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Line selection and Corsi ratings


jagori78

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I was looking at the Corsi ratings around the league and line placements specifically by Vigneault today. As we all know, Coach V is the best in the league stats wise at placing his lines in specific opportunities. This is shown that the Sedins lead the league in offensive zone face-offs by a large margin. On the other side, Malhotra's line leads the league in defensive face-offs. This shows that Vigneault relies on line placement more than any other coach in the league.

This is part of the reason why the Sedins' have been near the top of the league in scoring over the past few years; with the other part being the power play. Obviously, the twins can't take all the offensive zone starts; and secondary scoring does share some of this prime ice-time opportunity.

Now, realizing that management wanted to pad Cody Hodgson's stats this past year, they gave him the biggest portion of offensive zone time after the twins. I think this had something to do with Kesler going from a 40 goal guy down to his usual 25 or whatever he got this year. Additionally, I wonder if players like Samuelsson and Raymond two years ago had something to do with this. So many times fans would complain that these wingers seemed to intentionally shoot into the goalies chest or glove to get a stoppage. Was this part of the coaching strategy to end a shift? Make sure that they got the offensive zone face-off? Because again, the Canucks led the league in this stat as well.

Also, management says it may be departing from this puck-possession game management system that they liked to call the "Detroit" model; and changing philosophy to the way L.A. played. The only specific thing that L.A. did that led to its success was it's forecheck. Specifically, they would always have 2 forwards in deep along the puck-side boards. As soon as 2 forwards were in the corner, the puck-side defenseman would pinch along the boards to the face-off dot for support; and as soon as they gained possession, he would retreat back to the opposite point.

I hope our defense coach will take a look at this strategy, because it was obvious L.A. practised this as a big part of their system. Ehrhoff did this very well, which made a big difference in successful fore-checking and puck retrieval. Basically, L.A. used the dump-and-chase with great success with this tactic. From what I see, Bieksa is inconsistent with this, as he seems to pinch by instinct, not by a specific system and gets caught not retreating when he should; Ballard is worse. Ballard actually holds on to the puck as long as he can until he puts it behind the net, or finds a forward to support him. Once he makes his decision, he makes a bee-line back to coverage.

I think that the biggest need for the team is a high-IQ mobile defenseman; to go along with a revamped system. Everybody is screaming for Weber or Nash or big bodies, not realizing it was the system L.A. and Boston had that beat us, not the size of their players. The playing style of guys like Doughty and Seidenberg made the difference. We had this in Ehrhoff; and it was no fluke that the Sedins' were point a game guys before he showed up, and 100 point guys when he was here.

Edler, Bieksa, and Salo are all just average in their hockey IQ and offensive awareness. The fact we have three of them leads to a consistency that leads to good results when paired with solid coaching. But to be elite with a lethal offense, we need that player again. I don't know who is out there that would be available, but I would love a Mike Green on this team. With strict systems coaching and a good training camp, I think he would complement our offense and fill that role well.

Management prides themselves on being able to maximize a players potential with the roles they have in their system. I would love to be a fly on the wall in these meetings, to know exactly what roles they have for each individual player, and how these various roles change year to year.

Which players have a license to make certain plays? The Sedins' have said in interviews they are allowed to do whatever they want on the ice as long as they back-check according to the system. Is Ballard allowed to have creativity? Why does Edler have to do that drop-pass in the neutral zone move that is so predictable in their power-play rush? Either we don't have the personnel to implement more effective fore-check and power-play strategies; or we need it coaching to put more emphasis on strategic systems.

Wall of text for the win!

Jagori (I'm still drunk)

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Lol, pretty good writing for a drunk dude :)

IMO, AV's the most unique coach in the NHL, and his 'system' can pretty much be pinned when you look at the advanced stats. It shows how he uses each player and how it changes from yr to yr. With other teams, it's not so noticeable. In terms of 'licenses', I think it depends soley on your role in his system. With Ballard for instance, he's the bottom pairing d-man. Bottom pairing d-man in AV's system take the most d-zone starts - which means their job is to limit chances against and get the puck up ice ASAP. It's not their job to get cute, or take big risks. The 'risky plays' are reserved for the top 2 d-pairings who get to play with more offensive forwards.

