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  • Originally posted by Aerman View Post
    A not-so-long-ago vaunted PK suddenly sucks. So my question for the smarter members of this forum: how much difference can one guy make? They’re playing a much more aggressive PK this year, which I assume requires more skill than packing it in tight in front. And most of the pressure on the puck comes from the forwards. If you typically roll two units (or is it more fore the PK than PP?) that’s only four forwards in your rotation. Now downgrade one of those guys in place of Delvin, and?
    Maybe...

    I hate when coaches say "we do what we do". I think it is a horrible view on the world. If for example Maine had destroyed pressure PKs all year and struggled against pack it in, and you are a typical pressure team, do you "do what you do" or modify to what your opponent struggles against?

    I think doing 1 thing is a problem. Teams can game plan against it. Every team needs to learn to do multiple things and adjust.

    To figure out the actual PK woes would require really dig into the why on each goal and the behaviors of the opposing teams, typical, atypical, exploiting an unknown weakness, some new wrinkle, amazing individual play. Something I would expect a coach has done.

    As for this last weekend. The most killer PP goal by Maine was with 3.7 seconds left in the 1st, changed the tone of the game. That had nothing to do with pressure or pack it in. It had everything to do with the face off and UNH can't loose that face off clean. If the UNH center just forced a draw and make a mess the clock likely ticks to 0.0 before anything gets setup.
    "Now Progress Takes Away What Forever Took To Find" Dave Matthews Band, The Dreaming Tree

    Comment


    • Originally posted by JB View Post

      Maybe...

      I hate when coaches say "we do what we do". I think it is a horrible view on the world. If for example Maine had destroyed pressure PKs all year and struggled against pack it in, and you are a typical pressure team, do you "do what you do" or modify to what your opponent struggles against?

      I think doing 1 thing is a problem. Teams can game plan against it. Every team needs to learn to do multiple things and adjust.

      To figure out the actual PK woes would require really dig into the why on each goal and the behaviors of the opposing teams, typical, atypical, exploiting an unknown weakness, some new wrinkle, amazing individual play. Something I would expect a coach has done.

      As for this last weekend. The most killer PP goal by Maine was with 3.7 seconds left in the 1st, changed the tone of the game. That had nothing to do with pressure or pack it in. It had everything to do with the face off and UNH can't loose that face off clean. If the UNH center just forced a draw and make a mess the clock likely ticks to 0.0 before anything gets setup.
      Agree that FOW’s rule, almost as much as SOG’s.

      Comment


      • Looking through this, there are some issues centering around everyone's favorite year, 1992-93.

        December 10, 1993 is listed as a 7-3 UNH win in Orono. I believe that was actually played in Portland, as it was a non-conference game and there were two games played in Orono later that season.

        Which, those February 4-5, 1993 games are listed as a 1-1 tie and 1-0 UNH win. On the ice, Maine won 7-4 and 5-2. I could see there being a discrepancy in opinion between the two schools on classifying those games.

        Comment


        • FWIW I much prefer the more aggressive PK approach UNH has been taking this season, as opposed to the passive "pack 'em in" approach (or as we refer to it in soccer, "parking the bus"), but the latter approach definitely makes it more difficult for an opposing PP to thread passes through the "block", while the more aggressive approach can open up some dangerous lanes that a high-skill opposing PP can more easily exploit. Being more aggressive at the top also tends to create a few more shorthanded chances for you over the course of a season. Hanging back can also add to the screening of your goalie's vision with "friendly" bodies. As a general rule, I prefer aggressive strategies to passive ones, as it forces an opponent to handle the puck cleaner to stay ahead of the pressure ... but you gotta go with the style that best suits you and your players.

          Special team units tend to go through hot and cold stretches, and whether it's because of a certain player(s) being available or not, sure, I can see how that could impact the unit's overall success. Confidence, familiarity with the patterns of play, looks through/across the seams - there's probably too many variables involved to come to any definitive conclusions. It's probably my biggest complaint with hockey nerds and their so-called advanced stats, as it's damned near impossible sometimes to conclude what is a cause, what is an effect, what is a coincidence/luck, etc.

          Once Devlin is back, and assuming they put him back in his pre-injury role, it'll be interesting to see how the PK results look. Assuming he's on top pairing of the PK, he's probably doing a 90 second shift in real time without stoppages, and the second guy might come out earlier OR later than that, depending on whether there's stoppages, faceoffs, and who's in the box to pair up with once the penalty runs its course? If he's THAT guy who is their most reliable up top PK guy, though, I can see where he might be the key to all else going on behind him.

