Why not go with a run and gun team Canada in Turin ?

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by Phillip The Third, Jul 1, 2005.

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  1. Phillip The Third

    Phillip The Third ... line center ?

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    Gretzky was the anchor of the oilers run and gun team in the eighties. Aside from Sather, if someone knows the value of letting offensively gifted players do their thing, it's gotta be him.

    Then we have Pat Quinn who is not known for using an ultra defensive and conservative system.

    So why not go with a run and gun system and go with the players to maximize the effectiveness of such a system ? Because run and gun hasn't been effective since the early 90ies you will say ? But why is that so ? Because with the expansion, talent has been diluted. Few teams have enough firepower to play that style anymore. And also because there's less and less space on the ice due to clutch and grab. But if one country has the tools to play that kind of system it's Canada, especially on international ice.

    So here's what I'd do :

    Nash - Thornton - Gagne
    Richards - Lecavalier - St-Louis
    Tanguay - Sakic - Iginla
    Bertuzzi - Lemieux - Heatley
    Kariya

    With Gagne, Iginla, Richards, St-Louis, Sakic and Thornton has possible PKers.

    Note that aside from the "4th line", all those players have history as lines in international tournaments or back with their NHL team, so chemistry wouldn't be a problem.

    So if you have that kind of forward lines, why not push it to the extreme and get the fastest most offensive dmen who can get the puck from their own zone to the O zone in the blink of an eye or/and who have enough vision to pass it to forwards who can ?

    Niedermayer - Pronger
    Redden - Jovanovski
    Bouwmeester - Blake
    Boyle

    Now maybe some teams would be tempted to play dump and chase against us but Brodeur would be there to buy time for his dmen with his unparalleled stickhandling. Or if we still allow too many scoring chances, we put in a guy like Luongo who's used to have a porous defense in front of him and used to face a lot of rubber (not that I think it's what would happen).

    People often say that offense is the best defense and that couldn't be more true than with such a line up. No amount of defensive strategies and players could match against the speed, imagination, size, grit and pure talent. Other goalies and dmen would crap their pants seeing all this talent attack them, I couldn't imagine them not being extra nervous and paralyzed by fear. Especially since they're not used to see pure run and gun teams anymore.

    Yes we would probably allow twice as many goals than we would with a more defensive and balanced roster, but I couldn't imagine this team scoring less than 3-4 goals/game. And with the kind of sick goaltending we'll have, we would be nearly impossible to outscore.

    Not to mention the fact we have 4 different type of scoring lines, thus 4 options against a given system/team. If one night you need speed, imagination and skill you can go with the Tampa line. If you need big guys to go in front of the net and wreak havoc you go with the Davos line. If you need clutch veterans who can come through in tougher situations you want Sakic and Iginla. Then you have Lemieux's line who'd bring yet something else to the table.

    You'd have 4 lines who could get hot on a given night and kill the opposition by themselves. No one could possibly get tired and with short shifts the other coach would feel completely useless and helpless.

    It would be difficult to clutch and grab against them on the bigger ice and even if that were to happen, with international referring and rules, it would lead to PPs after PPs.

    Now don't tell me it's not going to happen, I know that. What I want to discuss is if the following line up would be a succesful team and if not why ? Why go with a checking line at all ? Why play conservative hockey ? I would also like to know if you think this line up would do better than a more conservative, defensive and balanced one.
     
  2. Alessandro Seren Rosso

    Alessandro Seren Rosso Registered User

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    I agree...it's time to quit defensive hockey :madfire:
     
  3. El_Loco_Avs

    El_Loco_Avs Registered User

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    I think any team can be shut down this day and age.
    But that looks like a damn good team :D
     
  4. espo*

    espo* Guest

    The talent is certainly there to run and gun if they so choose.The only problem with that is that sucessful run and gun offenses are usually most effective only when a team(lines) get's proper time to work together and gel as a unit.When putting a team together under olympic circumstances where there is damn near no time to practice as a team before the games begin i am not crazy about trying to be a run and gun team.They actuallt tried to do this in salt lake and it did'nt work.........especially against trapping teams like the Germans...........it was'nt until they got back to the basics of typical Canadian textbook hockey that the team statrted to take off and play to their potential.The coaching staff recognized this and changed to the direction they should have went with all along in this type of tournament.

    I think keeping it simple and relying on the bread and butter Canadian game of agressive forecheck and backcheck is our best chance of letting all that talent get into a groove and develop into a super unit by the time the games mean a lot.There simply is not enough time to gamble on playing a style of run and gun with the time available to the team to practice before the games start.

    If they had a month long training camp to get ready i would consider it but not in the olympic tourney time frame imo.The guys are used to the agressive forecheck/backcheck style..........................not enough time to get them thinking Soviet style hockey in Torino.That's my take.
     
  5. Shareefruck

    Shareefruck Registered User

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    I would still be more comfortable with a line who could defend but still put up points. Guys like Thornton, Smyth, Doan, Gagne, Yzerman ( sorta ) should still get the nod over guys like Kariya/Tanguay. But Maltby? Come'on now. IMO, Peca should be in ahead of Draper every time.
     
  6. Canuck21t

    Canuck21t Registered User

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    I agree. The Canadian coaching staff tends to put the grind line against the other team's best line and therefore the opponent is somewhat dictating Canada's line. Canada should dictate all the time and it's the other teams who should worry about our fire power. In the last World Cup, Canada almost lost to the Czechs because the latter kept playing its best line which was logical and Canada used its worst line more often than the better ones. Thank goodness Joe Thornton was on the checking line. I believe we have enough talent to go all offence and at the same time can be defensive when needed with some of our elite players. We don't need the Maltby, Morrow and the likes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2005
  7. JonathanTwinkleToews

    JonathanTwinkleToews is a Canuck fan.

