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Old
07-28-2010, 09:35 PM
  #1
ColePens
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A thought about the system...

So I've been away from the internet for a couple weeks as we were getting Fios in the house (whooole disaster in it's own) and w/ that time, obviously, I sit at home and sit in a dark room with an old film projector and chalk board and draw up hockey forechecks. It got me thinking about something that could really benefit this team next season.

You guys know I ***** and ***** about wanting to see a 2-3 forecheck and a simple north/south game, but how about we do the exact opposite and sit back in a 1-4? I really think that would complement the roster we currently have.

We are looking strong defensively and I believe Fleury will have an above year. What is a way we can complement our defensive game while still giving us a chance to attack offensively? Well.. simple, it's an offensive 1-4 forecheck. An offensive 1-4 forecheck? I know.. that sounds like a complete contradiction. Here is how it runs:

Our first guy doesn't forecheck past the bottom of the circles and all he does is let the opposing defender come out and pick a strong side. Our 4 stagger in a box (inside the dots) right at the blueline and our defense not too far off in the redline. As soon as the first forechecker forces the play to a strong side board, we attack. Our first forechecker comes back to the middle of the ice and will support our defense. Simply put - we cut off the middle of the ice in the neutral zone and we force teams to either dump the puck in (we will own puck possession) or try to skate through us. That gives us two options to counter attack.

So to get a visual - it's just a box + 1 defensive forecheck based on reaction as opposed to forceful pressure. The offensive game is implemented by a north/south transition when we create a turnover or regroup in our defensive zone and break back out. The key word is transition. We have to attack north/south as a team when we get the puck. That applies all the pressure right back on the opposition.

Where does the offense jump in? Well, once again, this is all about transition. We are a young, explosive team and don't have the best wingers w/ natural goal scoring ability. What they do have, however, is tenacity and a will to want to play hard. If we counter, we will forcefully make the opposing team be on their heels. If we don't get a good scoring chance, we have momentum to cycle and play our game anyway. These guys could thrive off forcing opposing defenses on their heels.

Every single turnover has to result in a north/south transition game w/ our defense jumping in. That type of system will make defense turn into offense. That seems to be the team we have and we could really thrive off of that style.


Pros
+ It helps our defensive game which we built by free agency signings
+ It helps Fleury get some help throughout the game
+ We stay fresh for the 3rd period instead of always chasing up/down the ice in a 2-3.
+ The system supports our overall roster


Cons
- If we are lazy, then it turns into a trap and that doesn't benefit our explosive forwards.
- Teams can trap back and turn it into a boring game of dump/chase. Then it becomes a chess game of who blinks first.
- Games against the Devils will be boring as **** and will most likely end 1-0 in a shootout.
- Patience is needed in this type of system and could lead to the players thinking too much instead of just reacting and playing the game.



What do you guys think? Would you prefer a 2-3 style forecheck, a 1-2-2 forecheck, or this 1-4? If it's neither...come up with your own and post it!

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07-28-2010, 09:50 PM
  #2
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While a 1-4 would help the forwards, I don't think the current defense corps is built for it. With seemingly everyone locked up for the foreseeable future, I'd be kind of iffy to it.

Even a 1-4 would force teams to dump it in, it also allows them to gain a decent amount of speed entering the zone. Honestly, I want to limit the physicality on our defensemen more than anything. I'd rather they hit they be hit. With the way both size and speed in the NHL have improved, I think the 1-4 is a thing of the past. Goalie puckhandling rules haven't helped.

Edit: I'll add that this is actually a really good discussion and if I wasn't swamped with work, I'd probably write something a little more substantial. Yikes.

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07-28-2010, 09:51 PM
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Slorp Train
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Could u post a diagram of it because i think it will helo visualize what your trying to show

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07-28-2010, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slorp Train View Post
Could u post a diagram of it because i think it will helo visualize what your trying to show




Here is one put together in like 3 seconds w/ Paint (as you can see lol). Of course all X's represent Penguins. The puck is coming out from a set breakout from the opposition and we are only giving them the boards to work with. As soon as they choose a strong-side, we attack that side and cut off the other side of the ice by making the opposition go east-west and forcing it through 5 guys.

