Olympic hockey systems starting to take shape

Last week in my NHL fan guide to Olympic hockey, I briefly spoke about how systems on international ice can be a bit different than what we are used to seeing in North American rinks. After watching much of group play, we’re starting to get a sense of how teams are tactically approaching their opponents with the extra 15 feet…

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Four breakout plays every hockey fan should know

Over the past several years, we’ve talked a lot about hockey system basics like forechecking, defensive zone systems, and power plays, as well as different philosophies like ice-time distribution, line juggling, and the countless ways to tactically differentiate Alain Vigneault and John Tortorella. Believe it or not, there’s still a lot more to cover. We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on things such as entries…

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Fixing neutral zone play will be key in Rangers resurgence

Forget what you think you know about hockey zones. The game continues to evolve at a rapid pace and one of the areas that have changed drastically over the last several years is the neutral zone. Traditionally, the neutral zone has been referred to as the area of ice between both bluelines. However, with the evolution of today’s game, most coaches…

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New AV Squad episode tonight, some Cam Talbot and Alain Vigneault quotes

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that we love the shows where the Rangers talk with the coaches to discuss the x’s and o’s of the game. We were big fans of “Behind the Bench” with John Tortorella, and we are equally fans of “The AV Squad” with Alain Vigneault. MSG was kind enough to…

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Hockey Systems – Fronting vs. Net-side Positioning

Last season we talked a lot about defensive zone systems (e.g., the low zone collapse, overload, hybrid man-on-man, etc.), and particularly what the Rangers as a team were trying to execute to prevent quality/dangerous shots on net. Today we’re going to zoom in on one specific area within the defensive end, the net zone, since it’s a small part of the…

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Alain Vigneault’s 1-3-1 power play system succeeding

It’s no secret, the biggest problem the Rangers have had the last several seasons is the lack of a respectable power play. Not since the 2009-10 season have the Blueshirts finished in the top half of the league in PP conversions, and not since the 1998-99 season have the Rangers had a top 5 power play. Although it’s still a bit…

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Breaking down Alain Vigneault’s even strength system

This is definitely going to be an interesting season covering NYR’s x’s and o’s, as coaching changes always bring about new looks and different styles of play. And while I was indeed a pro-Torts guy, I’m looking forward to seeing what AV and his staff have up their sleeves. Today we’re just going to cover even strength play, since I…

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Three things AV should implement that Torts didn’t

By now, most of our regular readers are aware I was a big supporter of John Tortorella and the team concept he constructed for the New York Rangers. To say the least, I was very disappointed with Glen Sather’s decision to fire him. Although I had an up close perspective of John that most did not, I still disagreed with some…

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Re-configuring the Rangers power play

With the exception of a few depth signings, it appears Glen Sather will keep the Rangers roster mostly intact for the 2013-14 season. Rather than take a shot at Jarome Iginla, Derek Roy, or Daniel Alfredsson (all of whom signed one year deals), the organization has instead decided to keep Brad Richards around for at least one more season. Barring…

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The ideal hockey system for the New York Rangers

Since Tortorella’s firing last week, there’s been a lot of different coaches with different systems/philosophies linked to the Rangers head coaching position. As I said last week in my Tortorella obituary post, Sather left it open as far as what he’s looking for in his next coach. Since Glen gave fans the mushroom treatment again, I figured I would at…

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