Also, Hodgson had a 52% ozone start rate w/ Nucks. That # was behind the Sedins, Burr, Raymond and Booth. Generally speaking, that's around 'normal' for a rookie forwards. I don't think Hodgsons 'usage' had anything to do w/ Kesler drop of production, it was merely that Hodgson was a rookie with 'average' defensive skills in AV's mind. But Kesler did have to do more 'heavy lifting' with Hodgson on team, especially compared to previous yr with Manny as 3rd line centre.

Never heard Canucks were thinking of implementing an 'LA type' system, where'd you hear that? I can't imagine that's the plan, Gillis keeps saying he likes offense and scoring goals. I'd like to see AV revert back to the 2010-11 system. He had a 3rd line centre that played all the 'tough mins' and allowed Kesler and Sedin lines to focus on offense. It also somewhat sheltered Edler and his d partner against tough competition. That system led them to Presidents Trophy #1 and game 7 SCF. Make is happen Gillis :)Bring in Couturier

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Kesler was injured, hence his horrible play for the last 20 games. If he's playing with an injury he should be on LTIR, I'm sick of seeing this guy come back too early or not play at 100% because it's costing the team.

Better have Lapierre in the 2nd line center spot than Kesler playing at 30% and scoring 1 goal in 18 games. Schroeder would probably have out-produced him there.

I think there's nothing wrong with Booth and Higgins, AV just needs to stick to them because Raymond wasn't good enough as their winger. The 3 Americans play a similar, hard-nose style and have proven chemistry, AV just has to stop dropping Higgins to our 3rd line because Kesler needs him more.

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To quote OP: "So many times fans would complain that these wingers seemed to intentionally shoot into the goalies chest or glove to get a stoppage. Was this part of the coaching strategy to end a shift? Make sure that they got the offensive zone face-off?"

I've coached MANY years at MANY levels and I have NEVER heard of a coach implementing that strategy before. A better end to a shift would be to "intentionally" put the puck in the back of the net. To insult players of NHL calibre by suggesting their role in the system is merely to put the puck into the goalie's chest or glove so we can get an offensive zone face-off and a 52% chance of re-gaining puck control is..well...stupid and insulting. Yes there are certain situations when the best you can hope for (when nothing else is going right) is an OZONE faceoff...but the best strategy is to keep puck possession in their zone and change 1 player at a time till you have 2 or 3 fresh Forwards versus their tired defensive structure.

There's basically 3 types of offensive structure:

Puck Possession (like us and Detroit)

Dump and Chase (like LA)

Run and Gun (like Edmonton)

Personally I feel the Puck Possession type offense is built around higher skilled and higher hockey IQ type players...and that's what we have. Why would we change to the LA type system which is based around a the basic model of dump and chase, have the big guys crash the D and the net...that's reserved for teams with big dumb players (forcheck, backcheck, paycheck).

Don't get me wrong, it worked for LA and to some degree it worked for Boston (they were more of a hybrid team depending on which line was on the ice / who they were up against). But you have to, nay you MUST, build your system around what you've got. Either the coach coaches to his strengths, or the coach stays with his strstegies and the GM builds a team around him...I like what we have. AV is very adaptable to whatever D-system he sees...he is also another part of the high hockey IQ we have in our dressing room.

The only change I would like to see is to follow more of Boston's model (hybrid). We can beat any team's D-system with our offensive style, except when it gets to be a slug fest. We lack the true big power forward that can intimidate (ie/ a Lucic, Penner or Malone type). Add this to our already succesful (back to back PC's!) system and we become a more adaptable team to over-power those "dumber" teams.

