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Does a Puck-Moving Defensemen Work in This System?

Claude Julien, Shawn Thornton, David Krejci

For the past few years around trade deadline time and in the offseason we have heard about the Bruins looking for a puck-moving defenseman. The Bruins have had a few different guys in past seasons play that role, but it never seems to work out like we thought it was supposed to.

Dennis Wideman, Derrick Morris, Tomas Kaberle, and now Joe Corvo are the puck-moving defensemen that the Bruins have had in recent years. Wideman, Morris, and Kaberle were never fan favorites and that might be because of the way they play. The Bruins are a defense first team, so the defensemen should be about defense first, offense second. A puck mover on the back end is more of an offensive player.

Corvo is this season’s version of that, and watching the games its clear that he doesn’t fit. The puck moving style that he plays puts him in bad positions on defense and that dominoes into other players being  in bad positions.

Claude Julien’s system isn’t meant for the defensemen to be carrying the puck into the offensive zone and making offense, his defenders need to be smart with the puck, make the simple play, and know when to pinch in the offensive zone. The Bruins system calls for defensive minded and tough to play against blue liners, all four of these players are not known for being tough to play against.

With the selection of Dougie Hamilton in this year’s draft, fans are expecting an NHL ready stud defensemen. Hamilton is the leading scorer for defensemen in the OHL, but if he cant adjust to the Bruins system he could find himself on the third pairing, or not in Boston at all.

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