That really was a huge win last night after a game that we played for the most part horrible in. Finally we caught a break and hopefully that changes momentum for the rest of the road trip. Vokoun kept us in the game and you had to feel for him after those first two goals. The defense wasn't backing him up whatsoever, but the shots went in when they mattered. Nice to see Kulikov finally get a goal too.
Knowing DeBoer's shuffling ways with his forward lines, and Matthias being his go-to versatile guy... It certainly doesn't help the kid !
Skrudland was a veteran when he came here, Matthias is learning how to keep pace in this league please...
Please my behind. I love the kids work and "potential". But the Panthers having been losing on "potential" for far too long. I don't want to hear about it. When he breaks 10-12 goals a year, then you can call me out. Do I like the kid? Yeah, I do. Is he a 20-30 goal scorer? Nope. Can he be? Sure. Is he now? Nope. Shakehead my ass.
I'm not a coach, I only played through college as organized hockey, so I can't claim to be the expert. However, I'm not blind and I don't think I'm totally stupid about the game. So here's my 2 cents.
First of all, I think PDB and Hulton are playing too simple and predictable on PP. Maybe because they buy into the "we have no talent" claim? Who knows. In fact, I think we do have enough talent to bury an acceptable 12-15% of PP's in the net. The coaches have taken away all finesse. Specifically: 1) no passes to middle, 2) only limited passing on one side periphery, 3) no quick one-timers from cross-ice passes.
Secondly, we have no presence in front of the net. We get no deflections and we get no rebounds. That's just poor positional hockey combined with lack of guts and strength, which comes from wimpy play 5-on-5 and no retaliation from hits on our goalies or hits on our minor league star players.
Third, some higher skill players like Weiss and Matthews sense this and try to carry the puck with some speed and finesse, often succeeding until they get into the zone, at which point everything reverts back to the same old same old.
Fourth, we are very easy to defend against. We have zero player movement and little puck movement. An active D will not only get the puck from us but can think SH goal opportunity.
Fifth, don't play a guy like Weiss at the point. He needs to be on the wing, obviously, creating and passing across. Weiss has no passing angle from the point and his slapper sucks. Wideman or Kulikov should be at the point.
missed responding in friday night's thread.
with regard to points 1, 2 & 4, i'd say that, though the points are valid but this is by design. we're not running a dumbed down PP at all. we're running a 1-3-1 with a skilled guy in the middle to attack the center of the diamond. the caps have been using that formation, as have many other skilled teams. and the formation, by design, has only one player in front of the net so that explains why there isn't a huge net front presence. the formation also doesn't encourage a lot of passes through the seams of the PK as you've got a guy there acting as a pivot. instead, that player puts pressure on the high and low defenders on the strong side as you've now got moving 2v1s all over the place. i will say that i watched hulton working with the 2 PP units here in preseason and he was pushing for a lot of movement and had the guys up high looking to slide down for a 1 timer off of seam passes to finish. so i think when you really examine what's going on, they're trying to intelligently deploy the skill they have. i'm sure the coaches have talked through this and they understand what the systems are designed to and can accomplish. that's why they've been patient. the players have to go out and execute, though. i think you have to give the guys some time to learn the new system and then build some confidence - you don't scrap something after 10 games. after 20, you start thinking about it. haven't given it a lot of thought but a tweak i might make would be to drop the pivot down in front of the net and go with a more traditional umbrella format, looking for screens and garbage.
regarding 3, our breakouts are the same as other successful teams. we're posting up one guy (hanging him at the attacking blue line), swinging two guys to the left and one to the right. this keeps their D back and gives us numbers through the neutral zone. the goal of the breakout is to hit the attacking blue line with speed and support so weiss, for example, can dish it left or right to another guy and get us in with control. the puck carrier shouldn't be carrying the puck over the blue line unless the they've beaten the forecheck cleanly and the D have completely backed off the blue line; stickhandling 1v3 at the blue line is not a recipe for success; it should never, *ever* be done. it's unacceptable. getting TO the blue line is the easy part of the attack; you outnumber the PK 3 to 1 (usually) in your end and into the neutral zone. with a few short, quick passes and some speed, a PP ought to be able to back the PK off a little and create some room to carry in but sometimes, the PK executes better than the PP and the only option is (should be) to dump the puck in and go get it. no shame in that, despite what some posters here think. even the red wings do it.