Tags Posts tagged with "Coaching"


On this week’s episode of Road To Glory, host Nick Murdocco, along with Steven Hindle and Coach K discuss whether or not the Habs will be better or worse next season, they take a look at the NHL expansion proposals submitted by Quebec City and Las Vegas, and with the discussion about players already done, they question whether or not Michel Therrien and his coaching staff will see the end of next season from behind the Canadiens’ bench.




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At the NHL General Managers’ meetings in Las Vegas yesterday, it was voted that, coming next season, 3-on-3 overtime be adopted. 4-on-4 would be a thing of the past, as the National Hockey League Players’ Association scored a major victory, refusing to adopt the hybrid model overtime used in the AHL, where 4-on-4 was played until the first whistle after the 3 minute mark of OT, then 3-on-3 for another 4 minutes.

The NHLPA contended that the players would be more susceptible to injury with the 3-4 model, so the NHL GMs, desperate to have more games decided in overtime, agreed.

Coming out of the first NHL lockout in 2004-2005, the league decided to implement a shootout after 5 minutes of 4-on 4 overtime to have a winner decided for every game. At the time, everyone was abuzz, as the penalty shot/shootout is “the most exciting play in hockey”. It was a novel idea, that fans enjoyed for the first little while, but after the first couple of seasons, fans grew tired of it.

Now, the league and players’ union are going to 3-on-3 to avoid the shootout more often. the USHL adopted the same model last season, and saw a modest 10% change in games decided in OT. The AHL, which used the hybrid 3-4 model, saw its numbers drop from 66% of games going to a shootout to under 25%, a change of over 40%. The change in the AHL, however, was more evident early in the season, and as the teams adapted, the numbers flatlined.

The league and the union can tinker all they want with overtime formats and rules, but until they can figure out a way to eliminate defensive-oriented hockey from the game, scoring will continue to remain low.

No matter the rule changes, coaches have been notorious for adapting the “trap” in game situations. With the removal of the 2-line offside after 2004-2005, some teams began using their own blue line as their defensive front, with a single forechecker in the neutral zone and stacking the remaining 4 players to quell zone entries. Others, who carry more offensively gifted, quick and skilled players among the forwards would play a 2-3 stack, but the logic was still the same. If you force your opponent to relinquish the puck on zone entry, you’ve already won half the battle.

I have no doubt that after an initial upturn in overtime scoring, the same adaptation will take place. Coaches work tirelessly analyzing video and creating strategies to reduce scoring chances. 3-on-3 overtime will be no different.

So what can be done to change the coaching fraternity’s thought process to encourage more scoring? Rules can be created until people are blue in the face, but those are only temporary measures. The best way to get coaches and teams away from sitting back in a defensive shell is to reward them properly for playing an offensive game. That can only happen through an adjustment of the points system.

The system would be fairly simple:

3 points to the team that wins in regulation time.
2 points to the winner in overtime, and a single point to the losing team.
1 point to the winner in a shootout, and NOTHING awarded to the losing team.

Simple logic dictates that teams that know they can end up with nothing in the coffers after over 65 minutes of play will play a more aggressive, offensively minded style to ensure they maximize the possibility of getting points in regular season games. It would also guarantee the effort and integrity of the 3-on-3 overtime, ensuring teams remain aggressive to avoid the chance of ending games empty-handed.

More points being rewarded would also ensure that teams place a higher importance on their specialty teams. Along with an expected increase in offensive aggressiveness at even-strength, the man-advantage would once again become a major factor in team success, especially for teams that don’t have the offensive firepower to dominate 5-on-5.

If teams didn’t play a point-rewarding style, it would mean missing the playoffs more often and, ultimately, coaching changes to hire staffs with more offensively minded people.

Coaches always say it’s the end result that matters. Well, if success is measured by playoff appearances, then rewarding them that produce more offence is the ideal scenario.

And the silver lining:

With more offensive hockey throughout the regular season, can you imagine a scenario where teams revert back to a defensive shell after a full regular season of pushing the pace?

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When Michel Therrien was hired about 18 months ago to coach the Montreal Canadiens, the decision didn’t have unanimous support from the fans and the media. The truth was that  Therrien had already failed behind the Habs bench in the early 2000s. Yet, the move paid off last season when the Canadiens managed to lead the team to a Northeast Division championship with a record of 29-14-5 for 63 points in 48 games.

