HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > NHL Eastern Conference > Atlantic Division > Ottawa Senators
Mobile Hockey's Future Become a Sponsor Site Rules Support Forum vBookie Page 2
Notices

Offensive Potential

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old
03-10-2004, 03:24 PM
  #1
Verbal Kint*
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Bunny Vatican
Country: Canada
Posts: 20,132
vCash: 500
Offensive Potential

Firstly, this is in no way supposed to be an Ottawa vs. Toronto thread. I come here as a fan of hockey and not of the Leafs. I realize I will probably get flamed and insulted by so me, but I am willing to post in this forum because I respect a lot Sens fans on these boards and wish to hear their opinions.

We all know that the Senators are THE most dominant offensive force in the entire NHL. They are one of a very select few who average more than three goals a game, and lead the NHL in that catagory. It's obviously no surprise with an abundance of talents such as Alfredsson, Havlat, Hossa, Bondra, and Spezza up front and Chara and Redden on defense. They are also an incredibly deep offensive team with players such as White, Bonk, Smolinski, Schaefer providing plenty of extra offense. Combine that with long time developped chemistry and most teams are scared for a good reason when facing the Senators.

The main questions with the team seem to be toughness, which was addressed nicely with the pick-up of Devries, and goaltending, due to an on again-off again season by Patrick Lalime. Thus a defense first system is the natural way to go, supporting their goaltender. Most fans I've talked to (mostly non-Leafers), along with many "so-called" experts (TV personalities) seem to agree that Ottawa plays a form of the trap. The speed and skill of the Senators creates chances off of countless turnovers, however as the trap relies on a defense first philosiphy, it seems that the team rarely takes chances, as they could result in an odd-man rush or another predicament defensively.

As is obvious, every one of you has seen more Sens games than I, and so should have a better grasp on the situation. It is in my opinion, that the Senators could become even more capable offensively, if they employed a more offense oriented system, such as the Red Wings "Puck Possesion" Game. They would obviously take more chances offensively and could , in my mind, generate around 3.75-4 goals a game. It seems that the powerplay is the key to the Senators goal scoring ability and that more even strength goals are the key to improving the offense.

Of course the Senators system works wonders for them now, and I am not here to say that such a system should be changed, however I would like to see Senators' fans opinions on how much more lethal the Sens could be if they changed their approach towards the game.

Verbal Kint* is offline  
Old
03-10-2004, 04:16 PM
  #2
Doc Hollywood
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Country: Canada
Posts: 217
vCash: 500
Great post and I couldn't agree with you more. Yes, we are defence first but it is working great as you can see. If we were more Puck Possession this team could score loads and loads more goals. With the great offence the Sens have I am still suprised they don't open the game up more. That is exciting hockey and when the Sens get into that kinda game they are deadly. Some games have happened that way and then all of a sudden back to the Defensive Style?? The only way for us to open up even more offensively is a new Coach. JM won't change his style but with all these Rules changes maybe coming in next year the Sens might have to open up more cause with the new Rules won't benefit them at all.

Doc Hollywood is offline  
Old
03-10-2004, 04:26 PM
  #3
Sting
Registered User
 
Sting's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 4,905
vCash: 500
Send a message via MSN to Sting
Actually I've gotta disagree to a point. The Sens aren't the trap team they were 2-3 years ago. Back then it was pretty brutal because after 10 years they still didn't have the money to hold many skilled players, and they were forced to go all-out defensive. This year, and the past year, they've taken a more puck-possession style. When they're on their game, they've always got the puck. I haven't seen them trap this year like they used to, and to me they've suffered a bit because of it. Their 1-goal game record this year is pretty bad, but they've never lost a game in regulation when they've scored 4+ goals.

They've got room to open up but I don't think it'll happen unless Martin gets the boot (which is unlikely). In the playoffs they tend to play a lot more exciting as well, and become even more of a puck-possession team.

