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2011-12 Regular Season Strategy, Playing Style, Execution, Coaching Decisions Thread

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Old
10-18-2011, 11:08 AM
  #1
bp13
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Question about the Caps

I'm a Bruins fan just trying to keep tabs on the other teams in the league.

Last year the Caps made an obvious move towards a more defensive game, and they obviously succeeded in cutting down on goals against. Not sure if you guys felt it was a net gain for them.

But I'm wondering how they seem this year? Have they opened it up a bit, have the coaches spoke out on their philosophy for this year, how have they looked to date?

Any thoughts welcome.

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10-18-2011, 11:24 AM
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CapitalsCupFantasy
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Seems like they're back to a more offensive style, but so far the top 6 isn't doing much and they're living off the 3rd line success so far.

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10-18-2011, 11:26 AM
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ovechkin and backstrom came to camp with the idea they would work their way into shape to peak for the playoffs. dumb idea. semin started off hot, then was injured and couldnt play thru it. green was injured in the 2nd game of the season and was never really healthy all season.

that was the reason for the system change. they couldnt score.

it seems the plan now is to use what they learned last season on defense and apply it with their offensive explosiveness. that and get a power play that can score.

so far its been uneven. they have had ups and downs on both offense and defense. time will tell, but it appears that they are opening it back up with some responsibility.

@cc12...i think the 3rd line has been good, but johansson's group has produced as much. johansson has 2. knuble 1. semin 1. in 4 games. the first line hasnt done a lot. backstrom and ovechkin have 1 even strenth point each.


Last edited by txpd: 10-18-2011 at 11:37 AM.
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Old
10-18-2011, 11:27 AM
  #4
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Yeah its hard to say. Cause the we're not maintaining offensive pressure or getting through the neutral zone regularly unless its the 3rd line. It seems like the wingers are coming down low again... but not cohesively as part of the defense.

I think that BB will take a handful more games to see how this team functions to determine if his new "hybrid" is deployable given the roster.

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10-18-2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapitalsCup2012 View Post
Seems like they're back to a more offensive style, but so far the top 6 isn't doing much and they're living off the 3rd line success so far.
I don't know...Semin, Knuble, Johansson, Backstrom, and Brouwer are all on the board 4 games in. Ovechkin needs to pick it up and he will.

They do need to cycle better. The D have really been providing good offense too.

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10-18-2011, 11:52 AM
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Seems like the O tweak is more about recognizing when to go full on forecheck and when to hang back when the other team has some high percentage outlet options.

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10-18-2011, 12:02 PM
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The bottom 6 has exactly 3 even strength goals so far, all by Chimera. That's not dominance.

Brooks scored a goal, but that was assisted by Ovechkin and Backstrom on the PP.


The top 6 have been fine.

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Old
10-18-2011, 12:46 PM
  #8
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The 3rd line has dominated possession to these eyes. And they've been outstanding defensively. They've brought it in all three zones and severely outplayed both their (strong competition) and the other lines on the team.

They're not lighting up the stats, but they're providing exactly what you want from a third line.

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10-18-2011, 12:47 PM
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Langway
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Not nearly enough consistent good habits or chemistry. (On the other hand, plenty of room for improvement while still managing to win...) The third line did really well the first two games but have faded the past two. The fourth line was fairly consistent vs. PIT until Beagle left. None of the lines were much good vs. OTT.

I've come to expect top six noodling while largely relying on their defensive game to win and that's unlikely to change unless 8/19 are on the top of their game. If this is a veiled fantasy question I wouldn't expect the stars to revert to numbers prior to last season. Modest improvements over last season would be my guess.

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Old
10-18-2011, 12:56 PM
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strungout
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Isnt the 3rd line playing against the other teams top lines?

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10-18-2011, 12:57 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NobodyBeatsTheWiz View Post
The 3rd line has dominated possession to these eyes. And they've been outstanding defensively. They've brought it in all three zones and severely outplayed both their (strong competition) and the other lines on the team.
They're not lighting up the stats, but they're providing exactly what you want from a third line.
Exactly, just because they aren't scoring 3 goals every game doesn't mean they haven't been great. To me so far the 3rd line has been the best line without question. Constant pressure on the forecheck, getting pucks to the net, getting in passing/shooting lanes, and they have also been setting up a decent amount of in zone face-offs.

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10-18-2011, 01:19 PM
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I didn't mean to say the 3rd line was playing bad, I'm just arguing against those that say the 3rd line is carrying the team offensively, which they clearly aren't.

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10-18-2011, 01:44 PM
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I don't see anyone saying the 3rd line is carrying the team, but they've been the best line by far IMO.

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10-18-2011, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
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Isnt the 3rd line playing against the other teams top lines?
Yup. Them and 27-74.

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Old
10-19-2011, 02:45 PM
  #15
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I was also wondering, how was Vokoun been playing? I watched the first game and he was pretty horrendous, has he been playing better or has the defense just been very good so far?

