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Thread: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

  1. #501
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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    I'm going to edit down to the important parts of two of Dan's posts today, and cut to the chase. In short, I think it's a clear issue of coaching tactics WAY more than poring over raw data, and working to get the right guys with the right skill sets into the right positions to shore up a key special team issue where it's obvious improvement can be made. Let's start here ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Most notably I often find their PK to be especially passive. I assume they do not wish to be caught out of position for easy back door goals, etc. That makes perfect sense, except it isn't working and too often they're giving opponents far too much time and space. When I watch the UNH PP (ranked 12th best in the country) they seem to have the worst go of it when opponents are aggressive … at the top of the zone. This can lead to getting beat for bad/easy/ugly goals against but it also leads to more rushed passes, turnovers and clears. The goals against might be unattractive, but does it really matter if you're giving up fewer?

    The staff also need to take a look at shaking up the PK units - even if the only number they're looking at is 30% goals against. The status quo isn't working. And finding out which players are excelling on the PK, or those who are struggling and making the right adjustments isn't ruinous. Its the coaches' job. I think anyone would have pegged Maass, Wyse, Blackburn, etc as their best PKers prior to the season. It SEEMS obvious, right? But the results are clear and using whatever they have at their disposal (video, eye tests, even numbers) to get to the bottom of things (potentially leading to something so terrible as math driven adjustments) is absolutely necessary if they want to maximize their potential success in 2020...
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    One thing that jumps out to me at the forward position on the PK is the guys they're relying on are the same guys they rely on to play big minutes 5x5 and play the PP. That adds up to a lot of ice time. I think they have capable PK type talents among their third and fourth line forwards and it would be interesting to me to see them experiment with more situational ice time for guys like MacAdams, Esposito, Engaras and Herrmann...
    See? Problem identified, both tactically (too much space, too passive up top) AND personnel-wise (3rd & 4th line forwards, with more energy and focus). Not at all unlike NHL-level coaches over the course of my lifetime, where guys like Harry Sinden (B's) and Scotty Bowman (Habs, etc. etc.) and most of their contemporaries - and probably well before them, but I can't comment on Toe Blake or Jack Adams or their ilk 'cuz I wasn't around back then - who would regularly identify 3rd and 4th line forwards (and sometimes even trade for them) to specifically handle PK duties. Nothing new and/or revolutionary there, requiring an army of analytics gurus. Heck - MS7 can refer back to his own college coach, who 20 years ago was sending out a kid like Johnny Rogers (and others like him) to kill penalties regularly, against the best and brightest of the opposition's PP units.

    As you stated … I don't care what the goals allowed look like, I just care that there are less allowed in the future than there have been so far this season. Back-door plays aren't as easy as they look - although they do look fantastic when then do come off. It's a PK, and the inherent part is it's supposed to be a disadvantage, so you're gonna have to live with giving up some goals anyway. So what if one of them might end up on "Sports Center" or something? It still only counts as one allowed … and as is often the case in those shows anyway, how often is it that you hear "Bla Bla scored this amazing goal tonight but Bla Bla's team lost 4-2"? BC has ALWAYS utilized a pressuring PK over most (if not all) of the years Coach York has been there. So press, be aggressive, set a tone, fortune favors the brave, etc.

    It's honestly not that complicated. Try stuff out, in real live game situations, and when it works, great. If it doesn't work - and it hasn't been working, we all agree - then try something else. What do you have to lose, when there's so much more to be gained. You're the coach - that's your job, and it's why you're here, and Coach Umile is sunning himself down in Cabo or Ibiza, or Rye.

    I'm 99.99% positive MS7 is already aware, and working on this anyway. Last night will just give him a terrific fresh example to discuss with the guys this week at practice. Because, as they say, "the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting a different result". And MS7 doesn't impress me as being insane. Or not yet anyway. JMHO.
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  2. #502
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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Dorn View Post
    Dan,

    I think we are on the same page here. I do not like to be negative. I feel like I am observing an accident about to happen and I can't do anything about it.

    I do not know the answer here. It may be the wrong strategy with the right players. It may be the right strategy with the wrong players. Or it may be both the wrong strategy for this year's team and using the wrong players. I don't know, but it needs to be figured out.
    Not that you asked … but yeah, wrong approach (passive) and wrong players (at least up top - no issue with riding the top four defensemen). One would think Coach Guiliano would be familiar enough with how BC handled their more pressure-oriented PK's (IIRC he himself spent a fair amount of time on the PK units as a player) to inject some of that over into UNH's modern-day PK.

    There's always going to be more attacking zone space on the Olympic-sized surface, so that's always going to make things just a little more challenging for a PK unit. But if you drill the units to certain basics, and a certain more aggressive mindset, ice size shouldn't make that big a difference anyway. I guess what I'm saying is, don't expect changes tonight. But maybe starting next weekend ...
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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    One of the issues for UNH is that we play on an Olympic sheet of ice (100 feet wide) instead of the typical NHL (85 feet wide). This amounts to more than 17% more ice surface the team has to defend in the defensive zone. I believe the majority of the hockey world would say the bigger the ice surface the more passive the penalty kill needs to be.

    Last night, UNH had three players in the corner, within a couple of feet of the boards, just seconds before Providence scored their first power play goal. This particular play they were too aggressive. I believe the issue is not being too passive. I believe some players are too aggressive and getting themselves out of position, others are not defending the passing lanes properly and some players are doing a poor job trying to block shots. Too many times the shot blockers are not blocking the shot, they are screening our goalie.

    The one thing that needs to be mentioned that has not been mentioned yet: "The goalie always needs to be the team's best penalty killer".
    Last edited by Ray Dorn; Today at 05:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibber View Post
    It may have changed but in the 2006 women's Frozen four in Minnesota, Minnesota was awarded a penalty shot when replay showed a UNH defenseman (woman?) covered the puck in the crease.... it was pretty **** clear on TV last night
    Agreed, an illegal covering of the puck in the crease would be the exception to review for a possible penalty shot. I have not seen the questionable play from last night and was only responding to posts here.

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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

    Ugh staved off the 5 min only to be scored on...sighhh

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    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyRef View Post
    Ugh staved off the 5 min only to be scored on...sighhh
    Killing 5-min majors obviously wears a team down, but more important, taking 5-min majors is selfish and stupid, imho.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    Killing 5-min majors obviously wears a team down, but more important, taking 5-min majors is selfish and stupid, imho.
    Could not agree more think that's his second game misconduct this season?...nice momentum the last few mins maybe we get something going in the third. Go 'Cats!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyRef View Post
    Could not agree more think that's his second game misconduct this season?...nice momentum the last few mins maybe we get something going in the third. Go 'Cats!!
    Oh, and now I see that the third Friars goal was 10 secs after the Cats killed off their 5-min major, so I view that as essentially two PPGs for the Friars so far tonight. Bring back the UNH SMT's.

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    Re: UNH Hockey: Treading Water or Trending Upward

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  10. #510
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    Oh, and now I see that the third Friars goal was 10 secs after the Cats killed off their 5-min major, so I view that as essentially two PPGs for the Friars so far tonight. Bring back the UNH SMT's.
    Anemic PK...anemic PP...Friars brought their game tonight. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It's not the result that bothers me tonight it's that I did not see any adjustments..hope we figure the issue out and fast. Souza disappointed in his presser says they beat themselves I'd agree.

    Welp still glad to have the split onto UMass!!
    Last edited by HockeyRef; Today at 10:04 PM.

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