The Chicago Blackhawks win the 2013 Stanley Cup

Jonathan Willis
June 25 2013 01:08AM

The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on Monday night. In so doing, they exposed many of the commonly accepted truths about what it takes to win in the playoffs as the lies they are.

The game has changed. Teams have to be big and tough to compete in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s great to have skill, but big teams, like Boston and Los Angeles, grind down opponents and are too hard to score on without big bodies. Physically punishing teams have an insurmountable advantage in anything-goes, prison-rules playoff hockey. These things, and things like them, have been written repeatedly in recent years.

The truth is that teams can win in different ways, and the game hasn’t undergone a fundamental shift with wins by the Bruins and Kings. The Blackhawks proved it, winning three series where they were the smaller team, often by a significant margin (numbers that follow are weighted for ice-time):

Team F Height F Weight D Height D Weight Tot. Height Tot. Weight
Chicago 6'1" 200.5 6'1" 204.0 6'1" 201.9
Minnesota 6'1" 201.0 6'1" 195.9 6'1" 199.0
Detroit 6' 201.3 6'2" 205.2 6'1" 202.8
Los Angeles 6'2" 210.5 6'2" 211.8 6'2" 211.0
Boston 6'1" 203.5 6'3" 215.2 6'2" 208.2

Worse than that, Chicago also did it without hitting very much; the Blackhawks barely hit by NHL standards. In the regular season, they were dead last in hits. In the post-season, they were 15th of 16 playoff teams in hits per game (just a sliver ahead of Detroit). They’re built on puck possession, which means they ended up getting hit a lot and don’t end up hitting the other team very much – it’s hard to hit the opposition when they don’t have the puck. It’s a style that served them well.

Their third and fourth lines, rather than being a collection of enforcers (only two teams in the league recorded fewer major penalties than Chicago this season) or dump-and-chase grinders, the Blackhawks mostly employed puck possession types – Viktor Stalberg, Michael Frolik and Marcus Kruger all got ice-time over players like Brandon Bollig and Dan Carcillo. Kruger – a 6’ centre who can’t win faceoffs and doesn’t hit – isn’t a guy most teams picture as the ideal fourth-liner, but he was trusted on the ice in the dying minutes of game five to protect a one-goal lead. How many fourth-liners can say they have the coach’s confidence in that role?

The Blackhawks, the league’s best team in both the regular and post-season, won in much the same way the Red Wings managed the same feat in 2008: with puck possession, with speed and skill, with offensive talent and defensive commitment, and with four lines that could win the chances battle. They did it without amassing a roster of lumbering forwards to clog up the ice, without hammering their opponent into submission with a physical game, and without icing a fourth line composed of Cro-Magnon men.

Obviously, for everyone on the team or involved with it - and certainly for the fans - this is a wonderful victory, but it's also good news for anyone who likes to see speed and skill triumph over size and strength.

Recently around the Nation Network

A fascinating story out of Vancouver: did the Vancouver Canucks inadvertently reveal their 2010 Draft list?

I also find it pretty fascinating that that the Canucks had two goaltenders ranked in the top-15 of their draft list. That's an illuminating nugget with respect to how the club views prospect goaltenders... Notable "wtf" features of this draft list include Charlie Coyle being ranked in the mid-70s on the list. Already in Coyle's young career he's proved that assessment to be way off the mark. The other massively questionable scouting decision? Jack Campbell at fifth overall. Yikes.

Click the link to read more, or alternately, feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 Intentional Typo Guy
June 25 2013, 01:11AM
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SIFT. I'm sifting through this article as we speak.

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#2 Eulers
June 25 2013, 01:22AM
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@Intentional Typo Guy

Ba-BOOM!

