Tell me if this sounds familiar:
You are sitting in your platinum seats at AA or watching at home with R&R; watching another Dallas Stars
' game. The other team dumps the puck in. Dallas' defender is in good position to beat the forechecker to the puck. Dallas' defender gets to the puck and proceeds to 'attempt' to skate the puck out of the zone and up ice with control. The defenseman, who now has the puck, skates up the wall only to be met by a forchecker or two. Dallas' defenseman tries to make a move or a pass and it gets intercepted. "Dammit, a turnover! Better not do that again!" I yell from the stands or at the TV. Now Dallas is on defense again, but Kari bails out the defense with a great save.
A few seconds go by. The opposing team chips the puck in again and Dallas retreats to get the puck. The Dallas defender beats all-comers to the puck and has full control again. He maybe makes a pass under duress to his D-partner, then that defenseman tries to skate the puck out of the zone and into neutral ice. Here comes another forechecker. Dallas' defenseman attempts to make a move or a pass under pressure again or is outworked and it is another turnover. Now Dallas is on defense again in their own zone and Kari makes another great save to bail out the defense.
Rinse and repeat this scenario about 10-20 more times, then finally Kari can't control the rebound from a wicked shot and finally gets beat and lets one in.
Repeat this same scenario about 35 times per game and that's what it seems like watching a Dallas game.
What happened to going and getting a dumped-in puck, turning and flipping the puck up high and out or off the glass at a hard angle so it settles more towards center ice rather than go for icing and then going and getting it?
Why does it seem to me that Dallas feels like it absolutely HAS TO come out of defensive zone with control of the puck every, single, freaking time?
What happened to getting it out of the zone first and foremost, then going and getting it back second?
I think I see the theory behind Gulutzan's system: to come out of the zone with one or two great passes, a super-fast d-man skating the puck himself, and bring it up with control rather than just pitch it to center ice and let the other team have it....but seemingly endless turnovers per game in the defensive and neutral zones have brought me to this simple conclusion:
IT AIN'T WORKING!
Flip it high, over everyone's heads and out, or off the glass HARD and out....whatever. Just get it OUT; but don't skate or pass into trouble and basically play 50/50 for possession of the puck.
Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Theories?
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