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Back to the neutral zone trap?

View Poll Results: Should the Wild return to playing the trap?
Yes 2 22.22%
No 7 77.78%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
10-27-2010, 12:29 PM
  #1
Surly Furious
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Back to the neutral zone trap?

Time for some sacrilege.

While Todd Richards aggressive forecheck system sounds good on paper, it is a poor match for the Wild's personnel; it seems to me that this team doesn't have the combination of speed or big bodies to successfully pen other teams in their own zone. It seems all too easy for opposing defenders to beat the first guy in for the Wild and make a pass. Often this leads to easy and fast breakouts for the other team. Some guys can do it, like Clutterbuck, but it doesn't work for many others.

I think the Wild would do better bottling up the neutral zone, like the good old days. Much as a lot of people hate the trap, it is effective and limiting odd man rushes against, and springing counter attacks the other way, which can be exciting.

Given the Wild's overall lack of team speed (sending Bruno in on the forecheck anyone), the current strategy ends up in a lot of running around at both ends of the ice.

I don't expect Richards to change his system, but it is easy to see how the Wild were able to succeed under JL with less talent than they have now.

Discuss....

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10-27-2010, 12:39 PM
  #2
nickschultzfan
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I honestly don't think we have the players to even trap. The Wild are completely horrible on the counter-punch, which is how offense is generated out of the trap. No more Gaborik, Demitra, Rolston, and Bouchard (for the time being). The players we have are too slow and aren't good at scoring on rushes.

Edit - as much as I love Brunette, I think this team would see better results if it's top-6 was composed of Koivu, Havlat, Lats, Bouchard, Cullen, and Kobasew. Those players would fit with Richards system better, even though he doesn't realize it.

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10-27-2010, 02:04 PM
  #3
hipsquare
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We definitely need to change something. Forcing a bunch of slow guys to play in a system where speed is requisite is a recipe for disaster.

Currently our guys are running around all over with little results. Likely the reason they always appear to not be putting forth effort at times.

Or we could just get used to playing 4v5. At least then Bruno doesn't get tired.

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10-27-2010, 02:33 PM
  #4
Jarick
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They are playing better defensively than last year, but I agree they need to play more defensively as they don't have the legs to chase the other team around the rink for 60 minutes. I like the offensive zone strategy once they establish position in the zone but the breakouts and NZ movement are awful.

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10-27-2010, 04:10 PM
  #5
GopherState
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I have to agree with nickschultzfan. Minnesota doesn't have the personnel to trap anymore and it'd be a poor attempt.

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10-27-2010, 04:14 PM
  #6
bozak911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GopherState View Post
I have to agree with nickschultzfan. Minnesota doesn't have the personnel to trap anymore and it'd be a poor attempt.
It would take a basic complete re-shuffling of the lines in order to trap again.

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10-27-2010, 04:18 PM
  #7
saywut
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We'd have to reprog.. Oh, right, only 4 of our current forwards played under Lemaire, and 3 of them make up our top-line. Chuck Fletcher built this forward group to play this style, so why isn't it working? Its on the coach, GM, or both.

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10-27-2010, 04:39 PM
  #8
Surly Furious
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I think the Wild's current personnel wouldn't be bad for trapping. Guys that would be very good would include the entire line of Cullen, Havlat, and Latendresse; Koivu, Miettinen, and Brunette are proven trappers. Clutterbuck, Nystrom, Brodziak all would work. It wouldn't be as awesome as a Gaborik Demitra 4 pass 2 on 1, but seriously, it worked with guys like Todd White, and Antii Laaksonen.

I would contend that it takes less speed to trap well to to try the full dump and chase, and I'll bet the Wild would be forced into fewer penalties.

I also think that the Wild's current personnel is more suited to trapping than they are to Richards' style.

There, my desecration of all that is good in the world of hockey is complete

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10-27-2010, 04:47 PM
  #9
Jbcraig1883
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Big NO from me. In the first few years, the Wild had guys that hustled every shift and gave everything they had, making the trap successful and it was OK to watch, entertainment wise. But the last two years of Lemaire was even horrible to watch, having guys stand in the neutral zone and still not be able to do much when they created a turnover. With the current bunch, I don't think the effort is there so it would make them even lazier than they appear to be right now. I don't know if we blame it on the bug going through the room, minor injuries, Richards, the players, etc. but the trap would probably not be a great marketing tool for a team that is already losing attendence.

I guess this means we are definitely a team without an identity. Not enough speed to forecheck (as well as questionable work ethic/guys who will grind it out every shift), and not enough talent to be a trap/counterpunching team.

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10-27-2010, 06:22 PM
  #10
melinko
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Id rather keep losing and get high draft picks than go back to a trap and mask our clear weaknesses.

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10-27-2010, 06:39 PM
  #11
rynryn
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rather fail at playing intense forechecking than fail at trap. we could lose 3-1 playing the trap and it wouldn't have been any closer a game than if we'd lost 7-2.

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10-27-2010, 11:31 PM
  #12
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its ok guys, just gotta wait out this season and probably the next before we can run this system successfully. Be patient! =]

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12-01-2010, 04:26 AM
  #13
thestonedkoala
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Should the Wild return to the 'trap'?