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#3 Mr common sense
June 25 2013, 01:26AM
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The logic here is that if one is playing this possession game, you must have cream skill......lets use the Detroit and Chicago example. Both team had elite dmen and fwds, the oil may have such fwds. Period. Unless they find a lids/Coffey/sea brook/Keith, this template does not work. The only tried and tested method to win is bullet proof d and a systematic checking game, there too the oil need help. lastly, perhaps the most important point and determining factor is the ace center. Toews, yzerman, fedorov, etc. I needn't say more. My point simply is that we need to be cautious to assume ourselves to be able to easily replicate the Chicago model. We have LOADS of work to do

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#5 Sanaa Montana
June 25 2013, 02:10AM
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These stat based articles are pretty lame. #Newmaterial

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#6 Sanaa Montana
June 25 2013, 02:16AM
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@Jonathan Willis

Under the influence of scientific assumptions, not only the psyche but the individual man, and indeed, all individual events whatsoever suffer a leveling down and a process of blurring that distorts the picture of reality into a conceptual average.

We ought not to underestimate the psychological effect of the statistical world picture: it displaces the individual in favour of anonymous units that pile up into mass formations.

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#7 Curcro
June 25 2013, 05:09AM
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@Sanaa Montana

Your just a number...

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#8 John Chambers
June 25 2013, 05:22AM
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Still think we should tradeYakupov for ten days of David Clarkson. Need toughness at the draft.

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#9 madjam
June 25 2013, 06:17AM
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Encouraging , but we do not have their skill level or line combo deterrent makeup . Defensively we are still subpar physically and skill wise . We are struggling mightily to play a team game at all ends of the ice , very inconsistent .

Puck possession game demands a strong commitment to a superior team game , not an individual game which we all to often play .We also do not play a superior game without the puck either . Kreuger had them playing better but still not at a level required to be a playoff team . Eakins may help further that along . Long way to go yet and a short time to get there as the song says . Will our so called fab five be skilled enough to get there is the question ? So far it slanting to maybe .

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#10 madjam
June 25 2013, 06:33AM
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Against maybe popular thoughts , I do not believe Hall is ready for captaincy until he shows more of a commitment to defence . Maybe Eberle who might also take some pressure off Hall . Toews and Crosby are two very skilled players and captains who also are committed to defenesive skill as well . Halls not there yet .

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#11 The Last Big Bear
June 25 2013, 06:38AM
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I don't mind seeing size and strength triumph over speed and skill.

I suppose that's a narrative you might find comforting if you cheer for a team that is comparatively small and weak, but it's not one that strikes any kind of special emotional chord with me.

And yeah, there's a bit of a gap between the not-in-the-playoffs Oilers, compared to the undefeated-in-regulation-in-like-30-games-or-whatever Blackhawks.

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#12 BArmstrong
June 25 2013, 07:28AM
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The Last Big Bear wrote:

I don't mind seeing size and strength triumph over speed and skill.

I suppose that's a narrative you might find comforting if you cheer for a team that is comparatively small and weak, but it's not one that strikes any kind of special emotional chord with me.

And yeah, there's a bit of a gap between the not-in-the-playoffs Oilers, compared to the undefeated-in-regulation-in-like-30-games-or-whatever Blackhawks.

So you're BIG and STRONG then?

David vs Goliath. Rocky vs Drago. Skywalker vs Darth Vader. Toews vs Chara.

Classic storyline.

Nothing better then seeing a LITTLE guy take everything the lumbering beast has to dish out, then shrug it off and succeed. I'll bet there's little more disheartening for the beast too.

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#13 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 25 2013, 07:29AM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

These stat based articles are pretty lame. #Newmaterial

says the guy who tosses out a hashtag while not on twitter

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#14 Sidd
June 25 2013, 07:47AM
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They have a good balance of size and talent in their top 2 lines. Having arguably the best 2 way player in the NHL and is big. Having one of the best 2-way D men in the NHL and having one of the defensive Dman in the NHL helps. Hot goalie . And then there is Hossa. All these factors create space for the other smaller players.

Size and skill matters but you must have the right balance.

Edmonton does not have a Toews Hossa Keith Seabrook Hossa Bickell or Bolland

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#15 LinkfromHyrule
June 25 2013, 07:52AM
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@madjam

'scuse me? The team took a big visible step backward under Krueger. If dubnyk hadn't played the way he did we likely would have regressed in the standings.

while our team may not be near the level Chicago is this is GOOD NEWS FOR OUR PLAYING STYLE. I think that is what JW was getting at.... If we were at chicagos level we would have just won the Stanley cup so don't be daft and split hairs

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#16 Shredder
June 25 2013, 08:19AM
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The Oilers will not be the same as Chicago when they win it all...they'll have their own style. They may play somewhat like the Blackhawks, with puck possession and skill over a bruising physical style, but there will no doubt be differences.

