The last few days have been focused on the hockey sense aspect of the game with a little bit of communication thrown in, but I haven’t made it to the goalies yet. Today’s post looks at what can happen when the defence and the goalie are not on the same page.
Stoll’s goal, the eventual game winner for the Kings’, comes from a very innocent looking play and a Penguins mistake. Matt Greene lugs the puck up the ice and sends a soft dump-in to the corner. MA Fleury makes the correct play to stop and play the puck for his defence, but he seemingly doesn’t communicate to either man what he is doing with the puck.
As you see the play develop, the Kings’ Dustin Brown follows the puck in and as Fleury attempts to play it back up the boards, Brown simply follows the puck, picks it up and hits a wide open Jarret Stoll for the goal. Both Mark Eaton and Martin Skoula were in the area and neither of them seemed to know what was happening, seeing as how they both nonchalantly peel away from the play and are out of position when Stoll gets the puck.
I obviously can’t tell what, if anything, is being said on the ice but I think we can safely reason that there is indeed a breakdown in communication between Fleury and the defenders. There are a few options at this point, but Fleury went with the low-percentage play and didn’t pass his decision along, leaving the defence at the mercy of the Kings’ forecheck.
Once again, one simple mistake led to a goal here and the mistake was mental rather than physical. Three veteran players are all to blame when a simple couple of words would have likely prevented this from happening.
Share your take in the comments.