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xereau

What is Torts' System, Anyhow?

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After much thought as to why the Canucks look so bad on the ice, and this stretches back to before the cluster of injuries, I have come to realize: I don't even know what kind of hockey Tortorella is trying to get these guys to play.

Some observations:

The D treat the puck like its a hand grenade. Almost none of them skate the puck out of the D zone. Most of them immediately panic when they get the puck and pass it (poorly) to the other D, or, halfass flip the puck hoping not to ice it and finesse it out to center ice, only for the other team to pick it off, or, retreive it and immediately re-enter the O zone. Is this a strategy? Give the other team the puck?

The entire team has been taught to "collapse to the net" and get in shooting lanes. But just who exactly is clearing anyone from out in front of the net? I see Hamhuis occassionally attempt to. Where are the huge checks on the boards that pop out the puck and lead to odd man rushes? Where is the puck hounding in the D zone?

The entire team seemingly can not make a pass to save their lives. When the best you can do is a hard pass from the D into the neutral zone, resulting in either a chip in for chase, or a dump and chase ensues, there is zero capacity to score on the rush. Has anyone else noticed the phantom drop passes in the high slot, to no one? I can see the blind passes to the front of the net, but into the high slot? What is this?

The entire team usually floats on the perimeter in the offensive zone. Rarely does anyone go to the front of the net. The puck gets cycled along the boards, and out to the point, and across the blue line, and back to behind the net when the shot goes wide because the other team knows exactly when the point shot is coming. Is this the 'system'? Perimeter cycle that requires constant pinching to retain puck possession? What ever happened to going to the net, and just flicking the puck in the feet of the guys within 2 feet of the blue paint?

What is the deal with the power play? No one goes to the front of the net. Sesito did, for one game, and swept a rebound in. And then it was abandoned. Huh? Passing on the PP has become completely predictable. The other teams don't go after puck possessers, they just shift into the shooting lanes, and wait for a mistake or missed /blocked shot to get ahold of the puck. No defenders against the Canucks get sucked out of the box for the cross seam pass. Why? Again, a man in front of the net takes the attention of at least one defender. Where is he?

The PK is one of the still powerful tools at this team's disposal. Aggressive puck pursuit still exists on the PK and results in many turnovers by the other team. I thought that this team was a bunch of 'puck punchers', forcing mistakes? They constantly do this on the PK. Where is this puck pursuit game when its 5 on 5? Is it not used because the team can not handle / pass the puck once they get possession? Is it because they are told to chip/dump and chase?

So, as you can see, I am confused. Can anyone enlighten me, on just exactly what Tortorella's system IS?

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When half of the players dressed are slow, underskilled, or taking the season off, you'll find that even Scotty Bowman couldn't get much done.

We may have the right coach at the wrong time though. They needed a whip-cracker when they were being smoked in the finals. At least then they might've given an effort in game 7. We'd still lose though.

At the start of the season 'the system' wasn't an issue. Now it is? No. The lineup is.

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Problem is coaching style doesn't match team. That being said how do you have a rough November killer December and rough January. Its not like we forgot how to score its that the team isn't trying probably cause they tuned the coach out allready

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Everything wrong with the Canucks is gillis's fault. I like torts as a coach but gillis has to make a major trade here cuz this core group of players will never win a cup.. Please trade edler! And Lou if you can gillis. I'd give him one more season and see if he can fix this mess, otherwise he needs to be fired. Gettin to the point where is rather have Pierre miguire running this team

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Everything wrong with the Canucks is gillis's fault. I like torts as a coach but gillis has to make a major trade here cuz this core group of players will never win a cup.. Please trade edler! And Lou if you can gillis. I'd give him one more season and see if he can fix this mess, otherwise he needs to be fired. Gettin to the point where is rather have Pierre miguire running this team

Why would you trade Luongo?? He's the only reason games aren't 7-1

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The Canucks are a puck possession team.

Torts is not a puck possession coach.

Its strange people actually thought he was the right fit.

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I do not like the defensive system he has put in place. His system: collapse towards the net, don't pressure the point men and get in shooting lanes to block shots.

Players will never block all the shots. This has lead to many goals going off our own guys and creating traffic around our goalies. Point men have the most the control and start moving the puck to make plays regardless, not pressuring them just gives them all the time to make plays and shots.

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The Canucks are a puck possession team.

Torts is not a puck possession coach.

Its strange people actually thought he was the right fit.

Actually that is not entirely true. He is just a different kind of puck-possession coach. He is trying to get the team out of certain habits that have developed that are contrary to his system and also change the mindsets into being more aggressive.

The differences include forwards collapsing deeper into the defensive zone and the defensemen playing more of a zone down low instead of picking a man. The breakouts and forecheck also have been altered, and there is more of an emphasis on blocking shots. But the biggest challenge for Tortorella is trying to get his new team to be more aggressive and assertive all over the ice.

"It's coming along, but there are still a number of things," Tortorella said. "There are habits one way and we'd like to try it another way that we'll continue to work at. The biggest thing for me is the mindset and that translates into playing the way we want to play, and that's just having an aggressive attitude."

"You got to turn the switch," Sedin told NHL.com. "When we lost the puck last year we were so focused on getting back up the ice, and now it's more getting the puck back as quick as possible. It's a mindset that has to be changed."...

