Like Mr. Vain the character the 1990s dance band Culture Beat sang about the Oilers know what they want and they want it now. In their own end what they want is the puck and they have an aggressive plan to take it away from their opponent exit the zone with a purpose and go on the attack at warp speed. It’s a system that should play to the strengths of the swift skilled Oilers obviously. The more Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Taylor Hall Jordan Eberle David Perron and Ales Hemsky have the puck the better the results should be game after game. Head coach Dallas Eakins’ plan which some call the ‘swarm’ and others label ‘flooding the quadrant’ is basically about overwhelming the puck carrier with superior numbers. Think of it as hockey’s analogue to sending more defenders on a blitz than the offence can block. “The idea is that we want to get the puck back and get it in our hands because we have that speed and skill.” said goaltender Devan Dubnyk. “We don’t want to sit back in our own end and defend defend and kind of hang out there. “As soon as there’s an opportunity we want to hammer them and get the puck back and go the other way. With the group we have in here the more we have the puck it’s going to be a lot better outcome.” Four games into the 2013-14 season the Oilers believe they are getting the hang of the new defensive-zone program even if they’re still learning the steps as it were. Even if at 1-4 the Oilers won-lost record does not yet reflect mastery of the new system. “We definitely need some work” said Boyd Gordon a defensively-minded centre who has demonstrated some offensive ability early this season. “I mean we’re giving up too many goals too many chances too many shots.
Oilers still learning new defensive system
Edmonton Journal | Oct 12