So, Gann Matsuda recently did an interview with LA Kings coach Terry Murray. It was interesting through this point…
“Offensive production is going to be important to improve on this year.”
Fascinating. How is that?
“The five-on-five, four-on-four is going to be real important from a team aspect. You’ve got to be able to get the job done in that part of it, and I think we have the ability to improve there.”
Ok, but how? You have the same top 6 with the same system, right?
“That’ll be a big focus in our training camp, to have a better attack game, a better possession game as we come through the middle of the ice.”
Big focus, got it…wait…what? Better possession game?!
Through the middle of the ice??!!
Do you realize how many times I have written about this subject? More than the three articles I linked…much more…you know, I’m being silly. I am sure he doesn’t mean what it sounds like he may mean. Let’s keep reading.
“Going back to last year, I thought we did a tremendous job in getting pucks deep on the forecheck, recovering pucks and getting a cycle. When we do cycle the puck, we’re a very good hockey club that holds onto it, makes plays and gets pucks to the net.”
See. And here I thought he was talking about adopting a puck possession game…clearly I was…
“But as we go into this year, I’d really like to see a lot of possession entries and attack hard to the net with plays off the original attack, rather than going back and recovering.”
“That, to me, when you get into the playoffs and you plan on being a team that’s going to go deep into the playoffs, then that’s a part of the game that you have to execute at a pretty high level. That’ll be a focus for us going into the season.”
I love you?
“It’s not going to be so much the system,”
Wait. How is that possible? You are going to play a puck possession game which is completely different than last season’s offensive system while maintaining the same system? Help me out here coach because I got a semi a moment ago.
“It’s going to be more just an emphasis because going back to year one, our focus was checking, the commitment to the defensive part of the game. That home plate attitude was really, really critical—to get it down and make that kind of a commitment. We were a team that turned a lot of pucks over at the offensive blue line two years ago.”
You’re killing me. Back to the puck possession issue! How is it going to be part of the same system??
“Last year, I saw an improvement defensively, in our checking much improved as we made decisions at the offensive blue line, in getting the puck deep and getting a forecheck and cycle game going. I want to add onto that. I want to build onto that now in year three here.”
So, you’re not eliminating the dump and chase (which makes sense because sometimes it is necessary), but you are going to place a priority and emphasis on the possession game…akin to Detroit and, under their new coach, San Jose…right?
“As we grow as a team and are more experienced and more comfortable with pucks on our sticks, generate more off that possession as we come through the middle of the ice, rather than going and getting it all the time or a lot of the time,”
Am I crazy or is he basically stating that the first instinct will be to play a puck possession game rather than the auto pilot dump and chase that has been the Kings model since 1994?
“Let’s generate more now from this possession.”
“Show more poise.”
Preach it brother Terry!!
Oh God! Give me more!
“Have confidence with the puck.”
I am going to have an orgasm!!
Get something big happening to the net as often as possible, meaning driving through, stopping at the top of the crease, putting pucks to the net off that original attack.”
GO DADDY GO!!
“Now, if there’s a loose puck or rebound, that same attitude of recovery and getting your cycle going,”
No, NO! Don’t do that. I was almost there!!
“But that’s the next step for us, and I think it’s a very important step for us if we’re going to be a to be a real playoff contending team as we go forward this year.”
I’m going to go freshen up…