I'm not suggesting that they'll flip a switch. I'm suggesting that, in previous years, they've crashed and banged their way to the top in regular season. They've put it all out there prior to getting there (to the playoffs). The comeback kids, who battled till the end in some games in order to win. Then the playoffs, and they go in depleted, already exhausted, beat up, etc. This year there's some sense that they're coasting. That they're not firing on all cylinders (I tend to agree). So maybe by the time they do wake up, it'll be just in time? Not that they say "ok, let's go now" but that it just sort of happens that way. They've always been slow starters, so maybe by the playoffs they'll be clicking again. That's my suggestion.
I would totally agree with you on this one deb, except for a couple worrying things.
-When we were losing a bit there at the start of the season, I could see the Canucks playing VERY smart even though the breaks were going against them. That was why I wasn't worried back then, and it was justified when the goalies started heating up.
-Starting the few games before the losing streak (the only exception being the win vs LAK), the entire team's game smarts seem to have left them.
The signs that game smarts aren't there:
1) The anticipation of the puck is again lost, as the opposing team rings the puck around the boards for 2 mins at a time and our players can never catch up.
2) No direct pressure on the puck carrier allows the opponent to bring the puck anywhere they like such as through the crease and around the goalie, or right to the slot for a good shot (has allowed 2 big goals in the last couple of games). By extension, the forecheck pressure is not existent - while this may be a system decision, it still seems that their defensemen have no issues bringing the puck up to the redline or even our own blue line.
3) Our players do not power move/carry the pucks to the front of the net or to the slot to take a good shot (only exceptions - higgins raymond hansen, and I have to admit that raymond is becoming the equivalent of a very dangerous 2nd/3rd line sniper). By extension, we are not utilizing making the rebounds and putting in garbage goals.
The signs that the game smarts are there:
1) We consistently have a 3rd man always on the half-wall to help retrieve pucks won from battling in the corners (I even see the 4th liners like Siestito doing it right).
2) We are improving on (ie. it's done 50% of the time now) where we set up a 5 man support for our guys that are fighting for the puck in the corner (1-2 guys battling for the puck, 1 guy near the middle of the ice for a short outlet pass, 2 guys near the blue line for long pass options and transition rushes).
Edited by Forsy, 08 March 2013 - 01:20 PM.