Neutral zone, open space և exits. how the blues overcame the Colorado offense in Game 2

Even final Blues: Optimists were somewhat shocked when they celebrated a 4-1 victory in the last seconds Colorado Thursday.

There are game-by-game adjustments և Improved performance NHL: playoffs, and then what happened at the Ball Arena in 48 hours.

The Blues went from a team that looked like it could lose the avalanche in the second round to a club that returned home to a 1-1 draw in the top seven. And while AWOL’s prediction in Game 1 was a key factor in the victory, Game 2’s defensive performance was simply remarkable.

“Our D-corps were really good,” said Blues coach Craig Berube. “They were in the show. They took the drum out of our zone. They climbed on the cracks, carrying drums. (Justin) Folk, (Nick) Lady և: (Colton) It’s raining! especially. They were there all night. “You have to fight. I thought our team did a really good job.”

The Avalanche’s only goal in Game 2 was a show of strength Gabriel Landescog. In the regular season, the captain has the only goal in the top five goals scored by Avs, which means that they do not score five goals against Landescog. Nathan McQueen, Miko Rantane, Nazem Kadri or: Kale Makar. In fact, only five of their eight points were scored evenly.

It is almost incomprehensible.

So how did the “blues” do it? Let’s divide it by comparing some videos of the 1st և 2nd games. We will watch their game in the neutral zone, their defensive gaps քերը the outcomes of their zone.

Neutral zone

In this play of the first round of Game 1, the Avalanches are behind their net, paying attention to where Robert Thomas և: Vladimir Tarasenko They are positioned: Thomas squeezes the empty carrier and Tarasenko covers the wall.

How does it play?

Avs John Tovs hits his teammate with a red line, և quickly enters the attack zone with two quick passes, gets a quality shot on goal.

Later, in the first period, something like this happens.

The Blues suppress the knock, but Aver completes the pass to their blue line, moving it beyond the three attacking defenders. They get into the offensive zone, where McKinnon does his job, sliding freely in the zone before missing a shot. Yes, it’s out of line, but MacKinnon is always dangerous when he moves like this.

Now let’s talk about the approaches of the “Navy” in the neutral zone in the second game.

The blues are pushed back from the Avsi net. Braden Shan Ք puts pressure on McKinnon as he tries to get out of the belt Ivan Barbash! gives a little warmth to Toews. The dagger is handed over to Folk, և seconds later Vladimir Tarasenko moves it to the offensive zone again.

Here’s a video from Game 2 where the Blues’ pressure in the neutral zone leads to the circulation of Avs. Landescog loses his leg, but that’s the reason! David Peron takes steps to confront him. Either way, O’Reilly takes the free-kick, and և Blues takes over possession.

Open space

In this play of Game 1, Colorado moves the horse through the neutral zone, the pole is on the Landeskog stick as the Avs reach the blue line.

We will stop the video at that moment, we will break it.

Okay, now that the video has stopped, let’s look at the Folk gap. He is one of the best defenders of the “blues” in the whole season, the difference in the situation is not bad. He is upright, es Landeskog comes to the belt just a few feet away.

But the problem here is for Folk և’s defensive partner Rosen Street is that they go back to the belt, allowing Aver to dictate the game. And as a result, they are able to rotate around the belt: back to the point where they get the proper kick that requires a save from the Blues goalkeeper. Jordan Bennington.

Now let’s look at the small omission in Game 2 of the game: և It is Faulk who makes the quality of the game. This time it is not the blue line, but the red line, but his decision, strengthening the Avs player, makes a turn, which Rosen restores, “slips with the blue net”.

This is something they did not do in the first game. Gather a piece of players to try to slow them down.

Zone exits

They did not play clean in 1, և we have two examples, և then և we have two examples of how they play better in 2.

First, in this video, Faulk jumps out of his attempt to clean the boards, but it was chosen by Colorado. He tried again with a pass to Tarasenko, but it did not work, և Avs finally hit the net.

In another video of Game 1, Paraiko tries to make a short pass to Barbash to escape. But leaving for a change of line, Barbash sends a cross that ends in Avs’s hand, ին Bennington must hurry to save quickly.

In the second game, the “blues” were much smoother in this area, it seemed that they were trying to skate more than to pass against Avs.

In the first video, Lady leaves the knock on Peron, who leaves it behind, and he himself moves to the offensive zone.

In another effective zone, Lady wins the race, which Berube said after Game 1 that the Blues should have done more. He passes the ball to Faulk, who returns it to Lady, who skates in the neutral zone, then removes it when the Blues enter the attack zone.

These were the three sides of the game in which the “blues” improved a lot from one game to another.

“We have to be restrained, we have to be in control, we have to find that momentum every time, because they keep coming at you, that’s all five,” Peron said. “They are doing a great job. I thought we were pretty composed. We did a great job from the beginning. ”

Bennington felt the same way.

“We played a connected hockey game,” he said. “We all supported each other. We just trusted our game. “We talked about trying to control the jump, to roll back, to surpass them on the whole ice.”

Now comes the hard part, repeating that Saturday’s 3rd game at the Enterprise Center against a Avalanche team that will make its own adjustments.

“Just get ready for another battle,” Berube said. “You watch the tape, you go over things. Maybe there are some things you can discover a little better. But it is a playoff hockey. It will be conditioned by competing at a high level, winning battles, playing with a good structure. ”

(Photo: Ryan O’Reilly և Nathan McQueen. Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

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