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Bylsma

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#121 Randall Flagg

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:14 AM

You guys are too kind

#122 ThirtyEight

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 05:41 AM

Great post. Interesting read. I honestly don't have the time to watch enough hockey, but I'm assuming the photos of the other teams are 'typical' of their breakouts in your eyes?

 

I've just had surgery and have a few weeks off work, so was looking forward to watching more hockey... then the Sabres decided to go on a west-coast trip :(

 

Obviously we are favouring the stretch pass. How much do we think that is a coaching decision or adaption? What was Bylsma like with the Pens? i.e. are we hail marying it every time because we don't have, or DD doesn't think we have, the talent to properly carry it? Or is this just his system?



#123 Neo

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 08:47 AM

You guys are too kind


Your upcoming PhD will be your second.

It's as if you've given me eyeglasses. Mr. Flagg achieves elusive clarity in the gauzy world of web blogs.

You've ascended to the SabreSpace Pantheon.

Now, tell me about Mr. Einstein, Bern, clocktowers, wristwatches and streetcars.

#124 MattPie

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:21 AM

Great post. Interesting read. I honestly don't have the time to watch enough hockey, but I'm assuming the photos of the other teams are 'typical' of their breakouts in your eyes?

 

I've just had surgery and have a few weeks off work, so was looking forward to watching more hockey... then the Sabres decided to go on a west-coast trip :(

 

Obviously we are favouring the stretch pass. How much do we think that is a coaching decision or adaption? What was Bylsma like with the Pens? i.e. are we hail marying it every time because we don't have, or DD doesn't think we have, the talent to properly carry it? Or is this just his system?

 

That's the big question, right? I think it has to be his system, as we have more talent than Carolina (the team in the "good" pictures), but they're in the same place in the standings. If anything, the long pass requires more talent than we have, making short passes with 2-3 options is an easier play than hitting a guy with and he knocking down an 80-foot rocket.



#125 TrueBlueGED

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:29 AM

That's the big question, right? I think it has to be his system, as we have more talent than Carolina (the team in the "good" pictures), but they're in the same place in the standings. If anything, the long pass requires more talent than we have, making short passes with 2-3 options is an easier play than hitting a guy with and he knocking down an 80-foot rocket.


I don't think it's a talent issue so much as the stretch pass is super easy to defend against when you know it's coming. Our Dmen may not be able to complete an open stretch with regularity, but teams know it's coming, so it's rarely open anyway.

#126 d4rksabre

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:41 AM

This thread got me all 

giphy.gif



#127 mallexen

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:26 AM

Hi all, I am a long-time lurker, but have to jump in to thank Mr Flagg for a fantastic series of posts.

Thanks,

Mike



#128 biodork

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:33 AM

This thread got me all 

giphy.gif

:lol:

 

I haven't watched nearly enough hockey (Sabres or otherwise) this season to weigh in on the specifics, but Flagg, based on what I gleaned from skimming and how much time and effort you put into all that,  :worthy:


Edited by biodork, 17 March 2017 - 11:33 AM.


#129 pi2000

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:07 PM

Great job Flagg.

As someone who played at a high level I can tell you (as if it isn't obvious) that Bylsma system is not the norm.

All but a couple teams I played on stressed puck support, create situations where the puck carrier has an option to make a high percentage 3-5 ft pass to escape danger. Coaches would always preach "the guy without the puck works the hardest" meaning when your team has possession everybody else needs to skate their ###### off to give him options.

That was 25-30 years ago, it's basic hockey, but it breaks down when you play a fast team who takes away that time and space to make a good decision with the puck.

This north south stretch and chase strategy can work but you need the right players... a team of Bailey's, Kanes, Carriers, Coglianos and Hagelins, guys that can win those races and wear down the opposition with their speed.

So does Bylsma go, or the slugs who don't fit?

One other thing... to me the most disturbing issue with this team is how they defend... and I'm not just talking about defensemen. There is absolutely zero fight in any player on this team to try and get the puck back in the d-zone.

Edited by pi2000, 17 March 2017 - 12:13 PM.


#130 Randall Flagg

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:30 PM

Great post. Interesting read. I honestly don't have the time to watch enough hockey, but I'm assuming the photos of the other teams are 'typical' of their breakouts in your eyes?

 

I've just had surgery and have a few weeks off work, so was looking forward to watching more hockey... then the Sabres decided to go on a west-coast trip :(

 

Obviously we are favouring the stretch pass. How much do we think that is a coaching decision or adaption? What was Bylsma like with the Pens? i.e. are we hail marying it every time because we don't have, or DD doesn't think we have, the talent to properly carry it? Or is this just his system?

