Author Topic: The Defensive Logjam  (Read 20932 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline herman

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 11030
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #60 on: August 12, 2016, 09:25:52 AM »
More Jake vs Morgan has hit the pipeline!

http://akiblog.org/taking-closer-look-morgan-riellys-defensive-game/
via /r/leafs

I don't know this blog, but this is some pretty good stuff!
Quote
Gardiner doesn’t find himself in [the situation of giving an opponent a tonne of room] very often because he steps up on the opposition as they cross the blue line. By “stepping up,” I don’t necessarily mean to make a hit, I just mean he puts pressure on the opponent and limits his options by directing him to the outside using body and stick positioning, like this.





Once again, the back pressure from Komarov is a huge help here, but Gardiner pivots with Shaw and gives him only one place to go. Shaw ends up blindly throwing the puck across the ice and into the far corner, where Polak picks the puck up (shudder) and the threat is over.

He refers to the gap control/speed-matching and body positioning that I originally felt was readily coachable (further up thread), but there are clearly innate skills involved in judging incoming speeds and instincts around body angles and stick disruption.

The Rielly screenshots show a player who is still a bit tentative about making defensive mistakes (lack of trust?), and thus backs up on plays when he should be aggressive instead.

Offline Bullfrog

  • Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 4346
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #61 on: August 12, 2016, 09:32:31 AM »
http://theleafsnation.com/2016/8/10/on-handedness-and-the-maple-leafs-defence-corps

So Rielly has been our defacto 1D kid, but he's still quite raw. Gardiner, however, is magic and we need to bottle whatever he's doing.

Of the three big trade chips (JvR, Kadri, Gardiner), Gardiner was the one I wanted to keep the most. Do you think we can re-sign him to a friendly contract due to his suppressed box stats?

A lot can happen in three years, but even if he simply maintains what he does now, I suspect he'll be getting an increase.

Offline herman

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 11030
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #62 on: August 23, 2016, 02:31:49 PM »
https://mapleleafshotstove.com/2016/08/23/toronto-maple-leafs-system-analysis-the-power-play/

More great MLHS content. Analysis of the Leafs' PP breakout and zone entry strategy shows the heavy reliance on our back-end mobility.

Quote
The two-punch drop pass game plan is what the Leafs primarily build their breakout around. Either, a) Rielly/Gardiner is able to back off the forecheck with speed before dropping it to a forward to skate in, or b) the opponent plays the drop pass and Rielly/Gardiner try to skate it in clean, or c) Rielly/Gardiner skates it in as far as he can before passing to one of the wingers on the wall. Everyone has a role.

It is not overly complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Some teams implement a minimum of five different breakouts and never use the same one twice in the same power play play. For Toronto, with this punch and counter-punch combo, it’s largely unnecessary. Teams can’t play both, and the penalty killers’ gaps can’t make up the difference for the speed of the quarterbacks and the drop pass; when the breakout breaks down is when the player leading the rush makes the wrong read. I suspect the staff will add more layers to their breakout over time, as their group matures.

Offline herman

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 11030
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #63 on: August 24, 2016, 09:47:37 AM »
http://theleafsnation.com/2016/8/23/will-roman-polak-play-for-the-marlies-this-season

This would assuage my trepidations greatly.

Quote
Let's get back to my earlier question: why would the Leafs give a $2.25M contract to a player they expect to be a healthy scratch for most of the season?  Well, if that's what they expected it would be very strange.  But what if that's not the plan?  What if the plan is for him to play for the Marlies?

In that case, the $2.25M kind of makes sense.  In order to play for the Marlies, Roman Polak would have to pass through waivers.  At a low contract value (say, $1M) there's a reasonable chance that a team would claim him.  By the beginning of the NHL season, there will almost certainly be some NHL team that has injuries on defence and could use a cheap replacement.  But $2.25M is a very high cap hit for a waiver claim, especially if it's a player who you only see as a temporary injury replacement.  So by giving Polak a higher cap hit than his roster spot would seem to suggest he should have, you can protect him from waiver claims.

Polak in the minors recoups 950k on the cap, which pays for Zaitsev and change. On top of that, there is a dearth of RHD on the Marlies at the moment and Polak has the best chances between him, Corrado, and Carrick of passing through waivers.

NHL teams could still pick him up at the deadline on the cheap for depth on their playoff drives, knowing he can at least hold down a 5/6 position and play a simple game.

Offline Bullfrog

  • Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 4346
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #64 on: August 24, 2016, 11:20:33 AM »
I suppose it's possible, but that seems like a stretch to me.

Offline CarltonTheBear

  • Global Moderator
  • Sittler Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 20992
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #65 on: August 24, 2016, 11:26:20 AM »
There's a few reason I doubt that's plausible, but the biggest one for me is that I really can't see Polak agreeing to it. And I doubt the Leafs would have signed him for that role without talking to him about it.

