NASHVILLE PREDATORS PART DEUX!

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NASHVILLE PREDATORS PART DEUX!

Post #1 by PredsFan77 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:36 pm

Predators New System: What to Watch for on the Ice
Thursday, 10.02.2014 / 2:15 PM
By Stu Grimson

Training camp 2014 draws to a close soon, and we look forward to the real deal on October 9. So I thought it would be worthwhile to walk through a little zone-by-zone primer in terms of the Predators new style of play.

Offensive Zone:

Two things to key on here. First, the forwards will simply forecheck harder and with a larger presence. They’ll send two guys, rather than one, when the opposition has the puck in its zone. This means that this year’s team will need to be better conditioned and probably shorten their shifts on average to sustain increased pressure.

Second wrinkle is that the defense has the green light to pinch down more from the other team’s blue line. So on any puck that is rung around the boards to an opposition winger, you’re apt to see Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Seth Jones and company jump down hard to create a turnover and hold the zone. From the opposition’s point of view, this is tough to deal with when you’re now getting pressure from above and below the puck.

Neutral Ice:

Not much to report on here, though I have picked up one observation through the preseason. On something like a faceoff loss in neutral ice, you should see the strong side forward force the opposition defender with the puck. He’ll try to steer that player to the outside in a trap style maneuver. The remaining Predators are stacked up at or near the blue line four across. The goal is to create a turnover at the Preds blue line or force the other side to have to dump the puck and concede possession.

Defensive Zone:

We keep hearing the new system will add offense but can you add offense even when defending in your own end? Sounds odd I know, but yes. If you’re defending more aggressively – and you’re successful doing so – you should spend less time in your own end, right? And it follows that if you’re spending less time in the defensive zone you should be in your opponent’s end creating chances.

Head Coach Peter Laviolette’s team will try to accomplish this with at least two tweaks. One is by way of the swarm. Sounds pretty exotic, I know, but a lot of teams are playing this way now. Watch for the defenseman at the net front to jump into the fray when Nashville is defending deep in one corner once the puck goes to the wall. Typically, the net front defenseman will remain static in front of the Preds net as long as that two-on-two battle stays confined to his partner’s corner.

However, now under the Laviolette system, you’ll often see the net front defender jump into the battle in order to outman the two opposition forwards so as to regain possession of the puck. You saw this from the Preds in the past but there’s a key difference between then and now. Under Laviolette, the net front defenseman no longer has to wait for that puck to “die” (or stop) on the wall before he activates into the corner. He’ll jump in as soon as the puck goes to the wall even if it’s moving.

Second tweak is as follows: The left and right wingers will play lower in the zone when the puck is deep in Nashville’s end. The thinking here is that the wingers are more apt to create turnovers if they’re positioned deeper in the Preds zone.

Lots going on I know, but keep an eye out for some of this as it should be exciting!!




THE LOW DOWN ON YOUR 2014-2015 NHL STANLEY CUP CHAMPS STRATEGY!
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Post #2 by PredsFan77 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:21 pm

Thanks Boozer!
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Post #3 by PredsFan77 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:28 pm

http://www.tsn.ca/yost-new-approach-generating-favourable-results-for-predators-1.106393

It’s hard – if not impossible – to get a read on a team after just two games, but the Nashville Predators have looked impressively different in their debut games under new coach Peter Laviolette. Laviolette’s promised to bring more offense to a Nashville organization that’s seen their goal-scoring dry up over the years, but early signs suggest that the team’s just going to be more aggressive in every phase of the game – not just in terms of getting pucks on net.
This, of course, gets into the many different ways a team can improve on their Corsi%. One example I like to give is the stark contrast between that of Los Angeles and Chicago; two virtually equal teams at dominating control of play at five-on-five, but two teams that go about their business in entirely different manners. Los Angeles is a dump-and-chase heavy team – they prefer to sacrifice a bit of lethality when attacking in exchange for being able to set-up with more structure when defending the neutral zone. Chicago’s a polar opposite – nearly every possession through the neutral zone sees the Blackhawks carrying in with control, and it’s reflected in their ability to pile up the shot-attempts and goals year after year.
The first two games Nashville’s played are interesting in the sense that they seem to have really dialed up the force and frequency in which they harass puck-carriers coming through the neutral zone. In years past, I’ve felt as though Nashville played a more passive game, which let super-talented teams dictate the run of play.
Nashville’s first ‘real’ test came against a Dallas team that seems to be something of a lock to reach the post-season. The Stars attack in waves through the neutral zone, and their top-nine -- much like Chicago – seem to want to be in control of the puck as they attack the opposition. Sometimes, this is easier said than done.
The Predators put on a masterful performance against Dallas. Move away from the 4-1 score line and consider the following: Dallas, a team that averaged 24 even-strength shots per game last year, had just 15 against Nashville. A large part of this was Dallas’ inability to generate basically anything away from the Seguin line, which produced seven of those fifteen shots.
Nashville made a concerted effort to squeeze out passing lanes and attack puck-carriers as they traversed through the neutral zone. Their work against Dallas’ vaunted second line – Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky, and Erik Cole – was particularly magnificent.
Consider the below table, which shows the performance of the Jason Spezza line as they came through the neutral zone against Nashville, which shows just how rare it was for the Stars' second line to enter the Nashville zone under control with the puck.

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