Once we get our turnover, we pounce. That's when we go north/south to the other side.

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07-28-2010, 10:03 PM
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No, it would just be a waste.

The Pens have a bunch of forcheckers. The Pens can cycle and chase the puck. Our problem is finishers.

This would just hurt the Penguins, as well as Malkin and Sid.

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07-28-2010, 10:03 PM
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Cole,

The 1-4 could work in our favor with the roster. I have to ask though, how do you feel about watching that style of play? I know the "trap" has such a negative sound to it in the hockey world and that's essentially what you are suggesting but the key being a North-South quick transition game. No one can deny though, that when a roster is capable of "trapping", it sure is effective and Crosby and Geno can sure make the game still exciting.

I like the idea for a few reasons in particular. For one, I don't think any two centers in the game (Crosby and Malkin) use their defenseman or the late man on the rush more than they do. So for this, they will really be able to catch the defenseman and backcheckers in a scramble. There skill probably WILL take over in this scenario and they are also awesome at finishing on 2 on 1's and 3 on 2's. However, our wingers scare me because in a system like this I feel like you have to have a very balanced roster. While the wingers will help make the plays transition and are generally good backcheckers, you have to finish the chances you get in a system like this. That concerns me. Not that I have a better system that fits this roster but just some thoughts....

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07-28-2010, 10:07 PM
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It would win us hockey games for sure, but I think the team is better than that. Maybe it's just the negative connotation that I have attached to the system. The teams I played for that used that, used it because we weren't as skilled as the teams we were playing.

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07-28-2010, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyg26 View Post
Cole,

The 1-4 could work in our favor with the roster. I have to ask though, how do you feel about watching that style of play? I know the "trap" has such a negative sound to it in the hockey world and that's essentially what you are suggesting but the key being a North-South quick transition game. No one can deny though, that when a roster is capable of "trapping", it sure is effective and Crosby and Geno can sure make the game still exciting.

I like the idea for a few reasons in particular. For one, I don't think any two centers in the game (Crosby and Malkin) use their defenseman or the late man on the rush more than they do. So for this, they will really be able to catch the defenseman and backcheckers in a scramble. There skill probably WILL take over in this scenario and they are also awesome at finishing on 2 on 1's and 3 on 2's. However, our wingers scare me because in a system like this I feel like you have to have a very balanced roster. While the wingers will help make the plays transition and are generally good backcheckers, you have to finish the chances you get in a system like this. That concerns me. Not that I have a better system that fits this roster but just some thoughts....
I was a defensive-d man who loved to hit and block shots... I love it! I agree though that it would be a bit poor to watch for the rest of the fans, but it really doesn't matter if we are consistently winning.

I actually think the counter-attack would be very fun to watch. The pressure these guys could put on defenses would be insurmountable if played correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTG32005 View Post
It would win us hockey games for sure, but I think the team is better than that. Maybe it's just the negative connotation that I have attached to the system. The teams I played for that used that, used it because we weren't as skilled as the teams we were playing.
Lol sadly, you are correct JTG. It's a system created when a team isn't as good to just play a free-flow system. Oddly enough in this situation, it benefits us slightly more than playing anything else I can think of.

It's just an idea... nothing set in stone but it's definitely a system I wouldn't mind seeing if we had to play a team like Washington. We don't have to be stubborn and try and out-skill everyone.

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07-28-2010, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
I was a defensive-d man who loved to hit and block shots... I love it! I agree though that it would be a bit poor to watch for the rest of the fans, but it really doesn't matter if we are consistently winning.

I actually think the counter-attack would be very fun to watch. The pressure these guys could put on defenses would be insurmountable if played correctly.



Lol sadly, you are correct JTG. It's a system created when a team isn't as good to just play a free-flow system. Oddly enough in this situation, it benefits us slightly more than playing anything else I can think of.