Sting is offline  
Old
03-10-2004, 04:34 PM
  #4
Spezza
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Ottawa <-> Scotland
Country: Scotland
Posts: 2,527
vCash: 500
Really good post. I agree to an extent with what you've talked about, the Sens could switch to a more puck possesion game like Detroit and do a lot of damage, however as you've also said Ottawa isn't a slouch in the goal scoring department.

I think an important aspect of the way Ottawa plays is that it relies on good pinches by its defenseman which all of the previous top 4 were on the whole pretty good at (can't really comment on De Vries). Volchenkov is also pretty good at it. It is very difficult to change a system though.

I had been thinking about this as Hull was on the Hotstove a couple of weeks ag and he was talking about how another benefit of a puck possesion game is that you'll get less injuries because your not banging away game after game.

The interesting thing for me is what happens after Mucks retires. He's what 70 now? If the sens won the cup surely he'd think about it this summer. Would Martin be a possibility to go up the stairs into a GM role (this maybe deserves its own thread)?

Spezza is offline  
Old
03-10-2004, 05:25 PM
  #5
Verbal Kint*
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Bunny Vatican
Country: Canada
Posts: 20,132
vCash: 500
To further clarify, I in no way shape or form believe that the Senators should change their style, as Jacques Martin has created a strategy which shores up your weaknesses while still allowing for some flow. I have no idea how a more widen open style may affect you guys and obviously the success level could change for better or for worse, but every time theb Leafs play the Sens, or I'm watching a Senators game on TV (of course rooting for a loss, I'm sure you all understand ) it seems that the "safe" play is always made at the blueline, and they seem to let the opposition come to them. Yet when the puck is deep in the opponent's zone, your guys are pulling moves that leave me saying "How did he do that?"

It almost seems that if the Sens changed to a more offensive style that although a few more goals may be potted against, I wouldn't be surprised if you guys had a couple of five goal nights versus the Devils.

Verbal Kint* is offline  
Old
03-10-2004, 05:51 PM
  #6
Sting
Registered User
 
Sting's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Country: Canada
Posts: 4,905
vCash: 500
Send a message via MSN to Sting
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maple_Leafs_Forever
It almost seems that if the Sens changed to a more offensive style that although a few more goals may be potted against, I wouldn't be surprised if you guys had a couple of five goal nights versus the Devils.
I'd like to think so too. I always thought they were the better team last year, trying to be as unbiased as I could. When they're on their game and giving full effort, they are a pain in the ass to play against. They don't give you anything and they set up a lot of scoring chances....that's what makes the team successful. Don't give any scoring opportunities and get as many yourself as possible. Martin always stresses not to give them anything...which is why you'll see them make an easy play if it means limiting the other teams chances.

Sting is offline  
Old
03-10-2004, 06:43 PM
  #7
TexSen
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Schaefer..Beer..mmmm
Country: United States
Posts: 1,043
vCash: 500
Awwwww, crap!

What kind of cruel twist of fate is this when a Leaf fan comes up with probably the best description of the essence of our team.


Seriously though, that about nailed it on the head. I can see maybe Muckler being the influence for a stronger offensive touch to the team (Bondra trade). I'm sure there's a bit of a push-pull (more offense/better discipline) relationship between Muckler and Martin.

TexSen is offline  
Old
03-10-2004, 08:06 PM
  #8
Verbal Kint*
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Bunny Vatican
Country: Canada
Posts: 20,132
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexSen
Awwwww, crap!

What kind of cruel twist of fate is this when a Leaf fan comes up with probably the best description of the essence of our team.
Well, I heard on the news that hell had frozen over, so I came over here to make the best of the opportunity.

Verbal Kint* is offline  
Old
03-10-2004, 08:08 PM
  #9
Verbal Kint*
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Bunny Vatican
Country: Canada
Posts: 20,132
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spezza
I think an important aspect of the way Ottawa plays is that it relies on good pinches by its defenseman which all of the previous top 4 were on the whole pretty good at (can't really comment on De Vries). Volchenkov is also pretty good at it. It is very difficult to change a system though.
You should be pleased with De Vries, though he does try to play it safe, he knows when and how to pinch.

