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kipwinger

Drive the Net?

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Was just watching this video of Fedorov after he popped up in a thread about retiring and becoming a GM in Russia. What sticks out most to me, aside from the fact that the guy was a freak, is how often he drives to the net. Not standing in front of the net and screens mind you, but drives the net. I know that we're not likely to find anybody with his skill set, that can finish those drives the way he did, but it doesn't seem like we've got anybody (perhaps aside from Zetterberg) who even tries all that often. Don't really know if that's Parise's game or not, but it's a offensive option that we sorely missed this year in my opinion.

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It definitely is something the Wings missed.

I made the joke in an earlier thread how they didn't even need to Zamboni that part of the ice when the Wings played. Zetterberg is about the only guy who does it on a regular basis. Datsyuk does it in his own crazy way by slowing things down, deking guys and then getting off a shot from a good scoring position.

A few other players do it but don't have the greatest finishing skills, like Cleary. Flip was doing it in the regular season, but seemed to wither in the playoffs. And Franzen does it if he feels like it. Typically if he scores a goal in a game he remembers how nice it is to score, so works harder to score more that game and goes to the tougher areas of the ice.

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It definitely is something the Wings missed.

I made the joke in an earlier thread how they didn't even need to Zamboni that part of the ice when the Wings played. Zetterberg is about the only guy who does it on a regular basis. Datsyuk does it in his own crazy way by slowing things down, deking guys and then getting off a shot from a good scoring position.

A few other players do it but don't have the greatest finishing skills, like Cleary. Flip was doing it in the regular season, but seemed to wither in the playoffs. And Franzen does it if he feels like it. Typically if he scores a goal in a game he remembers how nice it is to score, so works harder to score more that game and goes to the tougher areas of the ice.

To me the crazy thing is that it's not like we don't have guys to go the tough areas, Holmstrom, Bert, Cleary, Franzen, and even Hudler will go there to screen all game long, but hardly anybody really drives. I don't think we don't have guys who are willing to do it, but it's like we've had so much success with the point shot + screen = goal dynamic that we're beholden to it now. On a related note, I actually think Miller is one of the better guys on the team at driving, but like you said, guys like him and Cleary have the will but not the skill, so to speak.

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Feds was a very, very rare package.

Generally, we don't drive the net. And so, we lose in five games to Nashville in the first round.

Parise drives. He's no power-forward, of course - but he doesn't shy away from the corners and crease. He really brings it, not unlike Helm.

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Feds was a very, very rare package.

Generally, we don't drive the net. And so, we lose in five games to Nashville in the first round.

Parise drives. He's no power-forward, of course - but he doesn't shy away from the corners and crease. He really brings it, not unlike Helm.

Agreed, and I'm not expecting to find anybody with Fedorov's skill set any time soon. But driving, even without having the ability to finish by one's self, increases the likelihood of rebounds, junk goals, etc. In a perfect world we'd have a power forward that could do it, but I'm more concerned with guys doing it either way. If Parise does it, that's super. I'd like to see Flip doing it more too. It's important to remember that while Fedorov was pretty tall, we wasn't all that heavy, and was by no means a power forward. I was able to drive like that because of his skating ability and puck handling skills. Flip has both as well. s*** even Helm has both (though obviously doesn't finish well). All in all, I agree with your assessment, but wonder if it's a coaching thing rather than the fact that we just don't have the guys who can do it?

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anybody hear that comment about winning the lottery at the 6:20ish mark?

12mil for making the conference final. damn dude.

kipwinger likes this

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anybody hear that comment about winning the lottery at the 6:20ish mark?

12mil for making the conference final. damn dude.

Yeah I heard that too, wonder if he got any other bonuses for winning the Cup?

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Agreed, and I'm not expecting to find anybody with Fedorov's skill set any time soon. But driving, even without having the ability to finish by one's self, increases the likelihood of rebounds, junk goals, etc. In a perfect world we'd have a power forward that could do it, but I'm more concerned with guys doing it either way. If Parise does it, that's super. I'd like to see Flip doing it more too. It's important to remember that while Fedorov was pretty tall, we wasn't all that heavy, and was by no means a power forward. I was able to drive like that because of his skating ability and puck handling skills. Flip has both as well. s*** even Helm has both (though obviously doesn't finish well). All in all, I agree with your assessment, but wonder if it's a coaching thing rather than the fact that we just don't have the guys who can do it?

Feds was a reasonably big 6'3, if memory serves. Like you said, not a true power-forward - but he was very strong, sturdy, solid on his feet, and very capable physically.

There are, I think, a number of reasons why we generally don't drive the net. A big one (IMO) is the puck-possession game we play. Driving the net means the guy who's on net duty is bringing the puck to the crease himself. The way we play, on the other hand, our net presence is typically for setting up screens and pursuing rebounds. In this context, driving the net is - sort of ridiculously - a somewhat rash, selfish, immature play, because we're all about establishing the cycle and being patient and poised while we try to find the right perimeter shot.

