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Forums :: Blog World :: Theo Fox: Occam's Razor
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Theo Fox
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 06.18.2016

Nov 20 @ 2:57 AM ET
Theo Fox: Occam's Razor
A look at how the recent eye-popping plays by Kirby Dach and Yaroslav Askarov that went viral can remind the Blackhawks what really to focus on in order to be a stronger team.
HawkintheD
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Sick Bay, MI
Joined: 02.22.2012

Nov 20 @ 5:09 AM ET
I bet you're against TD celebrations too.

Great stuff as always Theo. As the game slows down a bit for Dach, my guess is you'll see him making the right call more often than not whatever the situation dictates.

He was still passing up good shots in the playoffs but mentioned how he was committing to working on his shot in the offseason. Based on early returns I have no doubt that's what he's been working on in addition to the behind the back kick pass.
LAHawk
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 11.02.2017

Nov 20 @ 7:47 AM ET
This is why, if we are going to be passing the torch I would try a line of Dach, Nylander, Kubalik. The 3 might not be what fits as a first or second line based on current Hawk personnel, but if these 3 are going to be in your top 6, you have 2 guys who currently refuse to shoot and one guy who will shoot it from anywhere. Your other 2 lines have Toews/Kane and Strome(????) /ADB and hopefully any 2 of the rest of the roster can fill out the rest (Hagel, Suter,Shaw? The “Marks”?
StLBravesFan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 07.03.2011

Nov 20 @ 8:04 AM ET
“Don’t make passes that aren’t there” and “make quicker and shorter passes” - absolutely - I’ve been female doging about these two for a while.

But those two things require teammates being in position to create passing lanes that are there, and that help the passer make the quick, short pass.

Most of the time, the stretch pass or pass through sticks and skates comes because the passer has no other option.
BetweenTheDots
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 06.13.2015

Nov 20 @ 8:45 AM ET
When you say know your options that is really important, the league is so fast in a way they have to know their options before they even get the puck. Always anticipating where the puck is, where it's going to be and what do i do with it if i end up with it.

With me and driving, i always believe I'm a moment away from being in an accident. I always try to anticipate what if scenarios. It's helped me avoid quite a few accidents over time.
vabeachbear
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Ft Courage - out in the middle of Indian Country
Joined: 10.17.2011

Nov 20 @ 9:23 AM ET
Ahh, fundamentally sound hockey, How I have missed you
Chunk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Orange, CA
Joined: 11.06.2015

Nov 20 @ 9:25 AM ET
Theo, for all you kept quoting Edzo earlier, I thought for sure you would have some version of “move the puck, move yourself”.

Realistically, I’d just like to see more movement overall (not just on the PP). Too often you see most of the players just stagnant.
BetweenTheDots
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 06.13.2015

Nov 20 @ 9:28 AM ET
https://www.nbcsports.com...be-back-negotiating-table

I didn't know Blackhawks and Bulls own the United Center

Have to say they got my hopes up about Seabrook
BetweenTheDots
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 06.13.2015

Nov 20 @ 9:43 AM ET
Theo, for all you kept quoting Edzo earlier, I thought for sure you would have some version of “move the puck, move yourself”.

Realistically, I’d just like to see more movement overall (not just on the PP). Too often you see most of the players just stagnant.

- Chunk


I prefer, bang bang, that's great
-Doh-
Location: VA
Joined: 10.05.2015

Nov 20 @ 10:42 AM ET
Block shots

Shoot the Darn Puck

Not only "Take it hard to the net" but "Go to the front of the net without the puck". Screen the goalie. Occupy a defensemen. Position yourself for a rebound.

Take the body. Use the "you can get by me or the puck can get by me but not both" mentality.

One other thing. (Bolland and Kruger were very good at this) After their man passed the puck they would just bump, elbow, shoulder, hack, interfere, or impede the guys progress so that he could not join the play. It wasn't always a big hit. But just enough to knock them off stride.

Regarding Dach. When you think of Toews when he was younger he tried some pretty slick stickhandling, and was often successful. Defenders were less likely to be as aggressive. He does not try that much anymore. Defnders do not respect his stick handling. I think Dach needs to keep that "slick/wicked" move in his repertoire, but overall I agree he needs to go hard to the net and shoot more often.

