Dump and chase is an offensive strategy, or lack thereof, familiar to many Kings fans.We witnessed it in full force and effect for many years under the direction of then Kings coach Andy Murray. I recall after Mathieu Schneider was traded to the Red Wings in 2003, he made a comment akin to ‘it’s nice to be on a team whose entire offensive strategy isn’t dump and chase’ (I am paraphrasing of course). But Mathieu was right. The offensive style of shooting (dumping) the puck into the attacking zone and hypothetically pursuing it with the hope of recovering the very puck you just gave up, and setting up a scoring chance is generally one associated with minimally talented teams who lack the skill and speed to keep the puck and, akin to the Red Wings, treat it like a prized jewel that you will not let go until it is in the other team’s net. Another quote comes to mind from Detroit Red Wing Mikael Samuelsson during the Finals last season – “Why would anyone want to give up the puck in the first place? You want to create stuff with the puck.”
This Kings fan agrees. In fact, this Kings fan believes it the primary reason the Kings have so much trouble with the Wings. Unfortunately, our coach Terry Murray doesn’t.
This isn’t a criticism as much as it is a pondering question: Does Terry believe that our players aren’t talented enough to keep and control the puck? Is our first line not as talented as Detroit’s fourth line? Because every line of the Wings plays that puck possession game. They don’t release the puck at the blue line on the powerplay. They don’t throw it into a corner and “hope” to get it back when they are down by a goal or two. They certainly don’t do it after, for goodness sake, they pull the goalie. The Kings did EACH of the above tonight against the Blue Jackets and prior nights against the Wings and Rangers. Anze Kopitar, Ryan Smyth, Justin Williams, Dustin Brown, Ted Purcell, Jared Stoll, Alexander Frolov, Wayne Simmonds and Michal Handzus aren’t skilled enough to hold the puck over the blue line or otherwise set up for the play?
Here is a fact: The Kings were taken to school by the Red Wings and Rangers, the latter very much a puck possession team this year and the former the epidomy of all puck possession teams for more than a decade. They failed to show up for the Blue Jackets game. Perhaps Terry Murray, before asking the players to skate harder after the puck they are forced to give up at the blue line, should consider asking his forward to keep it and play something that resembles, call me crazy, creative hockey.