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To quote OP: "So many times fans would complain that these wingers seemed to intentionally shoot into the goalies chest or glove to get a stoppage. Was this part of the coaching strategy to end a shift? Make sure that they got the offensive zone face-off?"

I've coached MANY years at MANY levels and I have NEVER heard of a coach implementing that strategy before. A better end to a shift would be to "intentionally" put the puck in the back of the net. To insult players of NHL calibre by suggesting their role in the system is merely to put the puck into the goalie's chest or glove so we can get an offensive zone face-off and a 52% chance of re-gaining puck control is..well...stupid and insulting. Yes there are certain situations when the best you can hope for (when nothing else is going right) is an OZONE faceoff...but the best strategy is to keep puck possession in their zone and change 1 player at a time till you have 2 or 3 fresh Forwards versus their tired defensive structure.

There's basically 3 types of offensive structure:

Puck Possession (like us and Detroit)

Dump and Chase (like LA)

Run and Gun (like Edmonton)

Personally I feel the Puck Possession type offense is built around higher skilled and higher hockey IQ type players...and that's what we have. Why would we change to the LA type system which is based around a the basic model of dump and chase, have the big guys crash the D and the net...that's reserved for teams with big dumb players (forcheck, backcheck, paycheck).

Don't get me wrong, it worked for LA and to some degree it worked for Boston (they were more of a hybrid team depending on which line was on the ice / who they were up against). But you have to, nay you MUST, build your system around what you've got. Either the coach coaches to his strengths, or the coach stays with his strstegies and the GM builds a team around him...I like what we have. AV is very adaptable to whatever D-system he sees...he is also another part of the high hockey IQ we have in our dressing room.

The only change I would like to see is to follow more of Boston's model (hybrid). We can beat any team's D-system with our offensive style, except when it gets to be a slug fest. We lack the true big power forward that can intimidate (ie/ a Lucic, Penner or Malone type). Add this to our already succesful (back to back PC's!) system and we become a more adaptable team to over-power those "dumber" teams.

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When Ehrhoff departed, we lost our fastest defenseman. It was his speed that brought a dynamic dimension to our attack. That being said, he was still exposed in the playoffs and the Ehrhoff-Sedin 'cheater' offense failed. What enabled teams to expose them was the injury to Malhotra. Really, we should've traded two 4ths for Pahlsson two deadlines ago. Hindsight. Oh well. Who knew Hodgson would be that useless. Cheers.

TOML

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I think the Canucks need to stick to their overall system of puck possession.

However, its important to be adaptable, so I do agree with some of the posts here.

I think its ok to use specific zone starts to maximize results from specific players.

But its important not to over-rely on them either. Injuries happen, and players may have to change roles.

It would be better if the team could adapt seamlessly.

I also wish the Sedins could be put in more diverse roles, to improve their defensive play.

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To quote OP: "So many times fans would complain that these wingers seemed to intentionally shoot into the goalies chest or glove to get a stoppage. Was this part of the coaching strategy to end a shift? Make sure that they got the offensive zone face-off?"

I've coached MANY years at MANY levels and I have NEVER heard of a coach implementing that strategy before. A better end to a shift would be to "intentionally" put the puck in the back of the net. To insult players of NHL calibre by suggesting their role in the system is merely to put the puck into the goalie's chest or glove so we can get an offensive zone face-off and a 52% chance of re-gaining puck control is..well...stupid and insulting. Yes there are certain situations when the best you can hope for (when nothing else is going right) is an OZONE faceoff...but the best strategy is to keep puck possession in their zone and change 1 player at a time till you have 2 or 3 fresh Forwards versus their tired defensive structure.

There's basically 3 types of offensive structure:

Puck Possession (like us and Detroit)

Dump and Chase (like LA)

Run and Gun (like Edmonton)

Personally I feel the Puck Possession type offense is built around higher skilled and higher hockey IQ type players...and that's what we have. Why would we change to the LA type system which is based around a the basic model of dump and chase, have the big guys crash the D and the net...that's reserved for teams with big dumb players (forcheck, backcheck, paycheck).