Everyone on the team needs to avoid getting the "Patrick Kane syndrome". Drive into the zone hard, but then pull up on the half boards and try to find someone. It works for Kane, not so much for others. It is like the opposing defenders know the Hawks forwards are going to do that. Shake it up. Take it hard to the net. Take it behind the net.
Chunk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Orange, CA
Joined: 11.06.2015

Nov 20 @ 11:01 AM ET
https://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/blackhawks/podcast-nhl-players-and-owners-might-be-back-negotiating-table

I didn't know Blackhawks and Bulls own the United Center

Have to say they got my hopes up about Seabrook

- BetweenTheDots


I read that interview with LeBrun earlier. I certainly have my rose colored glasses on about Seabrook, but I'm still bullish on him coming back and surprising a lot of people. He could barely move his arm and couldn't really take full strides. Just getting the range of motion alone should notably improve his game.
Chunk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Orange, CA
Joined: 11.06.2015

Nov 20 @ 11:03 AM ET
Block shots

Shoot the Darn Puck

Not only "Take it hard to the net" but "Go to the front of the net without the puck". Screen the goalie. Occupy a defensemen. Position yourself for a rebound.

Take the body. Use the "you can get by me or the puck can get by me but not both" mentality.

One other thing. (Bolland and Kruger were very good at this) After their man passed the puck they would just bump, elbow, shoulder, hack, interfere, or impede the guys progress so that he could not join the play. It wasn't always a big hit. But just enough to knock them off stride.

Regarding Dach. When you think of Toews when he was younger he tried some pretty slick stickhandling, and was often successful. Defenders were less likely to be as aggressive. He does not try that much anymore. Defnders do not respect his stick handling. I think Dach needs to keep that "slick/wicked" move in his repertoire, but overall I agree he needs to go hard to the net and shoot more often.

Everyone on the team needs to avoid getting the "Patrick Kane syndrome". Drive into the zone hard, but then pull up on the half boards and try to find someone. It works for Kane, not so much for others. It is like the opposing defenders know the Hawks forwards are going to do that. Shake it up. Take it hard to the net. Take it behind the net.

- -Doh-


They also need to stop with the unfortunate side effect of PKS which is watching and waiting for him to do something amazing. We need a lot more movement from the whole team so that there are more options available for passes and shots.
EbonyRaptor
Joined: 03.28.2013

Nov 20 @ 11:16 AM ET
More parsimoniousness. Is that a word? Did I just make up a word?

Trying to make an unnecessary pass or a cute play has been a problem for many Hawks over the past years. I think there is something to the notion that playing with a guy like Kane engenders that. Too many players fall into that trap of trying to play up to Kane's level rather than just making simple and sound plays.
EbonyRaptor
Joined: 03.28.2013

Nov 20 @ 11:28 AM ET
I read that interview with LeBrun earlier. I certainly have my rose colored glasses on about Seabrook, but I'm still bullish on him coming back and surprising a lot of people. He could barely move his arm and couldn't really take full strides. Just getting the range of motion alone should notably improve his game.
- Chunk


The dichotomy of the Seabrook situation is that on one level I want to see him succeed but on the other level it could hamper the objective to let the young kids play.

I'm a sucker for a heart stings story and Seabrook overcoming hardship and the odds to come back and play at a high level certainly fits the bill, especially because I like Seabrook as a person. However, I also don't want him taking a spot in the lineup that could be used by a young d-man. It's a classic case of heart versus head.

I suppose a good scenario would be Seabrook coming back strong and Stan trading deHaan and/or Murphy. That would be like having my cake and eating it to, which usually doesn't happen. Keeping fingers crossed.
BetweenTheDots
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 06.13.2015

Nov 20 @ 12:20 PM ET
The dichotomy of the Seabrook situation is that on one level I want to see him succeed but on the other level it could hamper the objective to let the young kids play.