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#17 alledmonton
June 25 2013, 08:40AM
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@Sanaa Montana

Too factual? Can't throw around baseless opinions?

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#18 Gaz
June 25 2013, 08:40AM
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@The Last Big Bear

I can appreciate a winning team, whether it is done with size or speed (or any combination of the two along that spectrum). That said, I loved seeing Chicago play a greasy game at a level that matched the Bruins' antics, in addition to maximizing their speed, and ultimately making Chara a bit of a pylon.

Great series. A couple of (un)likable teams that I am happy to watch for another 5 years...as long as the Oilers get to play a round or two in there somewhere!

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#19 Lochenzo
June 25 2013, 08:42AM
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I was cheering for the Hawks for the very reason you outlined.

I think the Bruins and Hawks styles are both effective for getting you to the promised land. This SCF had lots of swings in momentum from game to game and within the game. It really could have gone either way.

The passing by the Hawks D was phenomenal. Tape to tape to bypass the Bruins forecheck. When the Hawks did get into to trouble is when they couldn't execute on the pass or didn't have somebody to pass to to exit the zone.

This is the Oilers' area of greatest need.

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#20 Lochenzo
June 25 2013, 08:52AM
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How good was Duncan Keith? Had the second highest minutes played. But puck possession numbers...I don't have the time, but he easily led all players for the amount of time the puck was on his stick. Carried the puck a lot. Was available to receive passes in all three zones. That's a tremendous boost to your possession numbers when you have a Dman like that.

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#21 Romulus' Apotheosis
June 25 2013, 08:59AM
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My first word after Chicago scored the go-ahead:

"and the narrative collapses!"

The way the sports media functions like the last 30 seconds command the future with an iron will, we can hope to at least for a while enjoy a reprieve of the man-beast fetish.

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#22 Ducey
June 25 2013, 09:00AM
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John Chambers wrote:

Still think we should tradeYakupov for ten days of David Clarkson. Need toughness at the draft.

You a Canucks' scout?

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#23 Taylor Gang
June 25 2013, 09:02AM
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No offense JW but these stats heavy articles are enlightening, yet quite dull. I prefer articles that offer solutions rather than showing why we aren't that good

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#24 Ryan2
June 25 2013, 09:09AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

I was cheering for the Hawks for the very reason you outlined.

I think the Bruins and Hawks styles are both effective for getting you to the promised land. This SCF had lots of swings in momentum from game to game and within the game. It really could have gone either way.

The passing by the Hawks D was phenomenal. Tape to tape to bypass the Bruins forecheck. When the Hawks did get into to trouble is when they couldn't execute on the pass or didn't have somebody to pass to to exit the zone.

This is the Oilers' area of greatest need.

Agreed. Watching the bluelines on both teams showed just how far the Oilers need to go to be a Cup contender. You could say that about any of the bluelines on the final 8 as well. It will take MacT 2 to 3 years to sort that out as the team only has three top 6 NHL d-men on the roster (Petry, J. Schultz, Smid) and only two of them can actually pass the puck tape to tape. Smid brings some edge to the team, but he is brutal with the first pass.

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#25 Dodd
June 25 2013, 09:23AM
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Sanaa Montana wrote:

These stat based articles are pretty lame. #Newmaterial

***Idries logs on just to tell Willis his article is lame, scolding him for the entire NHL not having any noteworthy news today, then hashtags it like he probably does with birthday cards and emails***

Unless you have a link to your own blog with the breaking news of Hemsky + for Clutterbuck, what do you want here?

Willis has always been the stats-based guy. You gotta have those guys among writers here. And I guess there will always be the Simpsons comic book guy slurping his Big Gulp claiming "worst article ever."

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#26 Romulus' Apotheosis
June 25 2013, 09:25AM
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Also...

hahaha Nucks.... hilarious.