In my previous 'counting' of our transition plays, there is a section that is about 20% of our total zone entry attempts each game that I would describe as these stretch pass attempts. I didn't count for any other team, but I assume it's roughly similar. The way we handle these transitions gives us almost zero chance to maintain possession. It works zero to four times per game, in the games I've counted. When we use controlled passing to enter the zone, we are successful anywhere from 65 to 85% of the time - Carolina takes that 20% of plays and chooses to go the 65%-85% route rather than the 0-15% one. The difference between possession stats of top ten teams and bottom ten teams may only be 3-5% total, and you can win cups if you're in that top ten. Simply structuring your transition game to allow for puck support ONLY these 20% of the time, you will substantially increase your team's possession. Add that puck support to all of your other carry ins and dump-ins and pass plays, you look like a well-oiled hockey machine. 

 

It is a coaching decision. It's part of how he plays 'fast, grinding hockey.' 'The puck travels fastest when it is passed', so it flips zones very quick when you do this. There's an article floating around from his time in Pittsburgh where it was mentioned to him that guys like Lovejoy and other defensemen not named Letang or Gonchar were having a lot of trouble with the stretch pass - his response was that the pass just needs to come quicker and be more accurate. No thoughts of adjusting to help his players, or adding support. They just need to do it better - then it will start working. It's not a system that you should defer to when you don't have talent. You need to be IMMENSELY talented to consistently put passes on the tape from that far away. His lack of in-game adjustment is bothersome too. Teams like Boston, Tampa, and Carolina completely neutralized us and we did nothing to change. Bylsma's team is the only one in the past ten years at least to not have positive possession numbers during a cup win season, his team was 22nd in the NHL, and won the cup largely because they had two generational talents putting up almost double the point totals, each, that playoff scoring leaders now get. 

 

And as far as talent level goes - The star of several photos up there, Joakim Nordstrom, has as many goals this season as Jack Eichel does in the past twelve days. The Canes have the lack of relative talent, but those passes are way easier to make, and are successful a much higher percentage of the time, than the plays that Franson has to make up to Gionta. 


Your upcoming PhD will be your second.

It's as if you've given me eyeglasses. Mr. Flagg achieves elusive clarity in the gauzy world of web blogs.

You've ascended to the SabreSpace Pantheon.

Now, tell me about Mr. Einstein, Bern, clocktowers, wristwatches and streetcars.

Thank you Neo. You talkin general/special relativity there? I only know some of the latter :)

 

Neither here nor there, but I do want to teach myself Quantum Field Theory and GR someday, to look for solutions to the quantum gravity problem (and collect my Nobel Prize obv). I'm not smart enough to do theoretical high energy in grad school, so I'm avoiding it for now! 


Hi all, I am a long-time lurker, but have to jump in to thank Mr Flagg for a fantastic series of posts.

Thanks,

Mike

You should post more!


Great job Flagg.

As someone who played at a high level I can tell you (as if it isn't obvious) that Bylsma system is not the norm.

All but a couple teams I played on stressed puck support, create situations where the puck carrier has an option to make a high percentage 3-5 ft pass to escape danger. Coaches would always preach "the guy without the puck works the hardest" meaning when your team has possession everybody else needs to skate their ###### off to give him options.

That was 25-30 years ago, it's basic hockey, but it breaks down when you play a fast team who takes away that time and space to make a good decision with the puck.

This north south stretch and chase strategy can work but you need the right players... a team of Bailey's, Kanes, Carriers, Coglianos and Hagelins, guys that can win those races and wear down the opposition with their speed.

So does Bylsma go, or the slugs who don't fit?

One other thing... to me the most disturbing issue with this team is how they defend... and I'm not just talking about defensemen. There is absolutely zero fight in any player on this team to try and get the puck back in the d-zone.

How far did you go in hockey? I'm jealous - I never got a chance to play at all.


Edited by Randall Flagg, 17 March 2017 - 12:31 PM.


#131 WildCard

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:30 PM

Used your pictures to convince my buddy Byslma sucks. Thanks



#132 dudacek

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:38 PM

I football terms, we're constantly throwing the long bomb on first and ten and paying for it, time and again with bad field position.

#133 WildCard

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:39 PM

I football terms, we're constantly throwing the long bomb on first and ten and paying for it, time and again with bad field position.

throwing it long on 1st, 2nd, and then punting it on 3rd down. Then we'll kneel the ball up by 3 in the 1st quarter



#134 Drunkard

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:10 AM

Bump to get this back on the first page since I alluded to it in another thread.



#135 Touched by Boyes

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 01:50 PM

Bump because Randall's epic analysis post may be the best post ever made on this site or any other site. Compelling, clearly articulated mastery of why this team has underperformed all year - even with pictures for those of us who are slow :thumbsup: 







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