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Housley’s Defense


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#1 nikuman

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 05:05 PM

I found a lot of threads discussing defense, but not addresssing the defensive scheme...so, here’s my question:

You hear a lot about good coaches adapting their schemes to the available talent, but everything I’ve seen about Buffalo’s D revolves around the (forced?) implementation of Housley’s preferred “offensive” defense. I’m stationed overseas and got to watch exactly one game all of last season so I’d like to know to what extent, if at all, did our coaching contribute to our defensive (and goaltending) deficiencies last season.

I’d welcome your informed opinions.

#2 Neo

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 06:11 PM

Welcome to SabreSpace.

The learned (other than me) see Xs and Os most clearly. I get a glimpse, from time to time!

I understand the deficiencies you reference relate to the mis-match of talent and system. Housley’s up tempo defense requires skilled puck handlers, speed and offensive anticipation. When you attack, you’re vulnerable to same. You’d better attack successfully.

I believe asking more pedestrian defensemen, in terms of skill and speed, to attack exposed our team to counterattack without ever fulfilling the promise of initial attack! There are systems that better fit the less speedy or less skilled.

Too many words ....

Can I say “thank you for your service” or am I drawing a conclusion erroneously?

Edited by Neo, 14 May 2018 - 07:19 PM.


#3 nfreeman

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 10:49 PM

Welcome niku.

From my amateur perspective, the Sabres’ D system looked like it had potential last year in terms of moving the puck up ice while retaining possession, but too often fell short due to lack of passing ability, lack of overall team intensity and lack of confidence (primarily although not entirely due to lousy goaltending).

I want to see the system with Dahlin, another good defenseman, a good goalie backing them up, and some leadership and professionalism from guys like Eichel, Reino and ROR.

#4 We've

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 05:17 AM

Let's not forget, this was yet another season where complaints regarding players not playing the system were leveled regularly.  We may not have a good handle on what he was trying to do, and how effective it might have been with this group.



#5 Eleven

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 06:30 AM

Welcome niku.

From my amateur perspective, the Sabres’ D system looked like it had potential last year in terms of moving the puck up ice while retaining possession, but too often fell short due to lack of passing ability, lack of overall team intensity and lack of confidence (primarily although not entirely due to lousy goaltending).

I want to see the system with Dahlin, another good defenseman, a good goalie backing them up, and some leadership and professionalism from guys like Eichel, Reino and ROR.

 

Much like Ruff's system, Housley's seems to require good-to-great goaltending, which the Sabres don't have, but...

 

Let's not forget, this was yet another season where complaints regarding players not playing the system were leveled regularly.  We may not have a good handle on what he was trying to do, and how effective it might have been with this group.

 

...this is a good point, too.



#6 N S

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:27 AM

I found a lot of threads discussing defense, but not addresssing the defensive scheme...so, here’s my question:

You hear a lot about good coaches adapting their schemes to the available talent, but everything I’ve seen about Buffalo’s D revolves around the (forced?) implementation of Housley’s preferred “offensive” defense. I’m stationed overseas and got to watch exactly one game all of last season so I’d like to know to what extent, if at all, did our coaching contribute to our defensive (and goaltending) deficiencies last season.

I’d welcome your informed opinions.


I don't watch / know enough to answer your questions.

They are good questions, though.

And welcome.

#7 ubkev

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:17 AM

Welcome niku.

From my amateur perspective, the Sabres’ D system looked like it had potential last year in terms of moving the puck up ice while retaining possession, but too often fell short due to lack of passing ability, lack of overall team intensity and lack of confidence (primarily although not entirely due to lousy goaltending).

I want to see the system with Dahlin, another good defenseman, a good goalie backing them up, and some leadership and professionalism from guys like Eichel, Reino and ROR.


For the last 7 years, I haven't for the life of me been able to figure out why the sabres can't pass. They have been horrible at it for a very long time and I just can't seem to understand it.

#8 inkman

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:37 AM

For the last 7 years, I haven't for the life of me been able to figure out why the sabres can't pass. They have been horrible at it for a very long time and I just can't seem to understand it.


Just thinking outside the box here but maybe the players have just sucked. Jack and Sam seem to have no issue delivering the rubber disc.

#9 ubkev

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 10:05 AM

Just thinking outside the box here but maybe the players have just sucked. Jack and Sam seem to have no issue delivering the rubber disc.



A possibility, for sure. But all of these guys have played hockey since they were 4 years old. Passing isn't that hard. Your think they'd be ok at it after playing mites, squirts, peewees, bantams, midgets, Juniors and D1. Someone at one of those levels would have taught them how to pass, I'd have thought.

#10 Brawndo

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 12:22 PM

John Vogl mentioned in article that in a drill where the Defenseman were working on breakout passes, only one Sabres D Man could consistently complete a tape to tape pass, unfortunately that D Man is also the HC.

#11 N S

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 12:23 PM

John Vogl mentioned in article that in a drill where the Defenseman were working on breakout passes, only one Sabres D Man could consistently complete a tape to tape pass, unfortunately that D Man is also the HC.

 

The big Swede is arriving just in time.



#12 Randall Flagg

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 12:35 PM

John Vogl mentioned in article that in a drill where the Defenseman were working on breakout passes, only one Sabres D Man could consistently complete a tape to tape pass, unfortunately that D Man is also the HC.

That's funny stuff.



#13 Formerly Allan in MD

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 01:20 PM

Not sure he had one.



#14 LTS

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 01:37 PM

I found a lot of threads discussing defense, but not addresssing the defensive scheme...so, here’s my question:

You hear a lot about good coaches adapting their schemes to the available talent, but everything I’ve seen about Buffalo’s D revolves around the (forced?) implementation of Housley’s preferred “offensive” defense. I’m stationed overseas and got to watch exactly one game all of last season so I’d like to know to what extent, if at all, did our coaching contribute to our defensive (and goaltending) deficiencies last season.

I’d welcome your informed opinions.

 

Good coaches adapt their schemes when they have to do so.  I don't think there is evidence that Housley did not adapt his scheme but at the same time there needs to a be a stress on playing the system the coach is looking for as well.  Given that players need to be evaluated for their ability to execute the game plan it is important that you don't immediately lower the expectations placed upon the players.

 

Bottom line is that both Housley and Botterill need to know if the players can execute the plan.  If not then they need to be moved elsewhere for players who can.



#15 Kruppstahl

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 06:03 PM

There was such a dearth of talent on the blue line last year (and the team in general) that I don't think Housley's coaching, good or bad, can really be evaluated.

 

At least the Xs and Os part of it.

 

The team was disinterested and motivated most of the time, and that certainly falls, in part, on Housley, however.