Jump to content
The Official Site of the Montréal Canadiens
Canadiens de Montreal

2012-13 Special Teams


BigTed3
 Share

Recommended Posts

The problem isn't personnel we don't have, it's personnel not being used correctly combined with a bad system. Guys like White and Armstrong have no business killing penalties regularly when Plekanec, Gionta, Eller, and Moen are healthy. In terms of system, it looks to me like the coaches have instructed the players to execute a version of the ES system on the kill -- chase the puck aggressively, outnumber teams on the boards, and dig for the puck. That works 5-on-5 because outmanning a team on the boards is less likely to lead to an enemy player being wide open in a prime scoring area. It doesn't work on the PK when you're down a man and thus risk letting someone come free for a good scoring chance / open look if you overpursue the puck. Aggression on PK is less important than intelligence, patience, and anticipation: take away the shooting lanes, rotate well, don't get confused about your assignment, and frustrate the other team into either a turnover or a low-percentage shot, either of which you can then clear.

This is what I have been saying all along,but you put it in better terms than me Weeps,and this is just what we did last year and we did manage to get short handed goals,I bet it is fraustating to the players because they know just how to do it.

GO HABS GO :wacko::wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest habs1952

And yet that is what he did on the 8% of penalty kills that is the difference between this year and last, IMO. Not saying that we should expect it, but that's what I saw last year.

I'd say the four guys playing in front of Price are surrendering many more excellent scoring chances this year than last. They're hanging Price out to dry too often.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll echo the PK frustration here. There is absolutely no excuse for our PK to be so mediocre this year, it's the same bloody roster. I've had enough of Markov on the PK, Gorges-Subban Pleks-Moen needs to be the 1st unit right now. White and Armstrong should not be on the PK ahead of Gionta, Eller, or Prust. There's no reason it's so bad other than bad coaching decisions. It's not rocket science. As maddie said, if it ain't broke don't fix it, and our PK was far from broken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our system is awful when we're down a man. As I said before, overloading the boards works at ES, but is very risky when you're shorthanded. If you watch the end of the game and Elias's chance when it was 6-on-5, we had the same old problem with three players caught on the boards, the other two overloaded to the left hash marks, and not one but TWO Jersey players wide open on the right side. Teams are scouting this tendency and are going to keep taking advantage of it. I don't like it one bit. You can't play the same on the PK as you play at even strength...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our system is awful when we're down a man. As I said before, overloading the boards works at ES, but is very risky when you're shorthanded. If you watch the end of the game and Elias's chance when it was 6-on-5, we had the same old problem with three players caught on the boards, the other two overloaded to the left hash marks, and not one but TWO Jersey players wide open on the right side. Teams are scouting this tendency and are going to keep taking advantage of it. I don't like it one bit. You can't play the same on the PK as you play at even strength...

Noticed it the same Weeps,the goal they scored although it was from a different side wide open again,gotta play the PK tighter,this is really bugging me now,our players know how to do this,just let them do it,I understand that new coaches want to make their mark but this one is a big black one.

GO HABS GO :unsure::unsure:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On Travis Moen... have never been a huge fan of what he brings, albeit it I understand he was put in positions in the line-up he shouldn't have been in over the past 2 years. That said, the guy doesn't skate well, doesn't score, and doesn't really fight any more. The PK has struggled despite his being there, and with the addition of Halpern, we now have

Plekanec

Halpern

Eller

Armstrong

White

Gionta

Bourque (when he returns)

Prust (when he returns)

who can all play the PK.

The real utility of having Moen has become his use on the PK because he doesn't add a lot of value to other aspects of the game. In short, we thought we'd be getting from Moen what we've gotten from Prust and Moen, in comparison, has not proven to be as valuable. So to me, Moen and his 4-year contract become replaceable by guys on shorter and more affordable deals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Josh Gorges knows what I'm talking about:

It was difficult for Gorges to accept the loss and he expressed concerns about the penalty kill.

“I’m upset about the 5-on-3 goal because our penalty kill has to start shutting things down,” he said. “We can say what we want about it being a 5-on-3 but I don’t care. There’s too much pride in this room to accept that.”

When asked if there was a lot of concern about the PK, Gorges replied: “It’s the most glaring facet of our game that needs to change, needs to get better. Our power play is in the top 10 in the league, our five-on-five differential is up there near the top and we’re winning games but I think when it comes to crunch time and in the playoffs, that’s one of things we want to rely on.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, just to point out that our PK has not been as awful as some are making it out to be, despite the fact I agree it's not stellar either. It sits in 19th place in the league at 80% (23 goals allowed in 115 chances). The numbers right now are small enough that if you take out just 3 PPG against, it improves us to 82.7%, which would put us 12th in the league. Take out 4 goals, and it pushes us to 83.5%, good for 8th in the league. The point is that the margins here are not big, and we're really only a handful of plays away from this being a top 10 PK in the league.

