Defense is Just as Important as Offense: What Teams in the NHL Must Put in Their Mindset This Season

Well it is that time of year again, when everyone is heads over heels for the NHL season to begin. The beginning of the NHL season is a year all sports fans look forward to, because it sparks a fresh start. For those teams that had a disappointing season they can now look past it and focus on a new year. With this in mind, I deem that it is essential to focus on how to turn around a frustrating year so that it is not replicated yet again. A case that I would like to make that seems obvious, yet I don’t believe is used enough as a plan when approaching a game is defense equals offense. This of course may not sound radical, but if you think about it, it is. Lets look at for example the Montreal Canadians. Last season I think it is fair to say that they surprised everyone. I also think everybody forgets how great Carey Price is as a goalie. There is a reason he was the goalie for Team Canada in the Olympics in 2014. So I must articulate that with players like Max Pacioretty who put up great numbers in the 2013/2014 season with 39 goals, 21 assists for a total of 60 points. In addition, with P.K. Subban as a number one defenseman for the Habs, they were destined to make the playoffs and they inevitably surpassed the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. By looking at this, I understand many teams don’t have goalies as great as Carey Price, but they have average goalies. For example, Corey Crawford. Why is it that he has decent numbers? Well blatantly, it is because he has a great team in front of him. He doesn’t have to face 40 shots a game like Jonathan Bernier or James Reimer. As a Leafs fan I can admit that last year the Leafs team had nothing going for them in terms of defense. So in the off-season, I think it is beneficial that they picked up some key pieces to their puzzle. Adding Roman Polak was a definite step in the right direction. He is tough, and he gets people talking by the way he moves around the ice, by controlling the puck and the neutral zone. In regards to teamwork, there are always those teams that have the dynamic duos for example, stepping aside from hockey for a second, The Toronto Raptors with Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozon. Together they flourish as the leaders of the team. Well the same thing is applicable in terms of defense. For the Blackhawks, Duncan Keith and Brett Seabrook maintain a chemistry through their defensive plays. For teams like The LA Kings, and The Chicago Blackhawks, they are inevitably always guaranteed to stand out, because they have the mentality set into their game that good defense makes good offense.


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