NHL players are so good that sometimes there’s just about no way to defend them. There isn’t always a breakdown on a goal - take Claude Giroux’s second goal from last night where he just beat a defenseman and goalie straight up – and there isn’t always someone to fault.

Other times, one player is so clearly lost in the woods you just want to throw him a compass and a map.

Last night the Winnipeg Jets were up three-spit on Tampa Bay halfway through the game. Tampa’s not a team you want to give any life at any point – they have too much firepower, and are never out the game no matter how far back they are. You need to stay disciplined.

Here’s the first screenshot from the Marty St. Louis goal that made it 3-1. I’m not sure what happened coming back into their own zone, but center Tim Stapleton is covering RW, which means Chris Thorburn, the natural right winger, is down low. Tanner Glass then, should be playing LW, which, as you’ll see in the opening screenshot….

He isn’t quite doing yet. Like I said, I have no idea how they got this tangled, but watch them try to straighten it out.

After a point shot, Glass is heading back to his proper spot as a left winger with the puck on his soon-to-be weakside – the slot. (You can tell Stapleton is a center – a real RW would’ve just switched and left Glass on the right side since was so far across already.)

Thorburn however, is blowing my mind. He sees one guy in the corner, the puck, and his defenseman on him. He doesn’t even turn his head to find another forward, then just sorta non-commitally joins them in corner in hopes of getting the…puck? guy? shiny object in the corner?

And here’s what we’re left with now:

I could see myself as a coach, in front of everyone, just going “seriously – I’m not even mad. Just tell me what you thought you were doing?”

Mark Stuart has been hung out to dry – Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis have a 2-on-1 on him in front of the net. All Lecavalier has to do is get the puck over that part of the ice to create a scoring chance.

Now that Glass is in the slot, he has to read that Thorburn is taking a shift off and get to St. Louis.

Look at the position Thorburn is in now. This is a hilarious shift by him.

Stuart tried to take away the pass as he should (but Stamkos is quite good), and actually, Glass does read to come low for help, but just overshoots the puck with his stick (if I’m wrong on that, it went right under his blade, check for yourself below). Either way, it gets to St. Louis’, and he manages to mash it on net with enough force to squeak it through the five hole.

Martin St. Louis did not move once that shift, and Thorburn couldn’t find him. No, check that, he never thought to find him.

Just tell me what you THOUGHT you were doing.

Comments (9)

  1. I love the “Shh, I’m hiding,” caption, because that’s exactly what about 90 percent of my buddies that play hockey would have said to the goalie in that exact situation.

  2. Arf… frame by frame is a cruel mistress.

  3. #19 is Jim Slater (also a natural center), not Tim Stapleton. Doesn’t change the analysis at all, but it should be noted since that line was on for both TB goals while Stapleton had a goal and an assist to finish the night +1.

  4. My mind is blown that Martin St. Louis got to stand in front of the far-post for at least ten seconds. Leaving a guy in front like that undefended isn’t acceptable at any level of hockey, let alone the NHL.

  5. Just pressuring the puck, coach. It’s not like that line has great hands, right?

  6. Shhhh I’m hiding. Hahahahahaha!

  7. Last night while watching this live I lambasted Glass for leaving what I thought was his man wide open in front.

    This changes everything.

  8. Slater, not Stapleton, correct. But yeah, that was some ugly defense in general!

  9. What’re you talking about, Bourne…? that’s how my team(s) play “defense,” most games. Of course, I skate in the AAHL (Beer League) Novice level, here in Anchorage. HA!

    Miss watching you, at the Sully, in glacier blue & black, Justin — or even green & gold, for that matter. =)

    Keep writing; you have a gift.

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