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10-19-2011, 02:51 PM
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D has tightened up some, but against the Pens and Senators there were some pretty long stretches where they absolutely dominated the play and Vokoun was the reason the Caps stayed in it.

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10-19-2011, 08:35 PM
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Our Cycle Game

Its so early in the season still but something that i think others have probably thought and im seeing magnified so far this season is just how dramatic a difference having a good low down cycle matters.

The Chimera Laich Ward line has shown just how impressive, rewarding and how draining for the opposition, a good cycle game can be.

It got me thinking to cup teams. Detroit & the Penguins in recent times stand out to me (i didnt watch too much of last years, still annoyed at losing).
Remembering back to those games, you saw both teams so good down low and just keeping the puck in against the boards and then flipping it out at the right moment to score what starts as a dirty looking play, into a solid pass and shoot goal.

Our 3rd line has shown this same ability and tenacity to grind these plays out.

Now think back a few years. Remember when Backstrom and Ovi scored as much from doing this as the pretty plays. Backstrom by his second season was one of the best players against the boards in the league, and easily the best on the team. I remember them able to hold the puck for lenghty periods to create chances and draw penalties. Come forward again, and for the past 12 months, all you see in your head is a quick offensive burst for the most part, with a shot that may get through, may get blocked, but not enough zone presense to hold it in and get things going.

5 games in, i can see a LITTLE of it returning... perhaps its something they realised, perhaps its seeing the effectiveness of CLW line using a great cycle... watever it is, the proof is in the pudding that having a strong cycle game, gets you to the big dance at the end of the season.

There is still too much cross the blue line and look for a quick play to try and score from the big boys. if its there, by all means, you make that play, but if its not, there are other options to going for the impossible pass or taking an average shot from the outside. work it around the boards, get the cycle going, get the opposition on their heels and draw a penalty or create multiple scoring chances. Either way, you arent going to be scored on if you have the puck in their zone.

Im not saying im seeing something that others havnt already discussed already, but i reckon that it is the key to getting out top guys back on top of their game and making this team a true contender. heck, look at the way Canada played in the Olympics, USA too. Russia (playing similar to washington) simply could not handle the low down cycle play that Canada played so well, and were rightfully dominated.

If the top line were cycling half as well as the 3rd line is right now, imagine how many of those scoring chances would be buried that CLW are still missing. Mentally, they need to adjust, maybe they have already started.

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Old
10-19-2011, 10:03 PM
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californiacapsfan
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Quote:
5 games in, i can see a LITTLE of it returning... perhaps its something they realised, perhaps its seeing the effectiveness of CLW line using a great cycle... watever it is, the proof is in the pudding that having a strong cycle game, gets you to the big dance at the end of the season.
Agree. Especially in the Sens game I noticed several times Ovi making the cycle pass up the RW wall, but no one was there. I've not seen it as much since, but I've not watched all the games. This is vital to their game and will lead to scoring.

More than that, I think the better Ovi and Nick are at this, the more opportunities they will get off the rush too. Teams will be more wary of letting them set up in the zone if they have a wicked cycle and so will back off to try and defend below the goal line, leaving more opportunities between the blue line and the hash marks.

Hope to see more of this in coming games. Will be very important vs. the likes of Philly and Detroit.

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Old
10-20-2011, 05:03 AM
  #19
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i cant remember which game it was (either pit or ottawa i think) but i was harping on this quite a bit. it seems to have improved lately. the 3rd line will never sniff the 1st lines skill, but they could show 'em a thing or 2 about keeping possession in the offensive zone and grinding the opposition down while creating scoring chances. its a bit annoying because both backstrom and brouwer are pretty good in the cycle, particularly nicky down low.

lets see what they do tonight. we need to make their forwards play in their own zone, particularly the giroux line. jagr doesnt appear all that interested in playing defense, quite frankly, so if BB can get the laich line out there and they can chip it around for 2/3rds of a shift, thats awesome...

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10-20-2011, 07:40 AM
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My cycle game


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Old
10-20-2011, 05:30 PM
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well we will see today.....

bb looks pissed off everytime ive seen him this year, interviews included.
reckon he has gone away and done a fair bit of homework in the off season about how to focus this team and how he needs to hold a tight leash.

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10-20-2011, 05:44 PM
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One of the caps game they one in OT they showed the bench when the goal when in BB had no change of expression just walked business-like back into the locker room. Probably his first two seasons he would have been jumping up and down.

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10-20-2011, 05:59 PM
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One of the caps game they one in OT they showed the bench when the goal when in BB had no change of expression just walked business-like back into the locker room. Probably his first two seasons he would have been jumping up and down.
Boudreau hates both scoring goals AND winning games!!! FIRE HIM!!!

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Old
10-20-2011, 09:47 PM
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Boudreau hates both scoring goals AND winning games!!! FIRE HIM!!!
I agree. He got outcoached again tonight. He literally has no idea what he's doing.

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10-20-2011, 10:23 PM
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My cycle game

damn. now I want to play that.

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