AricM wrote:The most glaring problem I see with our team is puck management in our defensive zone. Immediately after our defensemen gain the puck behind the net or in the corner they instinctively shoot the puck up the boards or glass. That is fine when there is no play to be made, but at least get your head up and make sure that's the best play. I'm sure they're taught to play the puck to that location expecting the wingers to move the puck the rest of the way, but other teams seem to have noticed this and are often in better position to intercept. This leads to unforced turnovers and being outshot most nights.
The solution is simple, do what other teams already do. When you get the puck look up before slapping the puck around the corner. Instruct the wingers to collapse down inside the circles closer to the center of the ice, so that way when the defensemen get control they have 2 options, first the pass to the winger, second the instinctual play up the boards. And if the other team does hold the puck in, our wingers are in position to block the shot from getting through.
We scored 4 goals on 22 shots last night, that's good offensive output. I think if we can get the puck to our forwards cleaner and more often, we will be in better position to outshoot the opposition, decrease unforced turnovers and increase our chances of winning.
Excellent response, sir. Excellent. The old hockey mantra they used to teach kids was "accept, assess, decision". Accept the puck, look at the ice, then make a play.
The return of Whitney and Gonchar is going to aid the ability of the D to get good outlet passes. Also, it's going to aid the cycle. Look at Gonchar's skating. His reverse pivot and lateral movement are invaluable in the context of board work and getting the puck to the point.
One point to your post, understanding that shot totals are reflective of what you just highlighted, Michel Therrien judges success via Quality Scoring Chances, not shots. There are actually instances of the Penguins having nearly as many QSC's as shots on goal.