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#27 Smokey
June 25 2013, 09:29AM
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Lochenzo wrote:

How good was Duncan Keith? Had the second highest minutes played. But puck possession numbers...I don't have the time, but he easily led all players for the amount of time the puck was on his stick. Carried the puck a lot. Was available to receive passes in all three zones. That's a tremendous boost to your possession numbers when you have a Dman like that.

I agree on your assessment of Keith and the need the Oilers have. That is why I hope they go for either Nurse or Ristolainen or Zadorov, whoever they feel is the big stud puck mover. If you can find that number one defensemen then the forwards will be able to reach their full potential. Less time in their own end, less chaos, better breakouts. Everything will come together.

I think there is a plethora of number 3-6 defensemen coming, and Shultz should fit into that top pairing. But I want that number one guy.

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#28 Dodd
June 25 2013, 09:30AM
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Watching the playoffs, it hit me over and over how well these teams were assembled compared to ours.

Any time you can take a fourth-liner on a contender - let's say Kelly or Bollig - and realize he'd be second line on the Oilers we have a major personnel problem here. Seguin is 3rd/4th line as a Bruin, but we'd hand him the keys to the franchise as an Oiler.

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#29 Harlie
June 25 2013, 09:31AM
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Follow the Cup and it's trail of parties in Chi Town..

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chinews-blackhawks-stanley-cup-201306242101,0,3022533.htmlstory

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#30 DigDeepNBleedBlue
June 25 2013, 09:32AM
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Hand slaps face. lol

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#31 freeze
June 25 2013, 09:37AM
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John Chambers wrote:

Still think we should tradeYakupov for ten days of David Clarkson. Need toughness at the draft.

Biggest overpay ever!

Maybe I wasn't paying attention enough, but it seemed like the Hawks did do a ton of dump and chase.

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#32 HugThePost
June 25 2013, 09:42AM
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The Cup could have easily gone the other way, just some unpredictable things happened to swing it in Chicago's favor. Injuries, scorers going a little cold.

Both teams are finely built and both got to the final with depth and balance beyond what everyone else has. We have neither. The only thing we have is high-end, inexperienced skill that is only here because of incompetence.

No supporting cast. An endless list of players put into roles they and everyone else know/ knew they could not deliver on. Horrible horrible coaching.

We've got nowhere to go but up, but MacT has one heck of a challenge ahead of him this summer and for the next couple of years.

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#33 Taylor Gang
June 25 2013, 09:52AM
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Word is the oilers are interested in clutterbuck. Wise words of obama on the NHL lockout "get it done"

http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/06/24/edmonton-oilers-are-after-minnesota-wild-hitter-cal-clutterbuck-says-veteran-nhl-reporter

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#34 NewAgeSys
June 25 2013, 09:52AM
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Its not the Hawks model, it is the Oilers model. The Hawks play an NHS Adjusted-Hybrid system, and it is exactly like the system we have been "goddam fruitlessly trying" to execute for 2 years off and on. The NHS adjustments came from Edmonton and have now been used by both LA and the Hawks in consecutive years to win Stanley Cups, the exact same adjustments to the Hybrid they both used prior to the implementation of the NHS influences 3 years ago online, designed and posted for your own Oilers on their site.

The Oilers had these very same adjustments from the source 3 years ago and ignored them intentionally as other teams ran with them. No excuses there or here for anyone who reads the posts including the long ones.

Your dam rights systems win Cups and the Hawks are using our system people, its time to take the gloves off already my tolerance level is non-existant and I am hanging on to my last nerve. What the hell is wrong with you people, where is your Oilers loyalty, where is the NHSs defense?

It is called the NewAge Hockey System, why doesnt anyone DIRECTLY ask the dam coach what the name of his System is and directly ask him if he has ever heard of the NHS or utilised any of its influences that he picked up from the {Oilers my ass, more like total NHS}Oilers system play? Ask the sucker in the damm media so he has enough rope, then we can replay the radio show where Scotty Bowman as much as directly says he recognised and implemented some new transitional ideas from the Oilers system play wayyyyyy back at the beginning of the year. Yes it is on the goddam record.

