Friday, 3 October 2014

Awful, Awful Hockey

The players in the photo to the left aren't in Tim Hortons' TimBits hockey any longer, but I'll guess a lot of them started there. There's one thing that's seen fairly regularly in TimBits hockey: a large mass of players moving in the same direction as they chase the puck. Kids get puck-focused on the ice, and they all move as one large mass around the ice. Eventually, they are coached out of that mentality, but it appears the Edmonton Oilers - a collection of young NHL stars - may have regressed against the Canucks before our eyes last night.

With Vancouver defenceman Luca Sbisa sitting in the penalty box for tripping Edmonton's Taylor Hall, the Canucks scored a shorthanded goal that will leave you shaking your head. It's not because of how the goal was scored, but it's because of how Edmonton, with the man-advantage, allowed the goal to be scored. Take a look.
Nick Bonino found himself so wide-open in front of Viktor Fasth WHILE SHORTHANDED that he had enough time to setup in the slot, receive a pass, settle it, and rip it past Viktor Fasth. While the sequence took about a second, there are only three Canucks in the offensive zone as compared to four Oilers. Clearly, this should be an easy defensive assignment, right?

Burrows takes the puck in the corner and is chased by four Oilers: Teddy Purcell (16), Brad Hunt (59), Taylor Hall (4), and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93). He throws the puck back to Alex Edler at the point who fires a cross-ice pass to Bonino. You might be thinking these are the only players on the ice, right? Um, no.

The fifth man on that powerplay unit for Edmonton was Nail Yakupov. Where the heck was he? My guess is that he's floating near center ice because the other defenceman for Vancouver who doesn't make an appearance on the clip is Chris Tanev. Tanev would have understandably dropped back to cover Yakupov, so what exactly was Yakupov thinking on this one? Defence is a team responsibility, Nail. Get with the program!

However, one other player decided to challenge the Oilers' horrific team play with his own ridiculously terrible play.

Michael Frolik is usually pretty reliable. I guess that's why it's preseason - get those hands back!
Wow. Maybe Mathieu Perreault should just take the shot next time. WOW.

The NHL season starts next week. Here's a couple of examples of what not to do once the real games start. Coincidentally, both teams that are shown in their depths of futility lost last night. Is it any wonder why?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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