          Lots of educated guesswork and common sense mixed in there, would love to hear some other takes ...
          Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
          Montreal Expos Forever ...

          Comment


          • UNH at #16 today in the polls...

            Thanks Chuck for your POV on the PK...watching Maine they use themore "packed in" approach...whatever works! And yeah...we desperately need Devlin back in more ways than one....but I will say am glad that guys like Blaisdell have stepped up scoring wise.

            Carry on wayward sons!
            I'm just here for the hockey...

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post
              FWIW I much prefer the more aggressive PK approach UNH has been taking this season, as opposed to the passive "pack 'em in" approach (or as we refer to it in soccer, "parking the bus"), but the latter approach definitely makes it more difficult for an opposing PP to thread passes through the "block", while the more aggressive approach can open up some dangerous lanes that a high-skill opposing PP can more easily exploit. Being more aggressive at the top also tends to create a few more shorthanded chances for you over the course of a season. Hanging back can also add to the screening of your goalie's vision with "friendly" bodies. As a general rule, I prefer aggressive strategies to passive ones, as it forces an opponent to handle the puck cleaner to stay ahead of the pressure ... but you gotta go with the style that best suits you and your players.

              Special team units tend to go through hot and cold stretches, and whether it's because of a certain player(s) being available or not, sure, I can see how that could impact the unit's overall success. Confidence, familiarity with the patterns of play, looks through/across the seams - there's probably too many variables involved to come to any definitive conclusions. It's probably my biggest complaint with hockey nerds and their so-called advanced stats, as it's damned near impossible sometimes to conclude what is a cause, what is an effect, what is a coincidence/luck, etc.

              Once Devlin is back, and assuming they put him back in his pre-injury role, it'll be interesting to see how the PK results look. Assuming he's on top pairing of the PK, he's probably doing a 90 second shift in real time without stoppages, and the second guy might come out earlier OR later than that, depending on whether there's stoppages, faceoffs, and who's in the box to pair up with once the penalty runs its course? If he's THAT guy who is their most reliable up top PK guy, though, I can see where he might be the key to all else going on behind him.

              Lots of educated guesswork and common sense mixed in there, would love to hear some other takes ...
              I generally don't like quoting whole posts, particularly the long ones. Yet I agree with so much in this one.

              Thinking back on the Maine game in particular the announcers stated during an early 1st period PP that Maine loves the cross box (seam) passes. It was right after a tough post to post save. That says to me you probably want to play a bit tighter box. Maybe not a full "pack it in" approach rather enough to take away those lanes and make a team that wants to go through go around. At the same time as I think back on the goals against there was the one off the face off at the end of the first. There was the really nice high low play with the low hard shot (pass) off the pads, I think on the PP(?) otherwise how was that guy so wide open.

              I believe in doing what you can, inside your general systems, to make the other team "play left handed". What I mean is you make what they really like to do (right handed) hard and make them do something else (left handed). So cross box teams, make them play more high low and vice versa. I also think the better teams as the year goes on will toss in some wrinkles just to make it harder to game plan. Football is a more "set" sport and yesterday the 49ers got Philly on a wrinkle, the linebacker jumped a pass to the flat that wasn't for a big gain, the linebacker played himself out of position on the play. Really smart teams can add those aspects on either offense of defense even in a "flow" game like hockey, particularly on specialty teams or other set plays like break outs.
              "Now Progress Takes Away What Forever Took To Find" Dave Matthews Band, The Dreaming Tree

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Snively65 View Post

                Agree that FOW’s rule, almost as much as SOG’s.
                Hear hear could not agree more!! Possession is huge...
                I'm just here for the hockey...

                Comment


                • Originally posted by JB View Post
                  I believe in doing what you can, inside your general systems, to make the other team "play left handed". What I mean is you make what they really like to do (right handed) hard and make them do something else (left handed). So cross box teams, make them play more high low and vice versa. I also think the better teams as the year goes on will toss in some wrinkles just to make it harder to game plan.
                  Good post, totally agree, with the emphasis on the bolded caveat, which you also hit on the nose JB. The risk of course, being that in trying too hard to make the other team play "left-handed", you end up playing left-handed yourself.

                  I'm pretty sure Coach York was someone who experimented with a lot of different looks early in the season when it didn't matter so much, and by the time he'd settled on his best options, his teams would go on their usual late-season runs.

                  In the meantime, certain other programs/coaches would outperform expectations early, and not be able to find that second gear when it was so important to do so. Not naming names, mind you ... ;-)
                  Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                  Montreal Expos Forever ...