And media and Analysts dont ask any specific System questions of the coaches because it is like a National Security and Defense issue to them, Top Secret baby. But so what, you can accurately extrapolate anyways if you have the data and you then have the ability to absolutely expose them in every way imaginable.

FYI I can easily force any analyst or Coach alive to face the facts of the NHSs documented 3 year evolution and history if I have some help with resources like cutting video bites of games and specific individual and system actions and putting them together with online posts outlining NewAge Hockey System technical and tactical read and react directions made at the same time to document the Oilers exposure to the NHS and their attempts to initiate it on their own without the systems creator, me.

Also with the exact same type of irrefutable data we can document the Kings paralell implementation and then the Hawks nearly identical implementation of these same NHS influences, NOT just random traditional hockey plays as you very well know Willis. I can take us to the EXACT GAMES where the influences were first utilised, I can bust the balls of any analyst or hockey person if they are held to task and there is an impartial power policing them so they cant go into denial and fall back on the Status Quo, it is that easy to to identify and illustrate the NHS influence if you know what you are looking for.

I called this series in six or less for Chicago long ago, against the grain of everyone essentially. I was in the minority, no one was going to beat Bostons size and defense right? No one mentioned their crappy "set play hybrid system" was inferior to Chicagos NHS influenced "Adjusted-Hybrid system". No one but me. Didnt you all see what the Hawks were doing last year? Couldnt anyone recognise the things they changed? Jesus just watch the 20 games before their fortunes changed and write down what you see. It is as easy to see as it was to identify the same types of NHS influenced adjustments LA began to use with 25 regular season games left when they went all the way.

It is super easy to identify and illustrate exactly when these teams and also the Oilers implement the NHS influences because they are Intuitive dynamiclly catalysed managment tactics, they stand out.

I have been one of the few accurately pointing out how onesided the Final was for the Hawks dynamiclly. I was thinking more like the Hawks in 5 games, I was giving Rask one SO or I would have said Sweep. Rask should have gotten Kaners award.

Boston uses a Hybrid System catalysed by set plays and Chicago uses an NHS influenced Adjusted-Hybrid System catalysed by Intuitive Dynamic managment tactics. These definitions are new and original to the NHS and its philosophys, once you understand the terminology the complicated dynamics become very user friendly and fans can understand how coaches run teams on the ice from the bench.

Once you can pin down and define what NHL coaches are doing then it is very very easy to understand if you can create proper and applicable terminology for people to use. Get real dont you understand that NHL managers DONT WANT you to understand what they are doing? They dont want to be defined and valuated on every move they make.

You dont need more than a roster of average sized men to win a Championship. It is that simple. It has always been that simple. What exactly have you all been thinking? What "big bad" Mojo have you all bought in to? Hockey is about possesing the puck and scoring goals and nothing else. Defense my arse. Possesion/transition = momentum and goals. Where exactly does defense come into the equation?

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#35 Kyle
June 25 2013, 09:53AM
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They will start improving when the pick at #7. One of these players will be an Oiler.

Monahan

Nurse

Lindholm

Nichushkin

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#36 Gaz
June 25 2013, 10:00AM
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@NewAgeSys

You are one interesting cat.

You'd probably get more discussion around your posts if they weren't longer than the original blog though.

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#37 Taylor Gang
June 25 2013, 10:01AM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

Its not the Hawks model, it is the Oilers model. The Hawks play an NHS Adjusted-Hybrid system, and it is exactly like the system we have been "goddam fruitlessly trying" to execute for 2 years off and on. The NHS adjustments came from Edmonton and have now been used by both LA and the Hawks in consecutive years to win Stanley Cups, the exact same adjustments to the Hybrid they both used prior to the implementation of the NHS influences 3 years ago online, designed and posted for your own Oilers on their site.

The Oilers had these very same adjustments from the source 3 years ago and ignored them intentionally as other teams ran with them. No excuses there or here for anyone who reads the posts including the long ones.

Your dam rights systems win Cups and the Hawks are using our system people, its time to take the gloves off already my tolerance level is non-existant and I am hanging on to my last nerve. What the hell is wrong with you people, where is your Oilers loyalty, where is the NHSs defense?