I'm a sucker for a heart stings story and Seabrook overcoming hardship and the odds to come back and play at a high level certainly fits the bill, especially because I like Seabrook as a person. However, I also don't want him taking a spot in the lineup that could be used by a young d-man. It's a classic case of heart versus head.

I suppose a good scenario would be Seabrook coming back strong and Stan trading deHaan and/or Murphy. That would be like having my cake and eating it to, which usually doesn't happen. Keeping fingers crossed.

- EbonyRaptor


To me the more quality hockey players you have especially at the blue line the better.
Chunk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Orange, CA
Joined: 11.06.2015

Nov 20 @ 12:39 PM ET
The dichotomy of the Seabrook situation is that on one level I want to see him succeed but on the other level it could hamper the objective to let the young kids play.

I'm a sucker for a heart stings story and Seabrook overcoming hardship and the odds to come back and play at a high level certainly fits the bill, especially because I like Seabrook as a person. However, I also don't want him taking a spot in the lineup that could be used by a young d-man. It's a classic case of heart versus head.

I suppose a good scenario would be Seabrook coming back strong and Stan trading deHaan and/or Murphy. That would be like having my cake and eating it to, which usually doesn't happen. Keeping fingers crossed.

- EbonyRaptor


Hey ER. I'd like to see the young guys get the spots too, but I want them to get the spots by beating out good players, but broken down ones or scrubs.

Seabrook being fully healthy (or close to it) and playing hard competitive hockey is nothing but a bonus for this team. The worst case scenario then is that he is either playing meaningful minutes in place of a youngster, or - if he is not being played - he asks out and they somehow get out of his contract.
EbonyRaptor
Joined: 03.28.2013

Nov 20 @ 1:05 PM ET
Hey ER. I'd like to see the young guys get the spots too, but I want them to get the spots by beating out good players, but broken down ones or scrubs.

Seabrook being fully healthy (or close to it) and playing hard competitive hockey is nothing but a bonus for this team. The worst case scenario then is that he is either playing meaningful minutes in place of a youngster, or - if he is not being played - he asks out and they somehow get out of his contract.

- Chunk


That would be true under the normal case of "winning is the main objective", but is it under the case of "getting the young players experience so we can be better prepared to win in a few years"? In my opinion it would be better to have at least 2 if not 3 young d-men in the lineup on a regular basis. Seabrook is a "yesterday player" - the emphasis should be on players of the future.
powerenforcer
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Wheeling, IL
Joined: 09.24.2009

Nov 20 @ 1:22 PM ET
That would be true under the normal case of "winning is the main objective", but is it under the case of "getting the young players experience so we can be better prepared to win in a few years"? In my opinion it would be better to have at least 2 if not 3 young d-men in the lineup on a regular basis. Seabrook is a "yesterday player" - the emphasis should be on players of the future.
- EbonyRaptor


Get rid of Toews, Kane, Keith, Murphy, Shaw DeHaan too?
breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Nov 20 @ 1:26 PM ET
I'll play some devil's advocate and say, give the skilled young guys the green light to do things they are comfortable with, even if flashy at times. I want to see the team gain confidence, swagger and play a bit more creative out there. I'm not saying taking unnecessary risk...make the safe plays when appropriate, but there is something to be said about getting your team energized with your play. I think it goes for the Dmen too, carrying the puck end to end if they can skate or like Brian Campbell giving a bit of a spin-o-rama to get space and go up the ice.

Again, not saying this is something to strive for shift after shift, but the best players have a good enough feel for the game and know when to keep it simple vs when to go a bit unconventional.

Now that I've said that part, I want to add that if too many mistakes are happening or if they aren't doing enough of the "right thing" the rope should be short on making some slick moves. The team needs to have clean clean clean breakouts, don't give up possession easy, and pressure 200 feet to get it back when they lose the puck. If they are chasing the game too much, they will have to reign it in.
breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Nov 20 @ 1:31 PM ET
That would be true under the normal case of "winning is the main objective", but is it under the case of "getting the young players experience so we can be better prepared to win in a few years"? In my opinion it would be better to have at least 2 if not 3 young d-men in the lineup on a regular basis. Seabrook is a "yesterday player" - the emphasis should be on players of the future.
- EbonyRaptor