This is the second part of my polls this week regarding the state of Minnesota.

With many calling for Richards' head due to the way Minnesota has been playing, should the Wild return to a tighter, defensive-style hockey similar to a neutral zone trap.

We had for a while a lot of success regarding how this was ran and given the personal we have on this team, it would be beneficial for this team to run a zone-trap instead of a run-and-gun offense.

Given the personal currently in the minors and currently playing for the Wild, this type of style could be better for the team for a while.

So if Richards is fired, should we get someone more of the mold of Lemaire that runs a defensive first team again?

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12-01-2010, 04:45 AM
  #14
melinko
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I would hardly call what we have now a run and gun offense and this is easily the most boring team we have had since I started watching the Wild, but I think we need to avoid playing a pure trap.

I can't see it working any better than it did under JL and that wasn't enough to do any damage in the playoffs.

Our top line players are all passers:

Havlat - passer
Koivu - passer
Butch - passer
Brunette - 40/60 shooter - passer
Cullen - 50/50 shooter - passer

All of them are paired with a 3rd line shooter that can't consistently provide scoring, nothing will change until a player either develop into a better scorer like Crosby did or we draft one that is a projected 1st line player that can score.

We keep drafting players that are projected 3rd line players that have a good scoring touch.

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12-01-2010, 12:57 PM
  #15
Jbcraig1883
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The Wild have been playing a lot more defensively this year. In fact, there have been several times during the games where the Wild send in only one forechecker. The last few games the top two lines have been trapping quite a bit.

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Old
12-01-2010, 01:05 PM
  #16
saywut
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System really shouldn't matter much. We need a coach who has a proven successful system that will force the players to respect him and play his system every shift. We have guys who played well on up-tempo teams that have no flow on this team.

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12-01-2010, 01:19 PM
  #17
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No more trap. **** just sucks the excitement out of the game.

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12-01-2010, 01:49 PM
  #18
thestonedkoala
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saywut View Post
System really shouldn't matter much. We need a coach who has a proven successful system that will force the players to respect him and play his system every shift. We have guys who played well on up-tempo teams that have no flow on this team.
But they also can't score goals worth a damn either.

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12-01-2010, 01:54 PM
  #19
Casper
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Wild should return to playing solid defense and working hard....

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12-01-2010, 05:09 PM
  #20
saywut
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Originally Posted by thespeckledkiwi View Post
But they also can't score goals worth a damn either.
You don't have to trap to prevent goals. They'd also score more if they actually believed in the system and put forth their full effort every shift of every game. And a tougher coach would be willing to bench players who are not interested in competing out there. Richards is too afraid to lose the locker room completely if he benches a noticeable player.

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12-02-2010, 03:26 AM
  #21
thestonedkoala
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Originally Posted by saywut View Post
They'd also score more if they actually believed in the system and put forth their full effort every shift of every game.
Yes, because Staubitz, Madden, Nystrom absolutely tore it up before coming to Minnesota.

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12-02-2010, 10:07 AM
  #22
Jarick
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Gotta say watching the Coyotes I was pretty jealous of their tempo, defensive play, and ability to transition from defense to offense. Their players are always in position and ready to go. In contrast, the Wild were just hanging back and waiting for the puck to come to them and would often send in two or three guys on an unorganized forecheck which led to an easy breakout and numbers advantage for the Coyotes.

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12-02-2010, 10:13 AM
  #23
bozak911
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I gotta wholeheartedly concur with jarick.

i was willing to write it off as me being sick, but i saw the same thing. the coyotes were running a perfect 1-2-2, with speed. their transition game was insane. they boxed perfectly. labarbera always had a clear view of the puck.

the wild looked lazy and sloppy in comparison.

if i wasn't so sensitive to other teams calling us a trapping team and ignoring their own 1-2-2 ways... i don't think i would have caught it so easily.

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12-02-2010, 04:05 PM
  #24
saywut
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Originally Posted by bozak911 View Post
I gotta wholeheartedly concur with jarick.

i was willing to write it off as me being sick, but i saw the same thing. the coyotes were running a perfect 1-2-2, with speed. their transition game was insane. they boxed perfectly. labarbera always had a clear view of the puck.

the wild looked lazy and sloppy in comparison.

if i wasn't so sensitive to other teams calling us a trapping team and ignoring their own 1-2-2 ways... i don't think i would have caught it so easily.
Look at their D though. their top 4 looked solid with and without the puck last night, with the exception of Jovocop on O'Sully leading to Cullen's goal(That whiff really did make my night ). Yandle is great. Morris has always been solid. Aucoin's healthy. Hell, they managed to hide Yonkman for 15+ minutes against us. Their D stability is incredible compared to ours. We don't know what we're getting from anyone other than Schultz right now. They know what they're getting every night from everyone.

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12-02-2010, 04:11 PM
  #25
bozak911
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Well, that's another thing...

Their forwards aren't terribly fast, either. Yet, the perfectly executed 1-2-2 led to creating good chances off of turn-overs.

/shrug

what do i know... i'd be the sort of coach that adapts the on ice play by line, not by roster, even. <insertrantaboutToddRichardshere>

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