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SLBAM: Colorado has done a great job

Auteur: dmiller
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SLBAM: Colorado has done a great job
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Hello to you all. Another week full of questions. I’m answering them by taking a break from my video analysis after our first game against Toledo in the second round.

The “speech” hasn’t really changed, to be honest. Despite our losing record against Indy during the season, there was always something wrong when we played them: half a line-up, Christmas coming back and so on.

We knew we could compete with them, and that the first game was just the first game.

For those who watched the game, they noticed that we didn’t back down from anything and that we continued to be there for each other. That’s what I think gave us momentum for the rest of the series.

From Game2 onwards, in terms of the system of play, there were no changes in the sense that we didn’t change our entire forward check or our defensive zone, but rather adjustments to follow on from the first games.

For example, they were able to beat us on the forecheck by going to the opposite side and through the boards. We knew they were a rim-only team.

So we only adjusted our F1 to make sure the first contact was his stick on the outside to force them back to the strong side. Our F2 stayed in the middle and the F3 on the strip.

From then on, we forced a lot of turnovers, which allowed us to generate a lot more offense. After that, our forward failure in the neutral zone was very, very passive, even very flat.

But Indy had a lot of trouble adjusting, as they relied on speed in the neutral zone. So they couldn’t get up to speed, and had to make a sustained front check. As for us, our strength lies in getting out of the zone through the middle.

After that, the overtime win in Game3 was obviously a turning point for us. If there’s one thing we adjust from game to game, it’s PP and PK.

The ECHL series works like this: division, conference, league. In the sense that the top four teams in each division advance. The first plays the fourth and the2nd plays the3rd.

Then the winner of each advances to the division final. Then we talk about the conference final and the league final.

So it’s important to finish in the top four in the division, the conference doesn’t matter. Just take a look at our conference standings and you’ll see how strong our division was.

With the flooding, we were in a bit of a limbo as to what could happen with the two remaining games. We managed, within hours, to get ice at UPMC, which is Pittsburgh’s practice arena, and have a game there, our 71st of the season.

After our win, we waited to see how the other teams fared, even though we still had a 72nd game to play. That game would have been on Monday, after the deadline for playing a season game, but it was accepted.

However, the league decided on Sunday morning not to play the game, because no matter what the result, there would have been no change in the standings.

As for not playing a home game in the playoffs, it wasn’t because of the flood, but because we had the monster trucks in town.

There’s a rule in the ECHL that if the two teams can’t agree on a playoff split, the host team can decide. So Toledo and Indy decided to play all seven games at home.

Fortunately, we managed, once again, to get the UPMC arena and play a game there, which settled the matter pretty quickly.

I don’t think their game was that deficient, but rather Colorado’s offense was too good. Colorado scored over 10 goals with a net presence that hid the goalie’s view, which means Colorado did quite a job.

It’s not easy for a goalie, possibly the Vézina winner, to stop something when you can’t see it.

There’s also the fact that offensively, Colorado is surely the best team in the playoffs, so you can’t afford to make mistakes or give them room to maneuver.

The plan changes yes, because it’s not the same team. Completely different in terms of front break in the offensive zone and neutral zone. Indy was very aggressive while Toledo in the offensive zone is 1-2-2 and in the neutral zone, 1-1-3.

So our zone exits and our transition in the neutral zone change enormously. We try to use the width of the rink to be able to skate more. Defensively, we talk about “man on man” for Indy compared to the zone for Toledo.

Our strength is the offensive zone with the activation of the defensemen. So we had success against Indy, but against Toledo, we have to make small adjustments, because we can’t do the same thing.

Toledo also has the best maverick in the league, so we have to pay special attention to him.

We’re going to have to take advantage of any confusion they may have in the defensive zone after we get the puck up to our defenders, since he drops into man-for-man coverage and doesn’t change afterwards.

One thing people can’t see is how hostile Toledo is to the opposing team. The number of spectators behind the bench who spend their game shouting at the coaches or players is enormous.

The spectators who wait for the players after the game to call them names or when we’re walking back to the hotel, the cars that pass close to us and roll down their windows to continue calling us all sorts of names.

We have to make sure we ignore all that and concentrate on what we’re controlling.


That’s unfortunately all the time I have this week, I’ll save the other questions for my next article in two weeks.

Thank you very much and see you in two weeks. @Mitch_Giguere.

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