Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/18/13 at 07:40 AM ET
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
A more traditional — but not loose — defensive zone structure should give wingers more time and space through the neutral zone and on the entry. It should play to the strengths of Chris Kreider, a great skater with a big-time shot who is far better getting the puck on the wing in open ice than hunting for it along the boards and below the goal line.
There has been no definitive decision regarding the fate of Brad Richards, but Vigneault’s system would free him from much of the low defensive-zone traffic in which he had been enmeshed through his first two years as a Ranger and afford him (alternate meaning) more opportunity to get into and operate in open ice.
Changes in their defensive structure should allow the Rangers to possess the puck more often. In their two Presidents’ Trophy-winning seasons, the Canucks ranked fifth and seventh in five-on-five Corsi rankings per 60 minutes (percentage of attempted shots vs. attempted shots against) and the Rangers were 26th in that category when they finished second overall to Vancouver by one point in 2010-11.
The skill guys should benefit under Vigneault. The wear-and-tear guys shouldn’t be as worn-and-torn. The Rangers will still want to own the ground game — the Blackhawks have the most speed in the league, but their game is built on puck pressure — but the Rangers should present a more diversified approach this time around.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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