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Devils Key on ‘Puck Management’ | BLOG – NHL.com

Summary

Prior to the Devils’ Sunday night showdown against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, head coach Lindy Ruff said the key to the game would be his team’s puck management.

Following a 4-3 shootout loss, Ruff was asked how he would assess his team’s puck management in the game.

His response: “Average.”

Although puck management is a word that gets tossed around frequently in hockey quarters, it seems that every player or coach has a different definition of what “puc…….

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Prior to the Devils’ Sunday night showdown against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, head coach Lindy Ruff said the key to the game would be his team’s puck management.

Following a 4-3 shootout loss, Ruff was asked how he would assess his team’s puck management in the game.

His response: “Average.”

Although puck management is a word that gets tossed around frequently in hockey quarters, it seems that every player or coach has a different definition of what “puck management” is.

Ruff was asked what he considers crucial for puck management.

“Decision-making, getting people into the right places. Communication. The last two drills (at practice) were about using your voice to let people know,” Ruff said. “Making sure you’re in the right place and getting above people, frustrating the opposition.”

Video: Defining Puck Management | DEVILS NOW

The concepts seem fairly simple. So, why then, are breakdowns so common?

“Sometimes you want to make something out of nothing,” Ruff said. “There were a few shifts (against the Rangers) where we were at the end of the shifts and were changing, and making ill-advised decisions with the puck. We watched a lot of that stuff (on video). We had a longer meeting on cleaning up some of the chances we’re giving up.”

Sometimes, the simple solution to the problem is simplicity.

“It’s knowing your outs when you’re under duress. Sometimes it’s making the simpler play, moving the puck a little bit quicker,” Ruff said. “It’s realizing that a certain time in your shift you may have to do something you don’t want to do with the puck, but it’s the right thing to do so we can prevent opportunities going the other way.”

Poor puck management can really burn the Devils when they are playing teams that are good in a transition attack – using speed to get up the ice quickly to create offense from turnovers. That was the case against the Rangers. And it will be the same scenario Thursday night in Florida.

“They’re a four- or five-man attack. They’re going to disrupt anything that we try to practice because they believe in how they play,” Ruff said. “They believe in some of the risk they put in their game.”

The last time the Devils faced the Panthers, however, it was New Jersey that took advantage of Florida’s poor puck management and turned defense into offense in route to a 7-3 victory.

“At the same time, you saw the game we played against them,” Ruff said, “if we’re in the right places defensively, if we defend well and play our angles well, we can create opportunities off of some of the plays they make.”

Source: https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/devils-key-on-puck-management-lindy-ruff/c-328042138