Of the 23 goals allowed on the PK, 3 came on 5-on-3 PP's while another came at 4-on-3. So the PK has yielded 19 times when one man down. They have given up more than one goal on 6 occasions this year, 4 of those times coming against top 10 PP's in the league. And our PK sits ahead of or equal to 4 other Eastern conference teams currently in the playoff picture.

Can we be better? Without a doubt. It's an area that we know we can do more at and one of the few areas where we can probably make improvements that could gain us more points in the standings. But is it a disaster? Far from it. It's actually reasonably par for the course in the NHL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have also gone from last to fighting for first.

However our PK was the lone bright spot last year & is one of our major weaknesses this year no matter how we compare to other teams. The incompetence of reffing has not helped either but nowadays that has become part of the game & it is our responsibility to kill them off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We went from no. 2 in the league to no. 19. That's a disastrous slide within a single season.

It's a valid point that we've regressed, but as I said, I think there's also going to be some natural ebb and flow to how a team does. In addition, the number of penalty kills this year is far lower than the sample size we've had over the past couple of season, so the variability with fewer data points tends to go up. And thirdly, regardless of whether the new coaching system is good or bad, there is a natural adjustment period when you ask players to play a new system, so perhaps if we give it a year or two, the same players in the same system do better.

For comparison's sake, let's also point out that the team last year had the second most SH occasions in the league last year and was one of the worst teams in the league in general. So that brings up the questions of 1. whether we were more accustomed to being on the PK and/or practiced it more and 2. whether other teams may have had some of their PP situations against us at times when they had already wrapped up games and they put less pressure on us. Theoretical, but just throwing out one possible explanation. Two years ago, we had the most SH situations of any team. Three years ago, we were in the middle of the pack for number of SH occasions and also in the middle of the pack for SH efficacy.

Lastly, we did just fine last year even without Hal Gill, but in a small number of games. I know he had deficiencies in his game, but he really did do a great job of taking out the other team's ability to play the down-low game and say what you want, but our D has had its difficulties (both short-handed and at even strength) this year at picking guys up in the slot/crease and taking away the short passing game. So maybe there is something of an effect from losing Gill for an entire season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one person, no matter how elite they are in teams, should be responsible for a 17-rank slide in the standings. Gill provided value, no question, but the variance between him being here and not being here is comparatively small. Gill also wasn't the only penalty-killer we had and wasn't on the ice for every penalty we killed.

As for system adjustment, the players ARE playing the new system. The problem is, the new system sucks. We have a good, solid group of experienced penalty-killers and a good goalie. There is absolutely no excuse to slide to 19th in the league within a single season. I wasn't expecting a no. 2 rated PK again, but I was expecting us to be top 10 league-wide. What Therrien and Daigneault have done is not defensible. It's clear from watching the games that they are preaching an extremely aggressive style that is leaving shooting lanes wide open at the point and the high slot and dramatically increasing the likelihood of a man coming free if we don't win the puck battle on the boards. What's more, instead of making hard clears, the PKers are trying to feather perfect five-foot passes to teammates: as a result, we're always chasing the puck, always having to switch direction because someone picks off one of those five-foot passes. If it were one or two guys dropping the ball, I could understand the need to preach patience, but I've seen this nonsense from everyone we've used to kill penalties this season. When top PKers like Gorges are playing out of character, you know coaching is the issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't agree with Weeps very often,but it was obvious from the get go,that the pk was not as efficient,it was one of the few bright spots last year,the very first game this season it was glaringly apparent,that they had tried to change it and as far as I am concerned it doesn't work,they are trying to take puck poscession,from the opposing team, instead of defending,I can see the thinking behind this,but to me it is not working,we have had only one chance that I can remember for a shortie this season last year we scored a few even when we were 5 on 3,Pleks got that one,and we don't clear the puck any where near as often.GO HABS GO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure, the slide has been 17 positions in the standing, but just 2-3 days ago, we were 16th in the standings (slide only 14 positions), and in 3 days, we could just as easily shoot up to 12th or slide down to 24th. The size of the sample is still small enough that a handful of plays has a large effect on our ranking; as I posted, had we let up just 4 fewer PP goals, we would be in the top 10 in the league again.