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Chuck Murray View Post

                    I'm pretty sure Coach York was someone who experimented with a lot of different looks early in the season when it didn't matter so much, and by the time he'd settled on his best options, his teams would go on their usual late-season runs.

                    In the meantime, certain other programs/coaches would outperform expectations early, and not be able to find that second gear when it was so important to do so. Not naming names, mind you ... ;-)
                    An example of this was the 2008 HE Semi-Final. Little over 1/2 way through the 2nd period UNH is up 4-1. BC changes how they are playing the forecheck. Instead of a 2 man forecheck down low, which UNH had been beating, it switched to some sort of more passive forecheck with an aggressive "trapping" situation, so not in the neutral zone rather from the face off dots to the center red line. Completely flummoxed UNHs break out for most of the rest of the game and allowed BC to come back and unfortunately win that game in the 3OT. The switch also frustrated the heck out of the UNH players with BC enjoying a 4:1 PP advantage the rest of the game.

                    I can't believe York hadn't tinkered with the concept (or pieces of it) multiple times that year which made it easier for his players to execute. York's BC teams from ~2000 to ~2015 were super talented and "ambidextrous".

                    Mean while UNH really didn't have anything to counter.

                    It is actually more surprising that BC hadn't started the game with this tactic, in 2008 UNH had beaten BC 3 times in the regular season by a combined score of 12-3. First 10.5 periods of play between the 2 teams 16-4 UNH, next 3.5 periods 4-0 BC for the OT win. Didn't help that the tighter the game got the tighter the UNH coach got and the tighter the team played.

                    It maybe that it was a new concept, York (and staff) came up with on the fly. Necessity being the mother of invention. That also means that any early season tinkering made the team more open to flexing and trying different stuff. It is less shocking to the system when it hasn't been 5 1/2 months of the same thing all of a sudden changing.
                    "Now Progress Takes Away What Forever Took To Find" Dave Matthews Band, The Dreaming Tree

                    Comment


                    • Just a quick thought that this week in 2012 UNH was first in the nation (in the uscho polls)...finished up 7th in 2013. Ah, the memories of that first
                      season following. Didn't know much (ok nothing) about the teams history...I do recall hearing that "UNH mens hockey will be playing in their second Frozen Four"
                      But I do remember feeling the excitement of going to that Regional and here's hoping we can get back there one day. Of course I'd settle for a trip to the Garden.
                      OK I'd love to get past the first round...heck playing on home ice in the first round would be a treat. Ha!

                      Funny bringing up 'adjustments' that coaches make that make a difference. One that stands out to me was in the 2022 HE first round (the MBEBGAM can't remember the rest)
                      when we lost to the Beagles in OT 4-3. They were hammering us but couldn't score UNTIL Jerry calls a TO and the very next play that was the end of our season (and Mike Robinson's career;
                      felt so badly for him that night he took it hard).

                      Obviously he (York) saw the opening and it paid off. Tyler Ward got a hattie in that game I do believe that's been the only one since? I threw my nice
                      white UNH hockey cap on that one...


                      Anyway, that's all I got. Anything to get back onto the front page! On another note, buying tix to the Women's Frozen Four this morning..went to the last one
                      and that was the season we got the 'tron. And I was for the 'tron before Snively was against it!

                      Ps I have one tix available for Saturday's game v Renssalear if anyone wants it..

                      Pss So Chuck what do you think of Patrick Kane become a DRW??
                      Last edited by HockeyRef; 12-06-2023, 01:30 PM.
                      I'm just here for the hockey...

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post
                        Pss So Chuck what do you think of Patrick Kane become a DRW??
                        We'll see, 'Ref. He seems genuinely stoked to be in Detroit, and it's pretty clear that Stevie Y is feeling his GM oats, now that he's starting to supplement the youth movement with some quality veterans with Cup pedigree (David Perron, Olli Maatta, JT Compher, Robby Fabri, and now Kane, plus the DeBrincat steal from Ottawa). I just saw some informed speculation that Yzerman may be sniffing around for Stamkos too later this year, as his deal in Tampa Bay is apparently winding down. Ideally, if it were not for the fact that Winnipeg has also gotten off to a great start in the West, I'd love to see an experienced goalie with a clean injury history like Connor Hellebuyck (who, like many of Yzerman's recent signings, is a Michigan native who probably grew up as a DRW fan) under the Christmas tree, at which point I'll know the Yzerplan is in full bloom. Our old buddy Shayne Gostisbehere (Union) has also been an inspired signing, and the power play has been mostly bananas. They're a genuinely fun watch.