However, after a strong start in 2012-13, Therrien’s team faltered down the stretch going 6-8 in the last 14 games of the season. At the same point last campaign, the Canadiens had an excellent record of 12-4-3, starting at the top of the Eastern Conference. Now, as opposed to last year, they currently are 9-8-2, having posted a disappointing record of 4-4-2 in their last ten games. The Bleu Blanc Rouge is currently clinging to the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, only two points ahead of the inconsistent Ottawa Senators, who have one game in hand.

After 21 games, it’s time to see why Michel Therrien needs to be fired if GM Marc Bergevin and owner Geoff Molson have any hopes to see their team make the playoffs this season.

Below you will find 10 reasons why the Canadiens must get rid of Michel Therrien:

1. Therrien has openly criticized his all-star defenseman P.K. Subban for his turnovers and his lazy penalties, calling him out publicly for his mistakes, which is something you just don’t do if you want your star players on your side.

2. His consistent use of Francis Bouillon on the second power play instead of using Subban for the whole two minutes just like the Penguins and the Senators do with Kris Letang and Erik Karlsson respectively. Since the 2011-12 season, Bouillon has played 129:01 with the power play and has collected a single assist during that period. A SINGLE ASSIST.

3. His constant line juggling and questionable decisions regarding his offensive lines. For example, rookie Michael Bournival was clicking nicely with veterans Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta but as soon as veterans Brandon Prust and Travis Moen came back from injuries, Bournival has seen his time dwindle from 15 minutes/game to a new low for November at 7:33 minutes on Saturday, despite the Habs being blanked by a journeyman goalie from Alabama.

4. His return to a dump-and-chase style of play with a passive forecheck is not working. Because of the small size of the club’s forwards, the Habs would be better suited to adopt a west-east approach instead of a north-south strategy that is simply not working. The team needs to penetrate the offensive zone with the puck instead of dumping it and failing to retrieve it. The Habs need to forecheck with two forwards and use their speed to create turnovers in the offensive zone instead of letting the opposing teams come out of its zone too easily and enter the neutral zone without any pressure.

5. Therrien’s hidden hatred of veteran Daniel Briere. When Briere signed a two-year pact worth $8M in the off-season, he didn’t imagine he would end up playing 8:48 on Saturday night, despite being one of the best forwards this week. Therrien didn’t like that Briere came to his office to have more playing time and play at center back in October. Since then, the relationship between the two men is tense.

6. His over-utilization of unproductive center David Desharnais on the man advantage and at even strength. Heck, DD played well over 18 minutes on Saturday, while having only one assist and 21 shots on goal in 19 games. He replaced Briere after only one game, centering power forwards Max Pacioretty and Rene Bourque, turning them right away into useless players.

7. Poor defensive positioning had led to numerous scoring chances from the opposing teams and if it were not for Carey Price’s and Peter Budaj’s stellar play, the Canadiens would have a far worse record. The defensemen have a hard time making a good first pass, often icing the puck because of an inaccurate pass or clearing the puck by the boards with the wingers having no real opportunity to catch the pass and make a clear exit of the defensive zone.

8. His poor decision-making late in games, like using Alexei Emelin, Francis Bouillon, Rene Bourque and David Desharnais in the last minute of Saturday’s 1-0 loss against the Rangers. Also, his unwillingness to pull Carey Price earlier in the game, finally pulling him with only 33 seconds left in the game.

9. The inability for the Habs to mount a comeback when trailing after two periods of play (0-7-1) and the inexplicable use of unproductive players in such circumstances. Slumping veterans such as Francis Bouillon, Brian Gionta and David Desharnais all average more playing time in losses this season than in wins.

10. His inability to adapt during games and to match-up his lines, especially at home where he is supposed to have the advantage with the last change. We have often seen the Canadiens get caught with their fourth line on the ice while the opponent’s first line jumps on the ice; situations that often led to a goal.

Below you will find the Habs’ new lines following Monday morning’s practice:

Alex Galchenyuk – Lars Eller – Brandon Prust
Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – Brendan Gallagher
Rene Bourque – Tomas Plekanec – Brian Gionta
Michaël Bournival – Daniel Brière – Travis Moen

Once again I am puzzled at the hockey decisions made by Michel Therrien and his coaching staff.

While it is still very early in the season, it is not normal that your #1 goalie who is currently posting career numbers which a stellar 2.05 GAA and an incredible .936 save % has a disappointing record of 7-8-2… The team is scoring at a 2.43 goals/game so far this season, more than half a goal short of what Therrien said is required to win hockey games.