It's just an idea... nothing set in stone but it's definitely a system I wouldn't mind seeing if we had to play a team like Washington. We don't have to be stubborn and try and out-skill everyone.
This team would be a NIGHTMARE to play against if they were playing this system. Can you imagine coming around the net, in front of you stands Jordan Staal shutting down the whole middle of the ice, with Tangradi or Malkin waiting against the boards (Tangradi-Kunitz would be more fierce, IMO, because either way you're getting hit.) Oh...once you got past them, you'd have to deal with Martin and Michalek.

I wish that opposition well...

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07-28-2010, 10:26 PM
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07-28-2010, 10:26 PM
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Since we are going to be so strong defensively, I think we should look to be more aggressive up front. The reason to go out and get great defenseman is so we can take more chances on the forecheck and in transition.

I think the 1-4 forecheck would be better used by a team that doesn't have as much talent on the back-end.

So I'd go with the 2-3 forecheck. This team is too good defensively to sit back, if that makes sense.

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07-28-2010, 10:39 PM
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Good to see you back, cole.

You know I'm with you on the system, but I still think the 1-2-2 is the way to go.

Imagine line two if Staal is moved up.


Insert player as the #1 fore checker, but I'll use Kennedy for now.



That's a pretty intimidating 1-2-2, the system that worked very well for them before Blysma changed it last year. Teams have to rely a lot on those stretch passes up to the cherry pickers along the boards that are sometimes picked off before ever reaching them, or it turns into a 50/50 battle as long as the D-man steps up rather than letting him have a free pass into the zone that was very customary last year.





For those who would like to use this.



Edit: way too slow on this.haha

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07-28-2010, 10:44 PM
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Darth Vitale
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Good stuff Cole. Seems a little trap-like to me but I say use it when it makes sense. Mix it up. Go 2-3 for a while then throw the 1-4 at them when we get a 2 goal lead / they try to be overly aggressive moving the puck / make long passes.

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07-28-2010, 10:44 PM
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I'd rather see a 1-2-2 myself.

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07-28-2010, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Frasier Crane View Post
Since we are going to be so strong defensively,
That's still up for debate. Lets wait and see how this defense gels during training camp before we make statements like this.

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07-28-2010, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Martin View Post
Good to see you back, cole.

You know I'm with you on the system, but I still think the 1-2-2 is the way to go.

Imagine line two if Staal is moved up.


Insert player as the #1 fore checker, but I'll use Kennedy for now.



That's a pretty intimidating 1-2-2, the system that worked very well for them before Blysma changed it last year. Teams have to rely a lot on those stretch passes up to the cherry pickers along the boards that are sometimes picked off before ever reaching them, or it turns into a 50/50 battle as long as the D-man steps up rather than letting him have a free pass into the zone that was very customary last year.


Edit: way too slow on this.haha
Odds, the name change had me fooled!

The only reason I hate the 1-2-2 is because there is too much open space for opposing players to exploit. I've always hated the 1-2-2 because a good coach will find it's weakness, especially in the NHL.

For instance - here are just a few lanes that could easily be opened up using the 1-2-2. In fact, if you look at the lines below showing movement for the opposition, they not only could exploit them, they can create space and force our 1-2-2 to crumble and start playing out of our own system.



If you follow some of the red lines, those are spots where 2 on 1's can be created all over the ice for a schematic breakdown. We need to support our numbers instead of give 2 on 1's across the board to the opposition to break out.

I would much rather give the boards away than the middle of the ice. We are too talented and too aggressive on the backcheck to lose if we give up the boards. That will give us time to skate back hard to the middle of the ice and gain numbers at all times.

I completely see what you are saying with the players and how skilled they are, but the 1-2-2 might need some small adjustments if Bylsma is going to make it believable. Those adjustments are going to have to keep teams guessing as well.

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07-28-2010, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elephant In The Room View Post
That's still up for debate. Lets wait and see how this defense gels during training camp before we make statements like this.
How about, "if we're going to be as good defensively as we look on paper..."

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07-28-2010, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nTsplnk View Post
No, it would just be a waste.

The Pens have a bunch of forcheckers. The Pens can cycle and chase the puck. Our problem is finishers.

This would just hurt the Penguins, as well as Malkin and Sid.