It is called the NewAge Hockey System, why doesnt anyone DIRECTLY ask the dam coach what the name of his System is and directly ask him if he has ever heard of the NHS or utilised any of its influences that he picked up from the {Oilers my ass, more like total NHS}Oilers system play? Ask the sucker in the damm media so he has enough rope, then we can replay the radio show where Scotty Bowman as much as directly says he recognised and implemented some new transitional ideas from the Oilers system play wayyyyyy back at the beginning of the year. Yes it is on the goddam record.

And media and Analysts dont ask any specific System questions of the coaches because it is like a National Security and Defense issue to them, Top Secret baby. But so what, you can accurately extrapolate anyways if you have the data and you then have the ability to absolutely expose them in every way imaginable.

FYI I can easily force any analyst or Coach alive to face the facts of the NHSs documented 3 year evolution and history if I have some help with resources like cutting video bites of games and specific individual and system actions and putting them together with online posts outlining NewAge Hockey System technical and tactical read and react directions made at the same time to document the Oilers exposure to the NHS and their attempts to initiate it on their own without the systems creator, me.

Also with the exact same type of irrefutable data we can document the Kings paralell implementation and then the Hawks nearly identical implementation of these same NHS influences, NOT just random traditional hockey plays as you very well know Willis. I can take us to the EXACT GAMES where the influences were first utilised, I can bust the balls of any analyst or hockey person if they are held to task and there is an impartial power policing them so they cant go into denial and fall back on the Status Quo, it is that easy to to identify and illustrate the NHS influence if you know what you are looking for.

I called this series in six or less for Chicago long ago, against the grain of everyone essentially. I was in the minority, no one was going to beat Bostons size and defense right? No one mentioned their crappy "set play hybrid system" was inferior to Chicagos NHS influenced "Adjusted-Hybrid system". No one but me. Didnt you all see what the Hawks were doing last year? Couldnt anyone recognise the things they changed? Jesus just watch the 20 games before their fortunes changed and write down what you see. It is as easy to see as it was to identify the same types of NHS influenced adjustments LA began to use with 25 regular season games left when they went all the way.

It is super easy to identify and illustrate exactly when these teams and also the Oilers implement the NHS influences because they are Intuitive dynamiclly catalysed managment tactics, they stand out.

I have been one of the few accurately pointing out how onesided the Final was for the Hawks dynamiclly. I was thinking more like the Hawks in 5 games, I was giving Rask one SO or I would have said Sweep. Rask should have gotten Kaners award.

Boston uses a Hybrid System catalysed by set plays and Chicago uses an NHS influenced Adjusted-Hybrid System catalysed by Intuitive Dynamic managment tactics. These definitions are new and original to the NHS and its philosophys, once you understand the terminology the complicated dynamics become very user friendly and fans can understand how coaches run teams on the ice from the bench.

Once you can pin down and define what NHL coaches are doing then it is very very easy to understand if you can create proper and applicable terminology for people to use. Get real dont you understand that NHL managers DONT WANT you to understand what they are doing? They dont want to be defined and valuated on every move they make.

You dont need more than a roster of average sized men to win a Championship. It is that simple. It has always been that simple. What exactly have you all been thinking? What "big bad" Mojo have you all bought in to? Hockey is about possesing the puck and scoring goals and nothing else. Defense my arse. Possesion/transition = momentum and goals. Where exactly does defense come into the equation?

TLDR

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#38 Ducey
June 25 2013, 10:08AM
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@NewAgeSys

Please save your New Age Sys B.S. for the late night infomercials.

Maybe they can place it between "hot girls really want to talk to you!" and "turn that 50 lbs of blubber on your gut into rock hard abs in 5 minutes a day!"

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#39 vetinari
June 25 2013, 10:08AM
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Chicago and Boston are both good teams and came at the game from different directions. Speed and skill versus size and grit. What the teams both shared was a willingness to work with their strengths and a coach who could generally minimize his team's weaknesses.