"It's going to take a while for sure," Sedin said. "If you think about what to do out there it is going to take you that extra split-second to get where you want to be, and that's usually too late in this League."

"If you play this way it's supposed to give us more puck possession, which is way easier minutes than defending and not having the puck," he said.

The hope is shot blocking will become a seamless part of that. So far that hasn't been the case, with some players falling out of position to get in front of the puck, leaving their goaltender to guess as the puck makes its way through the unintended screens it creates. Given blocking shots never was a priority before -- Henrik Sedin had nine last season -- that, too, will require an adjustment period.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=684155

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Yet year after year the Rangers posted some of the worst possession numbers.

Could be a personnel issue certainly but there could be something more at work.

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I do not like the defensive system he has put in place. His system: collapse towards the net, don't pressure the point men and get in shooting lanes to block shots.

Players will never block all the shots. This has lead to many goals going off our own guys and creating traffic around our goalies. Point men have the most the control and start moving the puck to make plays regardless, not pressuring them just gives them all the time to make plays and shots.

But come playoff time, that is what you see the more successful teams doing throughout the league. Collapsing, blocking shots and protecting the net.

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One of Daniel's comments after the game last night is a good indication of the mindset that Torts is trying to implement.

When asked about blowing another third period lead, Danny responded by saying "we need to do a better job of defending the lead".

Think about that. They were up 1 - 0 on a fluke goal in a game where we really had zero other scoring opportunities and desperate for a win, and Danny first thought is we need to defend a 1 goal lead?

That right there tells me more than anything else about the mentality of these players and confirms in my mind the coach not being the right fit for this team.

I'm not actually blaming Torts because everyone knew what type of game and "systems" the NYR played. I'm also not lumping all the blame in with this group of players because let's face it, they're a veteran group who have played a certain type of system for a very long time.

So is it not strange that given his stated goal of winning now and retooling along the way, that Mike Gillis hires a coach who doesn't coach a similar puck possession style and in fact goes about trying to completely change this teams' game?

For me, the finger should be pointed squarely at Mike Gillis for thinking that changing the style of a team nearing the end of it's "window" in favour of one for which they are clearly not built is all it would take to get this team over the hump.

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Yet year after year the Rangers posted some of the worst possession numbers.

Could be a personnel issue certainly but there could be something more at work.

I'd say their puck-possession was average year after year, around the middle of the pack.

Even Larry Brooks, who would not pass on an opportunity to lay it on Torts, acknowledged that personnel was largely the issue of the Rangers' puck-possession woes and that the coaching staff could only work with what they had. This was after Slats gave his justification for firing Torts.

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One of Daniel's comments after the game last night is a good indication of the mindset that Torts is trying to implement.

When asked about blowing another third period lead, Danny responded by saying "we need to do a better job of defending the lead".

Think about that. They were up 1 - 0 on a fluke goal in a game where we really had zero other scoring opportunities and desperate for a win, and Danny first thought is we need to defend a 1 goal lead?

That right there tells me more than anything else about the mentality of these players and confirms in my mind the coach not being the right fit for this team.

I'm not actually blaming Torts because everyone knew what type of game and "systems" the NYR played. I'm also not lumping all the blame in with this group of players because let's face it, they're a veteran group who have played a certain type of system for a very long time.

So is it not strange that given his stated goal of winning now and retooling along the way, that Mike Gillis hires a coach who doesn't coach a similar puck possession style and in fact goes about trying to completely change this teams' game?

For me, the finger should be pointed squarely at Mike Gillis for thinking that changing the style of a team nearing the end of it's "window" in favour of one for which they are clearly not built is all it would take to get this team over the hump.

When a team is in a situation where it does not even have a first line to dress, defending the lead is actually quite critical.

And going back to the PHX game where the Canucks twice led by two goals, as well as the numerous times other teams tied the games up late, I'd say he is not far off.

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He uses the Dragon Ball Z system. The louder you scream the more powerful you become.

Laughed at this one.

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The Canucks are a puck possession team.

Torts is not a puck possession coach.

Its strange people actually thought he was the right fit.

I think this team is a puck pursuit team.

They lack the passing skill to be a long term possession team.

And you can see it through the neutral zone flips / chip and chase strategies outside the D zone.

Not saying that its working, but this is what is seemingly going on.

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The Canucks are a puck possession team.

Torts is not a puck possession coach.

Its strange people actually thought he was the right fit.

Not anymore. The existing talent is disinterested and the coaching is more interested in 'moral victories' than real ones.
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Yet year after year the Rangers posted some of the worst possession numbers.

Could be a personnel issue certainly but there could be something more at work.

The Leafs also stink in this regard, but they're doing better than they have in a long time. So maybe their fans can enlighten us.

(Pretty simple, they have more NHLers in the lineup, currently.)

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The Leafs also stink in this regard, but they're doing better than they have in a long time. So maybe their fans can enlighten us.

(Pretty simple, they have more NHLers in the lineup, currently.)

No one knows why the Leafs are doing well.

Personally I think Carlyle is a horrible coach, his systems don't work.

If it wasn't for some of the best goaltending and best goalscoring in the NHL the Leafs would be in the basement.

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