a bunch of no names

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a bunch of no names

Post by steamed on Mon May 11, 2015 9:14 am

The Edmonton Journal had this in there paper this past weekend, well all I can say is a bunch of no names are up 2 games Laughing

No-name Oshawa Generals playing smart defensive hockey to thwart Connor McDavid
A bunch of hustling, no-name Oshawa Generals hockey players are checking Connor McDavid into submission so for in the Ontario Hockey League finals. They are doing it aggressively but legally.McDavid had 42 points in 15 playoff games heading into the Oshawa series. Heís now scored just one point in two games, both losses for his Erie Otters.
Who is shutting him down? You have never heard of them.
Defenceman Dakota Mermis, 21, is undrafted and not much of a prospect, but heís got the experience, agility and backwards skating ability to stick with McDavid and angle him away from trouble.Another undrafted player, winger Bradley Latour, 19, helps clog up the neutral zone against McDavid ó a staple tactic for the Generals ó and also crowds McDavid every time he gets the puck on the power play. Latour, too, has the skating agility and ambition to keep himself on the right side of the puck, between McDavid and the Oshawa net.Then thereís big 21-year-old Josh Brown, taken in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, which announces him as a marginal pro prospect. So far, though, the massive Brown is teaming up on a defensive pairing with Mermis to harass McDavid and keep him to the outside, away from the kill floor in front of the Oshawa goal.As mentioned, these three and their Oshawa teammates have so far limited McDavid to just one point in two games, and itís not like McDavid has been getting a ton of scoring chances either and has just been unlucky.In his last two series, against London and the Sault, McDavid averaged contributions to six scoring chances at even strength per game. Against Oshawa heís contributed to just two scoring chances at even strength each game.On the power play, McDavid is still doing some damage. He had one great rush for an assist in Game One.He chipped in on three power play scoring chances per game against both London and the Sault and heís doing the same against Oshawa, but Latour is generally making sure that McDavid isnít the guy finishing a power play chance. Latour charges out at McDavid as soon as the phenom gains possession and forces him to dish off the puck.Against London and the Sault, those teams were keen to play an offensive style, but Oshawa is a trapping and counterattacking outfit. When McDavid advances the puck at even strength, one Oshawa checker invariably meets him when he crosses his own blueline and angles him towards the boards.Oshawa isnít fouling McDavid, but they are hitting him far more than the Sault or London did. I counted 16 hits on McDavid in the first two games. Oshawa isnít headhunting him, but they finish every possible check with a blow to his body. Theyíre swarming him, as much as they can, with team defence, each player do what he can to mitigate McDavidís progress.The Oshawa game is reminiscent of the game played by the Memorial Cup champion Edmonton Oil Kings last year in the playoffs. The Oil Kings funnelled attackers to the boards and smothered them there.
To play this style, a team needs total buy-in from players, with all of them committed to using their heads to stay on the right side of their man, and to sacrifice their bodies blocking shots and checking, angling and hitting. Itís not pretty hockey, itís heavy, hard hockey and itís working right now, even against the best young player on earth.

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