PreGame PostUp: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Anaheim Ducks

Posted: 11/03/2010 by bc in Uncategorized

As a Ducks fan I feel some kinship toward the Bolts. The Lightning started NHL play one a season earlier. Each entered the NHL as expansion teams. Each has won a Stanley Cup. Enjoyed two magical seasons on the road to winning their respective Cup.

Almost immediately after winning the Cup each team drifted into hard times.

For the Bolts the housecleaning has included two ownership groups numerous changes in management and coaching. Under the care of new owner Jeff Vinik and GM Steve Yzerman, the Lightning appear to have returned to respectability.

Our Ducks appear to be stuck in the mud.

Lightning began an only in the NHL road trip with a 3-0 win Saturday in Phoenix followed by 3 days off on the road. Tonight marks the start of 3 games in 4 nights for the Bolts.

Our Ducks, losers of 2 straight face the current beast from the East. Tampa Bay sits atop the Eastern Conference standings with a 7-2-1 record and an impressive 4-1 road record.

Tampa boasts the NHL’s 4th best PP, 3rd best PK efficiency and oh yeah they have 3 scoring lines.

The only weakness on paper in the Bolts is a high GAA of 3.00.

I did watch a Bolts game and didn’t see them go to the much talked about 1-3-1 all that often. In that game they went to the 1-3-1 most often in their own end. Not in the neutral zone or as a forechecking scheme as reported by mainstream media.

Hopefully, we’ll get to see the as advertised version tonight. To appreciate the 1-3-1 accept first that it is a trapping system. Just like you’ll  never understand reggae unless you hear it as blues; you’ll never understand the 1-3-1 unless you see the trap.

Unlike the traditional 1-2-2 ‘Red Rover’ trap, the 1-3-1 is an aggressive, puck pursuit swarming trap system. The role of the first one is to pressure the opponent at the puck. The 3 in support positions, fill the passing and outlet lanes.

Like the 1-2-2 the job of the first forechecker is take the man and separate him from the puck. The support players pickup the puck and transition to offense.

Tom Perrotta of the Wall Street Journal has describes it here and Coach Elmer discusses it here.

Check back for the PostGame PostUp for more on the 1-3-1 trap.

Simon Gagne is on injured reserve. Dominic Moore with an achy breaky groin is questionable while depth D-man Matt Smaby is doubtful with ankle issue.

Our Ducks have ordered extra beds for the infirmary. Out are Joffrey Lupul, Andy Sutton, Jason Jaffrey, Dan Sexton, Kyle Chipchura and Matt Belesky.

There’s no logical and rational reason our Ducks should win tonight. It’s a pretty banged up underachieving lineup.

I guess our guys will have to rely on the intangibles of effort, heart, skating for 60 minutes, focus and great coaching.

Enjoy the game.

  1. czhokej says:

    Brown was one of the few guys who forecheck well on our team. Forechecking is an art, combination of good skating, physicality and anticipation.

    bc, we will be able to see that new system tonight.

  2. BackCheck says:

    Yes we did. And we also saw the Finish Flash skate through before they got it setup. We also the Pokey Twins pass around it.

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