I fully agree that the PK can do better, I think you're ignoring the fact that I agree with you on this point. I just don't think the PK is such an atrocity that it can't be corrected going forward. The other point I've been trying to make is that the PK was so good last season (88% efficacy) that by statistical variance alone, the PK was bound to do worse this season, just as our team was bound to do better in the overall standings no matter who we brought in as coach. If we look at where our PK has realistically performed over the past 5 years, we've typicaly been in the 82-84% efficacy range. So to me, 80%, while inferior to where we've been, is really not that far off our average. The numbers easily show that the 88% we posted last year is more the statistical outlier, and while it would be great to set our sights on lofty goals, it's not something that's that easy to simply reproduce. As I said, I agree that the PK has underperformed, and I'm not an overly big fan of the system being employed, but I'm also willing to give it a chance because the numbers tell the story that despite our perceptions, it's not doing that much worse than league average and not doing that much worse than how we've typically done in the past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Engel's article on hockeybuzz:

I asked Josh Gorges if the strategy has changed at all from the previous two seasons of excellent penalty killing for the Habs, and he says : "Not at all".

Gorges did however mention that the Canadiens have been a little bit "back on their heels" on the penalty kill, and would like to see them be more aggressive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Engel's article on hockeybuzz:

I asked Josh Gorges if the strategy has changed at all from the previous two seasons of excellent penalty killing for the Habs, and he says : "Not at all".

Gorges did however mention that the Canadiens have been a little bit "back on their heels" on the penalty kill, and would like to see them be more aggressive.

Well, I guess that's where you have to factor in how much Gorges can say. He can't very well throw Therrien or Daigneault under the bus in public, so he has to fall back on cliché, which I understand -- he's gotta play for these coaches, and can't be in the position of burning bridges. But the fact is, we've been getting burned precisely because we've been too aggressive. The evidence on film is there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just ro reinforce my point, PK currently sits at 80.17% success rate. Last season after the same number of games, PK sat at.... 80.17%. This shows 3 things:

1. Last year's PK didn't gel until later in the season

2. Our PK may have benefited from teams easing off on us in the second half because we were already behind in games and the standings.

3. The sample size is small and shows that an 80% can quickly become an 88% within 20-30 games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought our PK was where it needed to be last night. They gave up a goal, but our best non-goalie penalty killer broke his stick and was playing with the wrong curve. It happens, and we didn't give Boston too much on the other chances. I thought we were goners with the 4-on-3, but they found a way to fight it out. Halpern sure helped a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought our PK was where it needed to be last night. They gave up a goal, but our best non-goalie penalty killer broke his stick and was playing with the wrong curve. It happens, and we didn't give Boston too much on the other chances. I thought we were goners with the 4-on-3, but they found a way to fight it out. Halpern sure helped a lot.

I'm really digging the Halpern pickup. Even though he wasn't particularly strong in the circle last night, just having someone that can take important draws is a really nice addition to the club.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I posted this in the GDT and thought id post here, pardon the bad drawings

Plekanec

Ryder Gionta

Galchenyuk

Subban

Pacioretty

Desharnais Gallagher

Eller

Markov

The only real problem other than my actual formation not making sense (I NEVER PLAYED HOCKEY OK!?) is that we would essentially wear down our frowards for a while.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Same as looking at financials and other performance metrics, in sport, including hockey, I'm most interested in "how are they doing lately".

Case in point, heading into the play-offs last season, the prospect of the LA Kings doing well was clearly in the cards.

PP and PK I generally look at trailing/last 10 games. It is an arbitrary figure for recent history, and one has to be careful when the opposition is crowded with weaker hockey clubs over such a short stint.

However, right now, in the last 10 games through the 4-1 win over Winnipeg on Thursday:

  • PP: 26.7%, and the highest trailing-10 reading this season for the Habs
  • PK: 87.5%, the highest this season if you discount the early season readings, following no (real) training camps -- every team's PK was decent because every opposing team's PP was horrid.
  • Sum reading: 114.2% and by far the highest this season -- natural since both have been clicking. Any sum reading exceeding 105 is considered excellent.

The top (season-to-date) sum teams are 1. Ottawa 2. Philly 3. Edmonton. Montreal is 8th season-to-date at 103.9% (and climbing!).

The Habs PP really swooned mid-Feb to mid-Mar. It's back-on track, with good puck movement, and the opposition trying to guess if the play coming is the Markov back-door or the Subban blast from the point.

The Habs PK enjoyed a miserable couple of weeks early in March, but hasn't been poor otherwise. It is currently on a roll. Halpern has to be judged as part of that.

Add to all that, that the Habs 5-on-5 stat is at 1.36 and has moved into 2nd in the NHL, behind only Chicago (at a whopping 1.56), and things are looking rather up.

10-12 games to go, so it is a matter of keeping things going and refining.

And staying away from injuries (however that is done).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...