Verbal Kint* is offline  
Old
03-10-2004, 09:51 PM
  #10
lafite
 
lafite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,210
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexSen
Awwwww, crap!

What kind of cruel twist of fate is this when a Leaf fan comes up with probably the best description of the essence of our team.


Seriously though, that about nailed it on the head. I can see maybe Muckler being the influence for a stronger offensive touch to the team (Bondra trade). I'm sure there's a bit of a push-pull (more offense/better discipline) relationship between Muckler and Martin.
I agree with just about everything, but keep in mind, Ottawa has blown leads that they never blew before. Sure Lalime has left in some softies, but Ottawa used to just shut down the neutral zone in the third period with a lead. It was like a big grey wool blanket. Not fun hockey, but effective. I'm sure they haven't forgotten how, and I'm wondering if the trap comes back more in the playoffs. As Ottawa became more talented and mature, they played a pretty exciting trap anyway, because they had such an aggressive transition game.

lafite is offline  
Old
03-11-2004, 07:07 AM
  #11
rebedom
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 426
vCash: 500
Not while Martin is still here ...

The Sens are right up there if not leading the league in scoring but that being said as long as Jacques is the coach and Lalime in net this team will always play defence first and wait for their chances. It would be great to see them open it up more and not head to the bench rather than pursue in offensive zone opportunity.

This team will only go as far into the playoffs as there goalie can take them. Lalime has to start stealing some close games for them or we are done. Everybody knows that in the playoffs it is usually low scoring, lots more clutching and grabbing and very little if any fighting. this is usually bad for our highly skilled forwards when the refs let things go, it obviously slows them down and the game down.

If we lose in the playoffs then Lalime is surely gone and so should his biggest supporter Jacques be gone as well and let's bring someone in who will let these players play a high tempo Colorado style game.

rebedom is offline  
Old
03-11-2004, 01:00 PM
  #12
SumOfUs
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Kanata Lakes
Posts: 265
vCash: 500
Good post. I'd agree with starting an offensive oriented system if we had decent goaltending, too bad we don't.

SumOfUs is offline  
Old
03-11-2004, 01:23 PM
  #13
Dr.Sens(e)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 6,162
vCash: 500
Actually, Ottawa plays a similar style of game to Detroit's left wing lock. Ottawa really is a pure puck possession team, where the team will pull the puck "back" to it's defenceman more often than the opposition, with the intent of reloading for a better push, rather than simply dumping the puck in and giving up possession at an in-opportune time.

Where Ottawa is a little bit more defensive, is forcing forwards back a bit more, to supress the cycle, and in the end, get the puck back faster.

In the end, aside from being the top scoring team, Ottawa is the 2nd best team in the league when it comes to goals against - all with what we will diplomatically call, a rather questionable performance by it's #1 goalie. That is something that certainly made Ottawa a consistent winner. The emergence of a dominant and balanced offence over the last few seasons has simply made the team all the more balanced and successful.

Ottawa could play a more offensive brand of hockey, gain more chances and score more goals, but whether this would result in a % increase in "net chances" versus the opposition is in question.

For instance, right now I believe Martin would rather outchance the opposition 16-10, rather than 25-18, because as a % we have 60% as many chances as the opponent (Martin loves talking about 'chances', in particular how few the opposition gets). However, one could argue the latter scenario is better (not just as a fan), because we have 7 more chances than the opposition, rather than 6. It all comes down to the faith in goaltending, which we simply have never leaned on in Ottawa, which means you go with door #1 (less chance for a goalie to steal and blow the game respecitively). However, if Hasek was our goalie in his prime, Martin would probably open things up, because the more chances each goalie faces, the team with the better goalie improves their chance to win.

But that's simply something no coach can say in public. Lalime's confidence is a fragile enough as it is.

Dr.Sens(e) is offline  
Closed Thread

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:45 PM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. ©2014 All Rights Reserved.