The 2012/13 Oilers would have been crushed by either team as there is no aspect of the game that they dominate in. Sure, they've been known to blow out Chicago once in a while but that was regular season pond hockey-- the playoffs are different-- the playoffs are tighter and more disciplined.

Assuming regular and continual growth, we are likely still 3 to 5 years away from the level that Chicago and Boston showed in the playoffs.

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#40 TeeVee
June 25 2013, 10:15AM
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@Lochenzo

"The passing by the Hawks D was phenomenal. Tape to tape to bypass the Bruins forecheck. When the Hawks did get into to trouble is when they couldn't execute on the pass or didn't have somebody to pass to to exit the zone.

This is the Oilers' area of greatest need."

You're bang on. The Oilers continuously fail at moving the puck out of the d-zone. This is where the work needs to be done first, then gain some size second.

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#41 Czar
June 25 2013, 10:22AM
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Gaz wrote:

You are one interesting cat.

You'd probably get more discussion around your posts if they weren't longer than the original blog though.

I'm a dog guy, no time for cats, interesting or not.

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#42 oliveoilers
June 25 2013, 10:29AM
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@NewAgeSys

Don't quite follow, old chap. Are you saying you invented a system used by two very different style teams that won the last two Stanley cups? And yet instead of fame and fortune, you lament your lack of recognition on an oilers blog, not through the courts? Did you also mastermind the Miami heat win?

Wow, you one crazy mutha!

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#43 squeezboks
June 25 2013, 10:32AM
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I feel like the idea that the Bruins are big checking team ala Kings or Blues is a false narrative. It doesn't jive with the playoffs I watched but maybe that's just me.

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#44 DSF
June 25 2013, 10:45AM
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squeezboks wrote:

I feel like the idea that the Bruins are big checking team ala Kings or Blues is a false narrative. It doesn't jive with the playoffs I watched but maybe that's just me.

You're not alone.

The Bruins did not play like a "heavy" team at all.

It is also worth mentioning that Chicago's top 6 F and top 4 D are as big as the Bruins with Chara being an outlier.

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#45 106 and 106
June 25 2013, 10:46AM
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Gadzooks?

Mitch Holst ‏@mitchellholst 13h

@JasonGregor @WanyeGretz I hear there is a handshake deal in place of Hemsky and our pick for Lucic plus. What do you think? #worthit?

And I was already sold for some 3rd line dude from Ottawa for Hemmer.

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#46 Oil Can
June 25 2013, 10:49AM
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The Oilers young skill is on line to be even better than Chicago's. Our goal tending is just as good or better. It amazes me how Oiler fans for some reason can not understand, or have a hard time remembering that the talented players on the Oilers are still VERY young. They have more skill than the Chicago forwards and the Oilers have a hand full of blue chip defenders that are very big and getting close to coming into the league. Toews has been in the league for seven years and Chicago did not give up after he had been in the league for three years. Let the Oilers get better on the third and fourth lines, with out giving up any of the core players, and this team will be a power house. Use the assets that the Oilers have amassed to get a number one d-man. And I can not stress this enough, DO NOT even think of getting rid of Yakapov. And at the draft go for Nichushkin or Lindholm.

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#49 madjam
June 25 2013, 11:05AM
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INTERPRETING NAS SO ALL CAN UNDERSTAND : Most teams run their own systems and hybrids . I run only one system and it has one every Stanley Cup since I can remember . It is called the P.T.W. system with many shapes and sizes . PLAY TO WIN . Simple , but effective . Those that employ my system the best inevitably win.

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#50 Bushed
June 25 2013, 11:12AM
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Speed and skill are fine, but it took more than that for Chicago to win. Size and grit, going to the tough areas, and taking or making a hit to make a play were very much a part of the Chicago wins.

Keith, Seabrook, Bickell, Toews and others (i.e. size with skill) were playing a very physical game. Sharp played very physical in spite of his size. Hossa's game is more about strength than hitting, but his size is a huge factor in his game. Kane was effective when he quit playing a perimeter game and started going to the tough areas and the net (grit plus skill).

So let's not pretend that speed, puck possession and skill alone are going to win everything. Fighting had little to do with the results, granted, but hockey is still a very physical game in which size, strength, and grit still matter.

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