Still, the coaching staff must have an effective counter-strategy, *especially* given that this defense is as common as you say it is. Now, whether or not they have put one in place and the players are simply not executing it is an open question, but not a known that anyone here is privy to.
Hell, one of the least talented teams (01-02) executed Maurice's system (that everyone loved to **** on) all the way to the SCF. If you are indeed correctly identifying the root cause of their problems, then I disagree that the talent level has anything to do with it, but could see that the player's brain activity (or lack thereof) might be a factor.
You're addressing two different things though. My point about talent had to do primarily with a lack of secondary scoring. On the point about the neutral zone, it's not a strategy, counter-strategy situation. It's about executing a basic play on a consistent level. Players have to be patient and stop the constant stretch-passing. That was Lavi's system but that's not an inherent part of Muller's. It's about simple, effective, short passes and having the forwards come back and help. This isn't a case of some novel system getting figure out.
Who is that? Honestly, I don't see that any one of them is effectively moving the puck.
I've been most disappointed in Pitkanen, given that I'm generally a fan of his, because he appears to be *so* out of sync with the 3 forwards since his return. Too often, he seems to be pushing ahead before the forwards have set themselves up. On other occasions, like maybe during a line-change, he seems to be attempting to start a push while he and McBain are standing flat-footed near the faceoff dots. Just out of sync.
The 3 words I would use to describe our team at present. Some good posts in here about role confusion et al. But it was painfully obvious Tuesday night that we still don't know where we need to be - at the times we need to be there. We never get to the loose puck, we don't work hard enough in the corners, and never in right spot for the garbage goals.
I'm not sure its lack of effort (well in the 3rd they let down and didn't focus) as much as misplaced effort.