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    The Canadian management has a hard on for Maltby or something. And whenever he's selected to be on the team, lots of his fans step up and say "He's great on the checking line with Draper".

    Come actual tournament time? He either plays 5 minutes a game, or is scratched. What's the point? I'd rather have someone like a Tanguay or Kariya(the recent World Championships) over a pointless selection like Maltby. If you want defence, there's a whole Primeau waiting there.

    Why in the world, MALTBY? :shakehead
     
  8. Kenadyan

    Kenadyan Registered User

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    One reason I wouldn't take this approach:

    As someone who followed the Oilers in the 80's, they could get away with the run-and-gun style because they were playing over the course of an 82 game season. They could have an "off night" because with that style they won more than they lost.

    Also, each playoff round was 5 or 7 games (the first round used to be only five games in the mid-80's). Therefore, there was some room for error with that system.

    As I mentioned above, there will be "off nights" where a run-and-gun team isn't hitting on all cylinders or the shots just aren't going in. Say they only score 2-3 goals and a team like Sweden puts in 4-5 goals in the medal round. In the medal rounds at the Olympics, there is no margin for error.
     
  9. bearcat11

    bearcat11 Registered User

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    I 100% agree with that roster. I'm sick of the grind line. I never ever liked the grind line. We supposedly won the Salt Lake Olympics on the basis that we iced the best team possible and didn't pick roles, but Gretzky completely switched his philosophy. Maltby is certainly not one of the elite Canadian talents in my opinion.
     
  10. Zopust

    Zopust Registered User

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    What happened against the Czechs was simple.

    Gagne - Richards - St. Louis were completely ineffective against the larger Czech forwards, couldn't help out in the defensive zone and couldn't break through the neutral zone trap, leading to their eventual benching for half of the 2nd period and all of the 3rd.

    Heatley-Lecavalier-Smyth played much fewer minutes (although Vinnie put in the OT winner) because they were making countless mistakes and turning the puck over in the neutral zone, creating odd-man rushes the other way.

    The only lines that were moderately successful in that game were the veteran lines of Sakic-Lemieux-Iginla, who played an excellent and responsible defensive game (I was very surprised and impressed) and the key line: Thornton, Draper, Doan, who were the only ones who could stand up to Jagr and the other big forwards.

    Canada's game should be offense, but it's also size and power. Thornton and Nash proved that in the last World Championships. Putting three relatively small finesse players on a line together, is a big mistake, as was shown by Gagne-St. Louis and Richards against the Czechs.

    Smyth was pretty weak in the last world championships, as was Doan. Both looked too slow at times.

    Morrow and Maltby are highly overrated, but along with guys like Cooke and Horcoff, played well in the World Championships which endears them to Hockey Canada. Still, in a best on best situation, they shouldn't be playing.

    Draper is fast and can play the two-way game effectively.
     
  11. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Yeah no question they'll go with a very good offensive team again in '06. Hey it worked in '02 and '04. Just look at the offense on that '04 team. They somehow were limited to no more than 5 goals in a game. But I think what killed them was the lack of mobility from the back end. Nieds was there but when Jovo and Redden both got hurt and Blake and Pronger went out then that left them with a limited blueline. That meant the offense had to carry the load.

    That's the only thing that worries me is that. Injuries! The Czechs realized that in the semi final game in '04 and almost won cause they played a run and gun style vs. our depleted defense. But if we have a healthy defence than no one can touch us. Our forwards are so deep it isnt even funny. Look when Yzerman went down in '04, we have Lecavalier to fill in for him. I see more offense and more goals from this team in '06.

    Brodeur
    Luongo
    Theodore

    Pronger - Niedermayer
    Blake - Jovanovski
    Redden - Regehr
    Bouwmeester

    Lemieux - Sakic - Iginla
    Nash - Lecavalier - Heatley
    Draper - Thornton - Gagne
    Smyth - Richards - St. Louis

    As for the 13th it could go to anyone. Marleau and Spezza will have a shot at it. The good thing is there is a responsible defensive player on each line. Peca is a good chance too, but Draper is so fast and winning the Selke in '04 helps. Primeau is out, Lindros is out, Yzerman God Bless him is out. Doan might be the most logical choice for he 13th forward, but maybe getting Smyth out of there and putting Doan in would free up a possibility for Crosby. Hey if he gets off to a fast start and is in the top 10 in scoring I say put him in there. And imagine this team is so good no mention of Tanguay either. He'd be on any other countries team.
     
  12. ckendall

    ckendall Registered User

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    I think that one defensive line is always a good idea, though with enough talent that they can still score a goal or two.

    Here's what I'd love to see:

    Pronger - Niedermayer
    Blake - Bouwmeester
    Redden - Jovanovski

    Lemieux - Sakic - Iginla (Same top line as World Cup)
    Bertuzzi - Thornton - Heatly (SIZE and skill)
    Gagne - Primeau - Draper (new grind line)
    Marleau - Lecavalier - Nash (Would be #1 or 2 on every other team)
     
  13. NyQuil

    NyQuil Neon NyQuil

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    After seeing Nash and Thornton's magic at the World Championships, I wouldn't be surprised to see them again in 2006 if both are playing up to their potentials.

    Instant chemistry can be extremely valuable in a short tournament.
     
  14. dawgbone

    dawgbone Registered User

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    You really should try watching a few games. They never put the grind line out 5on5 against the other teams best lines.

    Quinn on his own team doesn't send a checking line out... he matches Sundin against guys like Thornton and that.

    It's absolutely ridiculous the amount of mis-information that you guys buy into sometimes. Try actually watching the game, not listening to some of these idiot media people who try and tell you things that don't actually happen.

    Quinn would never through Draper out there against a line like Sundin or Forsberg or anyone of that ilk.
     
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