas he can translate to hockey. He compares it to a football offense. The puck-carrier is like a quarterback making reads.

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09-05-2014, 05:12 PM
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This whole article is good, but this tidbit was interesting...
It is interesting, thanks.

Heres a different world view.

Some of the brightest managers have some of the biggest disconnects from who they manage.
With some errors created just out of brilliant confusion. About aiming too high when the audience isn't there. Eakins did that with this audience and a team not ever accused of being overly bright or system prepared.

This Johnson guy is obviously bright, experimental, and wanting to blaze new trails. However the degree of intricacy in what he's talking about in preparation and drills and possession and gaining zones can either be a ticket to cohesion or confusion.

In Edmonton, under Eakins the players chose confusion, they chose tapping out, and quickly, when last seen.

Maybe we need an MMA guy in here

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09-05-2014, 05:38 PM
  #343
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I see all this talk about how the players were not ready to handle the system, or not good enough.

IMO the "swarm" just flat out sucks and doesn't work.

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09-06-2014, 09:46 AM
  #344
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Everybody learns............???

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This whole article is good, but this tidbit was interesting...
Everybody learns things differently, at different speeds, at different methods, from books, from actual doing things (practice), from observation, from listening to lectures, from conversation with other people.........etc, etc, etc......

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09-06-2014, 11:15 AM
  #345
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Oh good, this thread again.

Maybe we should start *****ing about how Eakins participated in a team marathon with Ference and Simon Whitfield.

Dude should be chained to his desk at Rexall.

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09-06-2014, 12:08 PM
  #346
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Here is a site that explains some systems. I found the house and inverted house systems fairly interesting. Haven't got to all of them yet.

http://icehockeyplaysandsystems.word...zone-coverage/

Seems a little complicated to me because I never learned these when I was playing.

All I had was an old 1970's Howie Meeker book. (Which was a fantastic book BTW)


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