Offline Tigger

  • All Star
  • *****
  • Posts: 6368
  • You can play
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #66 on: August 24, 2016, 11:34:08 AM »
Even the author admits it's pretty unlikely.
"My father was born shortly after the Wright Brothers" Charlie Duke

Offline herman

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 11030
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #67 on: August 24, 2016, 12:43:19 PM »
In ascending order of how mad I would be if these things happened:
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D: Polak and Hunwick traded for Ristolainen/Lindholm
;D: Polak or Hunwick traded for late picks
8): Polak or Hunwick sent to minors
:o: Zaitsev is a bust and sent to minors
:(: Corrado lost on waivers
>:(: Marincin lost on waivers
>:( >:( >:( >:( >:( :'(: Carrick lost on waivers
So Furious: Gardiner or Rielly lost on waivers

Offline hockeyfan1

  • All Star
  • *****
  • Posts: 7276
  • Gender: Female
  • #TorontoStrong
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #68 on: August 25, 2016, 11:50:42 AM »
In ascending order of how mad I would be if these things happened:
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D: Polak and Hunwick traded for Ristolainen/Lindholm
;D: Polak or Hunwick traded for late picks
8): Polak or Hunwick sent to minors
:o: Zaitsev is a bust and sent to minors
:(: Corrado lost on waivers
>:(: Marincin lost on waivers
>:( >:( >:( >:( >:( :'(: Carrick lost on waivers
So Furious: Gardiner or Rielly lost on waivers


That's something I don't see happening.  :D

Offline herman

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 11030
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #69 on: August 25, 2016, 12:51:55 PM »
That's something I don't see happening.  :D

That's a logjam I'd be happy for the Leafs to have.

Offline herman

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 11030
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #70 on: September 06, 2016, 11:00:45 AM »
We should love Gardiner more.

http://theleafsnation.com/2016/9/6/jake-gardiner-is-really-good-defensively

Quote
If you were to ask people around the NHL what Jake Gardiner is good at, you'd probably hear a lot of things related to his offensive abilities.  Earlier this year James Reimer said that Gardiner has a rare aptitude for passing.  Writing for the Canadian Press last fall, Stephen Whyno described Gardiner as a "young, smooth-skating, offensive-minded" defenceman but added that he "could be an adventure in the defensive zone."  I think those comments are representative of the general opinion about Jake: he's a talented skater who's got great vision, but he hurts his team when he doesn't have the puck.

Conventional wisdom on Gardiner, however, is wrong.  While he struggled a bit early on in his NHL career, over the past few seasons Gardiner has been one of the most reliable players in the league at reducing the burden faced by his team's goalie.  The same skills that Gardiner uses to generate offence, like his skating and his vision, help him keep the puck away from his own net.

Is Gardiner the #1LHD we've had all along? Or is he merely the Kadri of the defense corps who elevates everyone else's play and has steady very good but sub-elite production?

Offline Nik the Trik

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 22796
  • Some Guy On a Message Board
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #71 on: September 06, 2016, 01:04:17 PM »

I know we've beaten this to death already but every time I see one of these "You think Gardiner isn't good defensively? Well look at these possession/shot analytics!" arguments it's like watching a political panel on US cable news with two partisans yelling at each other.

Like, I get the point but the people making these cases are smart. They know that's not what's being argued or, at least, they really should.
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
-Mark Twain

Offline hockeyfan1

  • All Star
  • *****
  • Posts: 7276
  • Gender: Female
  • #TorontoStrong
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #72 on: September 07, 2016, 04:31:01 AM »
We should love Gardiner more.

http://theleafsnation.com/2016/9/6/jake-gardiner-is-really-good-defensively

Quote
If you were to ask people around the NHL what Jake Gardiner is good at, you'd probably hear a lot of things related to his offensive abilities.  Earlier this year James Reimer said that Gardiner has a rare aptitude for passing.  Writing for the Canadian Press last fall, Stephen Whyno described Gardiner as a "young, smooth-skating, offensive-minded" defenceman but added that he "could be an adventure in the defensive zone."  I think those comments are representative of the general opinion about Jake: he's a talented skater who's got great vision, but he hurts his team when he doesn't have the puck.

Conventional wisdom on Gardiner, however, is wrong.  While he struggled a bit early on in his NHL career, over the past few seasons Gardiner has been one of the most reliable players in the league at reducing the burden faced by his team's goalie.  The same skills that Gardiner uses to generate offence, like his skating and his vision, help him keep the puck away from his own net.

Is Gardiner the #1LHD we've had all along? Or is he merely the Kadri of the defense corps who elevates everyone else's play and has steady very good but sub-elite production?


He is a little bit of both.

(As for the bolder quote), perhaps it (his skillset) or he, is a little bit unique that regard -- his 'strengths' helping his 'weaknesses' or vice versa.
Unique once again, and diverse. 

Offline Significantly Insignificant

  • Veteran
  • ****
  • Posts: 2817
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #73 on: September 07, 2016, 08:54:44 AM »
Jake Gardiner reminds me of Bret Hedican.  Probably a little more offensively gifted than Hedican, but still similar in terms of probable career arc.  He's a top four d-man in the NHL, which is a really good thing to have.  Going down the path of trying to make him something that he is not is probably not going to end well for the Leafs.

It's funny that the minute a d-man is tabbed as being "smooth skating", it's instantly assumed that they are going to put up close to PPG numbers. 
"Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.” - Khalil Gibran

Offline herman

  • Sittler Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 11030
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #74 on: September 07, 2016, 09:32:13 AM »
My earlier impressions of Gardiner were that he had all the physical tools to excel as an offensive defenseman, but sometimes it looked like the game outpaced his thinking. I've since come to see it was both a game-speed adaptation and a byproduct of the systems he played under, where defensemen were routinely hung out to dry in extended DZ shifts.

These past couple of seasons has shown me he is now out-thinking the game; i.e. not merely reacting to the play, but creating through the incoming flow. I think he still needs to work on speeding up his shot release from the point, and maybe start playing a little less deferentially (Kaberle-esque).

He hasn't quite reached 1D ice time yet, but it'll be interesting to see how they deploy him (and how he fares) now that Phaneuf is no longer anchoring him (down). I think he can routinely hit 24+ min at this point the way he plays the game but I have no substantiation for that.

TMLfans.ca

Re: The Defensive Logjam
« Reply #74 on: September 07, 2016, 09:32:13 AM »