It sounds like Therrien is slowly losing his dressing room as a result of poor decisions this season… how much time until he loses his job as well?

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WebSports Media Network is proud to present its newest show, The 3 Zones, which will delve into the coaching aspect of the game of hockey.

Join Bobby Dollas, Dino Masanotti and our host Mitch Gallo, as they talk about how coaches motivated their players before, during and after games, as well as the importance of proper angling and the ongoing debate about madatory visors and fighting in the NHL.

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WebSports Media Network is proud to present its newest show, The 3 Zones, which will delve into the coaching aspect of the game of hockey.

Join Bobby Dollas, Dino Masanotti and our host Mitch Gallo, who discuss coaching on an injury riddled team, preparing a seasonal plan and defending  3 vs 5 shorthanded.

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WebSports Media Network is proud to present its newest show, The 3 Zones, which will delve into the coaching aspect of the game of hockey.

Join Bobby Dollas, Dino Masanotti and our host Mitch Gallo, as the boys discuss off-ice conditioning and its possible effect over a hockey season. They also go in-depth about concussions, and what can be done to prevent them.

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WebSports Media Network is proud to present its newest show, The 3 Zones, which will delve into the coaching aspect of the game of hockey.

With the horrifying injury sustained by Ottawa Senators’ Norris trophy winning defenseman Erik Karlsson this week, join Bobby Dollas, Dino Masanotti and our host Mitch Gallo as they welcome Steve Ialenti from hockeyis.ca to talk about cut resistant socks. They are also join by Serge Belliveau to talk some powerskating and stickhandling.

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WebSports Media Network is proud to present its newest show, The 3 Zones, which will delve into the coaching aspect of the game of hockey.

Join Bobby Dollas, Dino Masanotti and our host Mitch Gallo, as they talk about both the power play and penalty kill, and get into the nuts ans bolts of the officiating contraversy surrounding the NHL.

Below, you’ll find the 5 most commons power play set-ups…Enjoy!!



There are five common ways of setting up in the offensive end during a power play.

These are the most common power play formations and each one works against different kinds of penalty killing.


OverloadThis is a good puck possession formation to start the power play in and all of the other formations can be started from this formation. The overload is also an effective way to play after the initial attack in even strength situations.

The overload or Czech power play creates a three on two on one side of the ice.

* The plays usually start from the hash marks at the half boards. One forward supports from below the goal line on the strong side and the other forward gets open between the dot and the mid slot on the weak side. The defensemen support from the blue line. This formation creates many passing triangles and all five attackers are threats to score.

* When the puck is at the point, the forward below the goal line moves to the front of the net and screens, the strong side forward is an outlet pass option and rebounder and the weak side forward gets into position for a one time shot.

In the umbrella power play the idea is to get the puck to the middle of the ice at the point.

* When the defenseman is in the middle with the puck the other defenseman and strong side forward go to the top of the circle and form a high triangle. * The other two forwards play in the low slot area. * From this formation shots can be taken or passes made to the players at the top of the face-off circle above the dots. Two players are in low and they can screen, redirect, one time shoot or rebound.

* The other two forwards play in the low slot area. * From this formation shots can be taken or passes made to the players at the top of the face-off circle above the dots. Two players are in low and they can screen, redirect, one time shoot or rebound.


The spread power play is simply a wide 2-1-2 in the offensive end. Two forwards are positioned below the dots on each side and one forward is in the mid slot.

 * The spread causes problems for the defense because there are four natural triangles to pass the puck in and the player in the mid slot area causes the defense to over compensate when on the weak side and either frees the weak side point or leaves the mid slot player open.  

*The spread is very effective on a 5-3 situation, especially when a pass is made straight down from the point to a low player on the strong side.


The slot set power play sets up on the half boards with one player behind the goal line and one player in the low slot in front of the net. The two defensemen play the point.
* When the puck goes to the point the player behind the net screens and the slot man moves to the weak side for a one timer or rebound.  * The slot set is similar to the overload but the weak side forward is usually a big player whose main job is to screen the goalie and tip shots.

1-3-15. THE 1-3-1 POWER PLAY

The 1-3-1 Power Play was developed in Finland. It combines the benefits of all of the power plays and is probably the hardest to defend against.

* The slot set creates four triangles to pass around and take one time shots from.  

* The point player must be very skilled with the puck, a good passer and have an effective shot.  

* This power play is very effective against the box penalty killing. The 1-3-1 gives more attack options than the other power plays but has a higher risk because the last man has the puck.