Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.

3/29/2007

Playing the trap

David Shoalts has a great article up at globesports about what should concern any Leafs fan; can the Leafs win a game against a trap-style team? They managed to beat the Devils recently, but New Jersey was lacking firepower. Not so with the Thrashers.
[M]y chief concern [is] that we're going to try and put every pass on the tape and fit the puck through their team. We're not going to be able to do that
Turning the tables on a trap team can be a successful tact, forcing the sitters into attackers, but allowing Hossa and Kovulchuk to rush at will doesn't seem like a winning strategy to me. But rushing into the trap is playing into their hands, and probably won't work if the defense join the rush. This game has me nervous.

7 Comments:

  • At 6:30 PM, Blogger PPP said…

    I think it's less a problem with teams that trap as much as teams that collapse in front of the net. The Leafs thrive on goals that arise from crashing the net. A team like Boston that played that way in 6 of the games (no word on what their game plan was in the 10-2, 5-1 games) gives the Leafs much more trouble because there are no rebounds.

     
  • At 11:35 PM, Blogger TomUWO said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 11:38 PM, Blogger TomUWO said…

    For a while now I have been of the opinion that Stajan is playing at a very low level. His game against Buffalo on Friday and his effort on Tuesday against the Canes were abberations.

    Against the Thrashers tonight, Satjan was invisible; he had no burst, no physical presence, no positional play. Tonights game was more indicative of his play since November.

    The way Boyd was physically targeted left a bad taste in my mouth. I hope that Hartley wasn't going after him because of his concussion history. Does anyone have any ideas?

     
  • At 9:18 AM, Blogger PPP said…

    I don't like Hartley as a coach so I wouldn't put that kind of thought past him. That first hit especially was very high.

    I couldn't think of any other explanation for targeting Devo.

     
  • At 9:32 AM, Blogger ninja said…

    Irregardiblessly of Hartley's obvious dirty streak, where was the Leafs' response? Exelby and Sutton had free reign to hit at will, without fear. Only Kilger and Carlo made repeated attempts to even the hitting. The forecheck wasn't punishing the Thrasher D when they arrived on time. And neutral zone hits were almost non-existent.

    Knowing Kilger is the only forward that will hit you isn't an effective use of force from the Leafs' perspective.

     
  • At 10:40 AM, Blogger TomUWO said…

    It would have been nice to have a guy like Belak dressed for this game, knowing Hartley and our history with the Thrashers.
    Who should we have moved to the press box? Stajan.

     
  • At 11:11 AM, Blogger ninja said…

    tomuwo, I like Stajan's game so he wouldn't be sitting if I had my way. Stajan didn't have a huge game, like a few other bigger name players, but he did a decent job on the cycle, got the puck up ice and deep and helped out in his zone. I'd cut him some slack. He just had a three game point streak snapped.

    The neutral zone is where Stajan is most noticeable, and last night the Thrashers bottled that up pretty well. And that was the problem; the forecheck isn't creating havoc because the trap slows down the forecheckers.

    I'm not sure having Belak on the ice for five minutes would've made much of a difference.

     

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