Nuckertuzzi wrote:The thing is this hasn't been going on in recent games, for me I started noticing the decline of our offense right after Christmas and it has since gradually gotten worse. We can chalk it up to a lot of factors...whether its' our top guys having an off year due to fatigue from playing too much hockey and a lack of offseason preparation,...or it's the officiating dragging the game back to the pre-lockout era,..or the deadline deals where the team mandatorily had to change their style of play,..etc, etc,.. I don't know, probably a combination of all those factors, but I agree it's pretty disheartening watching a team that's barely a shadow of the one we use to love seeing control the game at their will with puck possession, speed, pace et al.
I agree that it is not a recent phenomena, though I missed a recent months worth of play so I was restricting my comments to what I have seen.
Note another factor in this is that opponents have started challenging the Sedin cycle differently. They apply great pressure on both players during the cycle and then instead of a winger/centre hanging out near the half boards and having the puck chipped past him off the boards to the point, the winger/centre drops back and attacks the point man keeping him honest and preventing the pinch. It was a big reason for the odd man rushes the Canucks began surrendering.
The other thing opponents were doing was challenging the breakout pass to Daniel on the boards at the opponents blue line. It was a set play with the puck almost always going cross ice through the centre dot.
Matty - Shut down hockey or reactionary hockey, call it what you will, it can not work in the long term because it involves waiting for the opponent to make a mistake. All teams play it late in the game with a lead, but fall behind and you do need to create your own chances (exactly what Hansen did in OT the other night).
That said, your top offensive weapons still need to be your top offensive threats when you go into shutdown mode. Your skilled players should be the ones creating those turn overs and exploiting them and Selke winners should thrive in that role.