Jesse wrote:First off, the Penguins don't play the true meaning of a trap. They play a 1-2-2 swing. It's LIKE a trap, sure. But it takes your talented centers and has them funnel the puck to whichever side of the ice they see fit. When the players see an open lane (what the Penguins are "giving" them) they throw the puck there. The center swings to that side, the Winger boxes in, and the defenseman steps up. The idea being that you're suffocating the puck carrier and creating turnovers.
Jesse, I appreciate your posts but what you described here is the TRUE trap or at least the trap that has become notorious in the NHL. The Devils were famous for the 1-2-2 and the Wild play the same system. The problem I have is the Devils and the Wild are both traditionally hard working teams and the Penguins are not. The Devils and Wild battle in the corners and they create opportunity once the forced turnover has been made. In essence, they take what seems like a very boring brand of hockey and create alot of scoring chances, thus making it exciting. If you watch the Devils or Wild (or most other offensive teams in the league) all three forwards are skating all the time. There is very little waiting along the boards, there is even less waiting for loose pucks. They dig for pucks, they skate into shooting lanes and they drive to the net. The Penguins at even strength, much like they are on the pee pee, tend to spend alot of time standing and gliding, waiting for the perfect pass. The end result is minimal shots on net and scoring chances, something we've become too familiar with.
If you think Therrien is a genius and the 1-2-2 is the system of champions, then I would argue the forwards on the Penguins scoring lines are just not the right type of players for this system. Lets be honest, Sykora and Satan aren't digging for anything. Sykora goes to great lengths to avoid physical contact with anything and Satan's game traditionally has been to stand around waiting for someone to set him up with the one-timer, hence the "sniper" tag everyone seems to associate with him. Dupuis has the wheels but lacks the strength to win battles and Fedotenko is known for taking multiple games off at a time.
Kennedy should probably be on one of the top lines as he is probably the most effective at quick gritty transition, but Therrien has a "mango salsa like" obsession with Dupuis. Plus Kennedy seems to give the third line the jump they need to make it an offensive sleeper.
Anyway you look at it, the Penguins are really not balanced enough to be successful right now, at least not enough to compete with the Flyers, Bruins and Rangers (probably Devils, Canadians and Capitals too). Realistically, you either change the system (coach) or you change the players. If you think the system fails, we need a new coach. If you think the trap is the way to go, we need some new players who will excel under it. Right now, the team is a mess and its easier, sadly, to replace a coach than four or five players. Another couple weeks of this kind of play and we'll probably be talking about the upcoming 09 draft more so than a finals repeat.
Great post though.