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We had something pretty cool a few years ago with Ryan Johnston, but I guess you can't have it all. I think a little 2-way strengthening and conditioning is needed here. More active sticks, a little more taking away of the passing lanes, a little more shot blocking and most importantly, get the man covering the mid-slot to get his damn head on a swivel. The prettiest play in hockey is when a team gets sucked down low on one-side just get back-doored by winger or d-man...drives me figgin' nuts! Our mid slot guy needs to be super flexible and conditioned to take that away...Hamhuis is pretty good but we don't have too much depth at that position after him. Used to be that teams needed a big d-man to clear out the front of the net for less athletic standup or butterfly goalies, and if you didn't have that you better have an athletic goalie. We ll now we have an athletic goalie who doesn't seem to get frazzled by traffic (like Lu was) so now we can focus our D structure more on keeping the shots to the outside and take away the deep cross ice play...make our opponent play high cross-ice or behind the net.

And I have ALWAYS preached that the smart fast teams are the ones with a great transition game...and that starts from the back end. So as long as we are defensively responsible enough to create own zone turnovers, and pounce on our opponent's immediately (put them back on their heals), we can transition pretty quickly into odd man rushes.

I think these lines could work (don't worry about the dollars...it's more about who fits better where):

SEDIN-SEDIN-BURROWS - puck possesion line 14.2m

HIGGINS-KESLER-(BIG POWER FORWARD) - dump and chase crash D / net line 10.5m

RAYMOND-LAPIERRE-BOOTH - run and gun line 7.75m

KASSIAN-MALHOTRA-HANSEN - dump and chase crash D / net line 4.75m

VOLPATTI-WEISE 1.25m

BIEKSA-HAMHUIS 8.75m

EDLER-(ALLEN) 6.5m

ALBERTS/TANEV/ROME 3.25m

SCHNEIDER 3.5m

(SANFORD) 750k

(Total Cap Hit 61.200m - leaves room in case of lower cap after CBA)

Basically trade Lu + Ballard for the big power forward, sign UFA's Allen, Rome and Sanford (Columbus doesn't need him now). So rather than saying that Sedin-Sedin-Burrows is the first line, they are our puck possession line. And AV can put whatever line out is needed in whatever situation is needed...again don't worry about the fact that "Booth can't be on the 3rd line cause he makes 4.5m" stuff...he'd be a key part of a run and gun energy line that AV can use when an opponent is reeling a bit from being bottled up in their own end.

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If AV is using Corsi stats to guide his game plan, no wonder he's failing when another coach plays a different style. That approach works only if your opposition plays the same type of game you predict they'll play.

By the way there is no way in hell LA does "dump and chase". I didn't see any of that in the post-season. LA stayed on the puck with it's forecheck and did smart, simple passes carry the puck into the offensive zone, and get lots of shots, and crash the net. Perfect when you have big bodies like LA had. Dump & Chase is a horrible strategy, you're expending energy for no reason. You work your tail off to get the puck and then just throw it into the offensive zone so you have to fight and recover it? No wonder the Canucks got so worn out over two seasons.

Keep the puck. Make short, simple, high percentage passes, and shoot the freaking puck on net. Look for the juicy rebounds and try to score. The Canucks have become way too predictable with the cycle game.

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Did it ever occur to you that maybe he just worded it wrong? Maybe they aren't told to "shoot at the goalies chest" but to take any shot you can on net, with the intention of scoring, so an offensive faceoff can be gained? Also, I find it hard to believe that you know more than an NHL coach when you've never coached at this level and especially when you dumb down offensive coaching to just 3 options - one of those being "run and gun". No offense to your coaching career but you've done a horrible job arguing your point here.

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