                        I'm honestly trying to manage my expectations, as it's been awhile, but every time I see them play this year, it's clear, this is a very different team to the one Yzerman pulled the plug on last Spring after two devastating RS losses to Ottawa, just when the playoffs seemed within reach. Their goal differential last year was always still in the negatives, and this year they're at +20, only behind the B's and maybe one other team? First liners are legit top line guys now, ditto second and third, too. The days of Luke Glendening on the first line are long gone. And the depth of quality prospects in the pipeline is deep and getting deeper, so there's a lot of trade/draft capital available to Yzerman if he wants to make a big splash at this year's deadline OR just keep his powder dry while his first round picks mature. It really is an exciting time to be a DRW fan, 'Ref!

                        The Kane deal is a low-risk, high-reward thing, and if all they get out of it this season is someone to basically share a roster slot with Fabbri - who always scores at a strong rate when he isn't injured - then that's a push. If it works out better than that, great. And if the hip issue isn't improved, and he's back on for early retirement ... hey, I love that they took a shot at it. He should play tomorrow night, so the returns will be trickling in soon enough.

                        Bottom line is, with Yzerman having navigated through the post-Ken Holland clean-up/organizational rebuild patiently, it seems like Detroit is becoming an NHL destination again. And if I haven't been clear about it yet (LOL), I think Yzerman is poised to eat everyone's lunch (again), just like he did while he was building the TBL juggernaut.

                        I can only hope UNH has someone in charge soon enough to fill me with the same level of confidence ...
                        Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                        Montreal Expos Forever ...

                        Comment


                        • It's funny, I was just thinking about this after spending time yesterday on 'Ref's question on Kane/DRW ... my first Internet experience with a message board came from following the 'Wings on the Detroit Free Press website, which at the time had a Red Wings message board. It was an exciting time, right around the start of the Wings-Avs rivalry, and Detroit's long push to get over the line with a long-awaited Stanley Cup, so the energy was super high, and there was no lack of content or topics to discuss. Frankly, I was hooked on the Internet after that.

                          Among the hundreds of regular posters who were on the Freep site then, there was one who was a fellow DRW fan AND was also a BU fan, and another poster from BC who was less of a DRW fan, but enjoyed the social aspect of the banter ... and both mentioned USCHO to me, once our conversations beyond NHL hockey went in that direction. I had checked out Hockey L (USCHO precursor) before that, and didn't really like that format, but USCHO had a message board, just like the Freep had for the 'Wings. And it was a really fun time to be a UNH fan, too.

                          So I've been here ever since, and while the Freep shut down its message boards sometime around the turn of the century because it had just become too difficult to moderate - and when I describe the early days of USCHO as the "Wild Wild West" days, even that didn't hold a candle to the no-holds-barred content on the Freep DRW board. Literally nothing was out of bounds, half of us talked hockey, the other half gossiped on endlessly about players' personal lives, etc. I did a satire thread on that once, "Puck Bunny Gossip Patch" or something like that, which you can only imagine how that went. Whatever you may think of what's been posted on here, I can assure you, there's no way I could get something like that on here these days without a substantial suspension. But no one died, we all laughed, and life went on.

                          Anyway ... please, let's get back to hockey, it was my turn to keep this one on the front page ... ;-)
                          Sworn Enemy of the Perpetually Offended
                          Montreal Expos Forever ...

                          Comment


                          • So UNH plays RPI and two former recruits. John Evans a once prized recruit has played in three games and has one point. Nick Ardanaz another highly regarded Defensman has one point in ten games, I guess Souza was at least right on these two. On the other hand their getting a great education at a great engineering school.
                            Last edited by Robert Balin; 12-08-2023, 07:46 AM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Robert Balin View Post
                              So UNH plays RPI and two former recruits. John Evans a once prized recruit has played in three games and has one point. Nick Ardanaz another highly regarded Defensman has one point in ten games, I guess Souza was at least right on these two. On the other hand they’re getting a great education at a great engineering school.
                              Excellent post! Also, former UNH undergrad geology major E. Bruce Watson became a world-renown professor at RPI, winning many prestigious international awards. As an aside, Bruce also knew that the depth to the Exetergranodiorite bedrock was too shallow to build an affordable underground parking garage adjacent to the Whitt. :-)
                              Last edited by Snively65; 12-08-2023, 10:46 AM.

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                              • Originally posted by HockeyRef View Post

                                Hear hear could not agree more!! Possession is huge...
                                Just ask RPI, which apparently has fifth worst SOG in Div 1.

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