I have issues with this, but that's the system, and the system dictates the makeup of the roster, and when you've got a roster with all of four or five guys that are capable of driving the net, and only maybe two of them (at best) are doing it on a consistent basis, you're not going to change the system. (Hello self-reinforcing cycle thing.)

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Parise will help fill that void, and when Franzen is having fun he drives the net as well. We should see Cleary hitting the blue paint hard this year also. This past year his injury kept him from being an effective crease crasher. Darren Helm crashes into everything, so potentially we may have good net presence on each line next year, depending on free agent acquisitions, roster health, and of course, how fun the games are to Franzen.

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Feds was a reasonably big 6'3, if memory serves. Like you said, not a true power-forward - but he was very strong, sturdy, solid on his feet, and very capable physically.

There are, I think, a number of reasons why we generally don't drive the net. A big one (IMO) is the puck-possession game we play. Driving the net means the guy who's on net duty is bringing the puck to the crease himself. The way we play, on the other hand, our net presence is typically for setting up screens and pursuing rebounds. In this context, driving the net is - sort of ridiculously - a somewhat rash, selfish, immature play, because we're all about establishing the cycle and being patient and poised while we try to find the right perimeter shot.

I have issues with this, but that's the system, and the system dictates the makeup of the roster, and when you've got a roster with all of four or five guys that are capable of driving the net, and only maybe two of them (at best) are doing it on a consistent basis, you're not going to change the system. (Hello self-reinforcing cycle thing.)

Yeah that's a really good point about drafting to fit the system. It does seem as though teams are catching on to that though. The perimeter shots aren't getting through like they used to, not because the talent isn't there, but because teams are taking away shooting lanes by collapsing down around the net. I do agree that's our system and it's a pretty good one, but I think you've got to have more options in case your primary offensive package isn't working. Then all you do is make adjustments during the intermissions.

Edited by kipwinger

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Fedorov was 6'1".

In today's game, teams are blocking all kinds of shots. Clogging/taking away shooting lanes, collapsing in front of the net, facing the puck... The Wings are going to have to mix up their style of play and find other ways to score if they want to be successful, especially in the playoffs. Drive the net more, trying to catch the opponent off guard or force a mistake rather than lulling them to sleep with puck-possesion all day, every day... dump-and-chase when puck possession isn't working or when they're playing a weak defensive opponent... cycle the puck down low more and create openings rather than just feeding everything up top... a healthy mix will produce better results.

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Fedorov was 6'1".

He's typically listed as 6'2, I think.

He was (is?) a fairly big guy.

Yeah that's a really good point about drafting to fit the system. It does seem as though teams are catching on to that though. The perimeter shots aren't getting through like they used to, not because the talent isn't there, but because teams are taking away shooting lanes by collapsing down around the net. I do agree that's our system and it's a pretty good one, but I think you've got to have more options in case your primary offensive package isn't working. Then all you do is make adjustments during the intermissions.

With you on all counts, though I do think the talent - re: perimeter shots - is perhaps not quite where it once was (say, e.g., back when we had Hull and Shanny). But it's basically a moot point. Like you said, we need options. A bag of tricks with only one trick in it is not a bag of tricks, is not tricky. "Hey guys, let's try to play some of that ineffectual perimeter patty-cake that always works so well against the big, physical, defense-oriented, hot-goalie-riding teams. Remember: aim for the logo on the chest!"

Square peg, round hole. Square peg, round hole. System error. 1010.

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He's typically listed as 6'2, I think.

He was (is?) a fairly big guy.

With you on all counts, though I do think the talent - re: perimeter shots - is perhaps not quite where it once was (say, e.g., back when we had Hull and Shanny). But it's basically a moot point. Like you said, we need options. A bag of tricks with only one trick in it is not a bag of tricks, is not tricky. "Hey guys, let's try to play some of that ineffectual perimeter patty-cake that always works so well against the big, physical, defense-oriented, hot-goalie-riding teams. Remember: aim for the logo on the chest!"

Square peg, round hole. Square peg, round hole. System error. 1010.

Plus ten for the most creative response. It's not every day that you can work binary code into discussions of hockey.

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He's typically listed as 6'2, I think.

He was (is?) a fairly big guy.

yup.

He was usually listed as 6'2" and between 205-210 lbs as I remember it. So he was a player the same size as Quincey, only with great speed and so strong on his skates.

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yup.

He was usually listed as 6'2" and between 205-210 lbs as I remember it. So he was a player the same size as Quincey, only with great speed and so strong on his skates.

Hockeydb.com has him at 6'1" and, having stood next to him multiple times, that's about right. But players are usually "listed" as taller and heavier than they really are. So, yeah, he was slightly above average size for an NHLer.

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