glen a richter wrote:
I didn't need to get too far in that article to think of one very important point:
This team has drafted a slew of offensively gifted defensemen... Parayko, Walman, Dunn, Schmaltz and of course we already have the veteran leader in Pietrangelo. Edmundson also has some offensive ability as well. These are all two-way defenders and it's completely irresponsible of the coaching staff to not use them as such. They're young enough and skilled enough that they can all lead a rush and then have the energy to turn around and defend when necessary. So how come we're still adhering to a defense first philosophy when we have six blueliners who can all move the puck? I'd rather let the players loose and sacrifice a bit on the other end. Trust in Jake and if his GAA goes up and his save % goes down a bit, who gives a crap if you're scoring more and winning more? Forget playing possession hockey. Time of possession doesn't necessarily equate to scoring more goals, as we've seen plenty in the Hitch/Yeo era.
The style the Blues have been coached to play wears them down come playoff time. How about a high paced game that keeps the other teams on their toes for 60 minutes and makes them wear down instead? In a seven game series, let the other team be the one that's totally gassed every night.
++++++++++ Can't put enough pluses on this.
Instead, we will see 1-3-1 or 1-2-2 with no significant forecheck, waiting for turnovers, and looking for the occasional stretch pass. That's Yeo. On top of that, having offensively skilled defenseman means you can use them on the power play without relying on a forward to be the other point. But we will see the 1D-4F power play because it's "safe" and what everyone else does. All of this is passive and letting the other team attack you. It wears on players not being free to do what the opponent is doing to you. Reacting, instead of acting, weighs on the mind when it's done so much. There is no creativity in reacting and it doesn't pressure the opponent as effectively.
Very interesting that Nelson won the Calder Cup with his heavy attack philosophy. Mike McKenna was one of the netminders for Syracuse who lost in the Finals.
There were 2 other comments in that article that stood out.
When Nelson took over the Oilers, teammates wouldn't eat together as a team. They would all be in separate groups of around 4 players. When he left, the team was eating together at tables of 16 players. He knows how turn a team not having a team mindset into a team with that team mindset, on an off the ice.
The other is the importance of buy-in. Oshie was traded, because he stopped buying in to Hitchcock's system and was vocal about it. I don't know what happened before Hithcock was fired, but it looked like a team not buying in to a system on many nights. Yeo took over, the players clearly bought in, but the system is weak offensively. Buy-in is pointless if the system doesn't score enough goals to win in the playoffs. As long as Yeo is the coach, this team is not moving forward in this freeing the offense more rules era.
Looking forward to seeing the 2017-18 schedule and predicting how the Blues do based on when they face playoff teams vs non-playoff teams. .500 hockey vs playoff teams and .800 vs non-playoff teams. That's pretty much what they did last season and I highly doubt it changes. Unless - younger talent is inserted in this roster, they are allowed to play significant ice time to improve the offense, and Yeo doesn't ruin them by forcing his defense first mindset. I'm curious as to the impact Berube will have on how this team performs offensively.