Penguins don't have wingers on the first two lines who are consistently good for holding the puck in the offensive zone (not chasing it) and creating good scoring chances.

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07-28-2010, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elephant In The Room View Post
That's still up for debate. Lets wait and see how this defense gels during training camp before we make statements like this.

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07-28-2010, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Martin View Post
Good to see you back, cole.

You know I'm with you on the system, but I still think the 1-2-2 is the way to go.

Imagine line two if Staal is moved up.


Insert player as the #1 fore checker, but I'll use Kennedy for now.



That's a pretty intimidating 1-2-2, the system that worked very well for them before Blysma changed it last year. Teams have to rely a lot on those stretch passes up to the cherry pickers along the boards that are sometimes picked off before ever reaching them, or it turns into a 50/50 battle as long as the D-man steps up rather than letting him have a free pass into the zone that was very customary last year.





For those who would like to use this.



Edit: way too slow on this.haha
That's a forecheck the Pens (and a lot of other teams) use when the opposing team is already set up with clean possession behind the icing line when the Pens are at the end of a shift and guys are bolting towards the bench. It's pointless to go after the D with two men unless the D-man has his back turned to go after the puck.

It's only my opinion, but I think DB has the guys playing the way you're supposed to play this day and age. I think after you lose to a team you shouldn't lose to, people want to point fingers at "the system" or the ever famous "being outcoached" (and there was a ton of that on the board) but in the end, there aren't a 100 different ways to play hockey.

It's a simplistic view, but Halak was way better than Fleury, end of story. There were other variables involved of course, but you look back at the Habs series and you will never convince me that it was any system or bad coaching that cost us that round. Granted the defense wasn't as good as last year, but it seemed like Montreal scored on literally every single scoring chance they got (and even on ones they didn't get) and they barely had any zone time save for a spurt here and there. Even as unanimous as people were here in agreeing that Fleury didn't play very well, I really don't think many will acknowledge just how awful he really was.

Yes, I could have done with less Guerin and Poni and when he was in the lineup, Fedetenko, but exactly what other options were there for the staff? At some point, people have to realize how shorthanded we really were in the end when it came to talent on the wing. Add to that how everyone save for Sid and Cooke just looked...off (even during the Ottawa series) and failure was inevitable. Yet there they were, playing a certain system, coming to within a hair of getting to a third conference final in a row.

Fleury will bounce back, the defense will be tons better, and if just ONE of those kids on the wing can step it up, and/or Shero can sign some UFA underachiever with something to prove, the Pens will be a team to reckon with again this season.

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Old
07-28-2010, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTG32005 View Post
To say that the D will be "so strong" without having seen them play together at all is the equivalent of the whole "XXX will definitely take a pay cut to come here for a chance to play with Sid/Geno".

In other words, I will believe it when I see it.

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Old
07-29-2010, 06:58 AM
  #22
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Originally Posted by Champagne Wishes View Post
Haha, thank god I'm not the only one who thought of this.

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07-29-2010, 08:18 AM
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I do believe this is a good system to have as an option. But i would be against playing it all the time.

Cole, have you played on a team that has used this system? I have for a season and it can work quite well, but you need the right players and the right commitments or as you said, lazyness results in a boring trap. This is all about attack and collapse and really playing the body on the first pass after the D is forced to move the puck. And I do think counter-attacks suit our squad well.

I also think a strength of ours is skating and puck control in the O-zone. So this kind of worries me, that setting up a strong cycle and wearing teams down will be on the decline. Granted once we get the puck we could set up in the zone, but a 1-4 does limit the corner play by nature of read and react.

But if we could utilize this system against teams with floaters, weak puck moving d men, and when we have solid leads......I am all for it. I do believe we could pull it off with good result.

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07-29-2010, 08:40 AM
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The whole reason I found the penguins as my favorite team is because they didnt play that boring disgusting brand of hockey. I want nothing to do with this team if thats how they're going to play. In the end this is an entertainment industry and that is just not entertainment.

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07-29-2010, 10:34 AM
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Let's implement this right away.

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