"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
This week we look at the scoring from our weekend series verses MSU. This will look a little different because none of our goals came on a powerplay and we really had nothing from a set offense. This is also going to be much longer than the previous breakdowns.
We start out with Di Giuseppe on the right boards and Treais coming over the blueline on a transition opportunity.
PDG and Treais fan out keeping the trailer out of the play.
Because Di Giuseppe is left handed the Spartans have to respect his shot. The defensemen has his stick in his left hand to block the shooting lane, but not the passing lane. Yanakeff is so far over that any kind of one timer is going in.
Deblois goes down fighting for a puck near the corner boards, it's collected by the blueliner and sent back down.
Kevin Lynch gathers in the corner and sends a pass towards a pinching Lee Moffie
Although the pass is broken up Travis Lynch fights through three Spartans and gets to the net.
Yanakeff is in position to make a save but Lynch gives the extra handle and makes him stand up.
Here we have Crandle fighting with Glendening in the corner, Buttery is coming across the crease and Berry is pinching down.
With all three defenders near the corner the cutting lane is perfect for Treais, Berry is too close to the puck and Reimer is too far away.
It's a nice shot but Yanakeff makes a great save, because the Spartans are falling over trying to catch A.J. n oone is there for rebound control.
Here is where we use our wise oldtimer hockey player phrases. This is for all you young hockey players out there who are watching. Good things happen when you go to the net. Deblois sends it in from the side boards and takes a check from Chelios.
Kevin Lynch is still skating into Spartan ice, while Chelios and the other Spartan have stopped.
Crandle tries to block the puck with his body but he takes a bad angle on the puck and it goes right between his legs. Kevin Lynch, who had not given up on the play gets an early Christmas present.
That first play was a big mental error on MSU's part. I don't know what it is with their team, but they seem incapable of realizing that the smart play on a 2-1 is to take away the pass (and yes, even good players get beat. MSU's defenseman is out of position to make the correct play, though). I could be wrong here, but I believe that has cost them a goal basically every game dating back to at least the Chill.
That's one of the first things you teach a defenseman about odd-man breaks, and they constantly get burned by it.
Even though PDG is a lefty, with Yanakeff hugging left post and the blueliners body blocking the right side his shot isn't getting through. Also outside the Shelgren-Krug line the Spartan defensemen are very bad and do not have depth.
Their problem here is that DG knows what he's doing; he's going to make that pass 110% of the time (to add to your overused hockey phraseology) if it's open.
I'm just slightly amused by how consistantly they've gotten burned by their inability to defend odd-man rushes over the past year or so. They get a ton of time on the ice, so I almost wonder what exactly they work on.
I'll go ahead and answer my own question and say that work on PK for twenty hours a week. That would probably be my best guess.
Well, it really depends. With young kids, you teach them to block the pass because most young kids don't have shots good enough to pick holes. The problem as you get older and more skilled, focusing solely on the pass is an invitation for essentially a free breakaway and relatively high quality shot. The MSU defenseman is in good position, except that his stick should be in his right hand to block the pass as he slides his body towards PDG. There's no sense in blocking the shot with both the stick and the body. Force the guy to choose to either make a bad-angle shot or make a perfect saucer pass that you can't knock down.
I agree that it was a mental error, but I think it's a slightly different mental error than you note here.
I think if you could reposition him, you're right that his stick should be in his other hand, but on top of that his hips aren't at the right angle. When he goes down, notice how little space his body takes up in the passing lane: it's almost all in the shooting lane. I think he should be a little farther towards the hash, maybe two feet or so, but that wasn't my complaint as much as his hips not putting him in a position to be effective against that pass.
Also, this is just me here, and I don't have NCAA/Junior A/NHL playing or coaching experience, but when a guy is this far into the zone where you almost have to committ, I would go for the pass on every play.
I can't watch YouTube at work, but getting around to seeing the tiny video on my phone, you're right about the hips. He got himself too square to PDG (and also did a terrible job of keeping his head on a swivel), which coupled with his poor stick discipline gives a free, easy on-ice pass that should be a 100% conversion rate for a DI-level player. I still think his positioning laterally is fine, but his inability to figure out where Treais was meant he got himself too deep in the zone. So when he challenged PDG (in my opinion, challenging the shooter is not a bad idea if you can position yourself well), it wasn't a bad decision except for all the other mistakes me made in doing so.
For the record, I also don't have any experience playing competitively beyond high school.
I think with goalies like Yanakeff, Knapp, or Heeter - who all have great size, but generally worse side to side movement and control - you probably want to play the pass more, knowing that he is going to stop most shots directly at him that he can see. With a goalie more like Hunwick, Palmisano, or Reichard - who have better side to side movement, but are more prone to getting sniped - you play it more 50-50.
Got them mixed up, Travis Lynch scored that goal on a pass from Kevin Lynch. I saw that after I posted but I can't go back and edit, if i try to edit the pictures will resize to 1000 and I have to post them all over again.
Coming from someone who's just learning hockey strategies, it seems like a big advantage to have a lefty on the right wing for precisely the reason above. On any kind of break, you have to respect the shot too which might be what had the MSU defensemen so far down instead of looking more to take away the pass. Will hockey teams generally try to put their lefties on the right side for that reason? Or is it less benefit than I might be thinking
Rudy watches inspirational movies about Shawn Hunwick
Advantages would be the shooting angles, like noted above. Disadvantages would be puck movement, he gets to fan way out because of the space he is given. He can turn his hips and pass but if they're skating tighter and he can't get out like that the pass has to be a backhand. Also his stick is to the inside so a defender can make a play on the puck a little easier than a righty.
If you notice Treais is a righty and you can tell how awkward that shot was for him, I would say in a perfect world on your break a lefty is on the left side and a righty is on the right. Maybe that's just me, what does everyone else think.
I was never comfortable playing the off-wing, but I had plenty of coaches who liked playing that way. For me the problem wasn't so much shooting as having problems with coordination in the defending zone. It's not a natural movement for a leftie to pick up a puck scooting along the right boards. In open ice it's also different, it's much tougher to catch a cross-ice pass, IMO.
It all depends on the player. A guy with a fantastic shot, like an Ovechkin, is probably more comfortable on the off-wing because the shooting angles are so much better. A winger that's more of a set-up guy, however, is probably better served having the easier cross-ice pass that comes with being on the more traditional side.
For the cross-ice one-timer, I think it's always better to not have to deal with the cross-body shot. For the Treais goal, it probably doesn't matter too much given how much time and space he had, as he could have walked right in if he was a lefty rather than taken the quick shot. But if you look at the guys in the NHL with the best one-timers (Stamkos now, Ovechkin of a few years ago, Brett Hull to stretch it back a decade or so), they are all righties who are/were at their most dangerous playing on the left side of the offensive zone.
I play righty and grew up playing both offense and defense (primarily on defense, but I got to move up to wing in case of injury/suspension to a forward, which seemed to happen a lot in high school). I always felt more comfortable on the left side, but I also was really comfortable playing the puck with my backhand, which I think is a big part of playing that side.