I'll argue the other side. Winning isn't a bad thing if they can manage it. Also the better example Seabrook can set on how to play the right way, all the better. The biggest mistake IMO would be rushing too many young players into the league and not having enough mentors. We've seen it happen with teams like Edmonton and Buffalo and those franchises really struggles to get their young stars going for a long time. They learned how to lose, but didn't learn how to win. I'm all for letting the champions of the recent dynasty teach as much as they can to the next guys coming in.
Chunk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Orange, CA
Joined: 11.06.2015

Nov 20 @ 1:35 PM ET
That would be true under the normal case of "winning is the main objective", but is it under the case of "getting the young players experience so we can be better prepared to win in a few years"? In my opinion it would be better to have at least 2 if not 3 young d-men in the lineup on a regular basis. Seabrook is a "yesterday player" - the emphasis should be on players of the future.
- EbonyRaptor


Yes, the emphasis should be on the future, but you don't give a kid who just learned how to ride a bike a driver's license. Additionally, a healthy, strong, effective Seabrook moves from being a liability (and cap strain) to an actual asset. The more viable assets on the team the better they are (both functionally and in terms of overall capital).

If he is playing to his standards and people still don't want to trade for him due to salary, you can trade de Haan or Murphy and still be competitive instead of throwing a kid in there just because there is a spot open.
Chunk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Orange, CA
Joined: 11.06.2015

Nov 20 @ 1:39 PM ET
I'll play some devil's advocate and say, give the skilled young guys the green light to do things they are comfortable with, even if flashy at times. I want to see the team gain confidence, swagger and play a bit more creative out there. I'm not saying taking unnecessary risk...make the safe plays when appropriate, but there is something to be said about getting your team energized with your play. I think it goes for the Dmen too, carrying the puck end to end if they can skate or like Brian Campbell giving a bit of a spin-o-rama to get space and go up the ice.

Again, not saying this is something to strive for shift after shift, but the best players have a good enough feel for the game and know when to keep it simple vs when to go a bit unconventional.

Now that I've said that part, I want to add that if too many mistakes are happening or if they aren't doing enough of the "right thing" the rope should be short on making some slick moves. The team needs to have clean clean clean breakouts, don't give up possession easy, and pressure 200 feet to get it back when they lose the puck. If they are chasing the game too much, they will have to reign it in.

- breadbag


I like your concept, but the bolded is difficult with a veteran team, let alone one with a high number of guys still learning to play in the league.

I like the addition of guys like Janmark, Wallmark, and Suter in that they are already 200' players. They should bring up the overall defensive effort of the team (in theory).
breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Nov 20 @ 2:00 PM ET
I like your concept, but the bolded is difficult with a veteran team, let alone one with a high number of guys still learning to play in the league.

I like the addition of guys like Janmark, Wallmark, and Suter in that they are already 200' players. They should bring up the overall defensive effort of the team (in theory).

- Chunk


That's a fair point. I guess I just meant, if the Hawks are playing the right way for the most part, they should give a little bit a wiggle room for the young skilled guys to dazzle a little. If the team is making mistakes and chasing the game, they definitely need to focus up and simplify.
pdx2ord
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Portland, OR
Joined: 09.02.2015

Nov 20 @ 2:58 PM ET
Hawks are really taking the get younger strategy seriously. On the “2020 never ceases to shock me” list, Patrick Kane III was born a week ago

https://twitter.com/88pka.../1329607176076357640?s=21

2038 draft, here we come!!

rpeters01
Joined: 07.09.2016

Nov 20 @ 3:05 PM ET
Hey ER. I'd like to see the young guys get the spots too, but I want them to get the spots by beating out good players, but broken down ones or scrubs.

Seabrook being fully healthy (or close to it) and playing hard competitive hockey is nothing but a bonus for this team.
The worst case scenario then is that he is either playing meaningful minutes in place of a youngster, or - if he is not being played - he asks out and they somehow get out of his contract.

- Chunk

Yes! Seabrook in his prime was a first pairing borderline HOF defender. Something close to that can only help. Playing young guys because the old guys are no good means very little.
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