System or personnel failure?


Newsday's Greg Logan is starting to dig more into Scott Gordon's system lately, and it's getting fun as we compile more examples of system-good and system-bad. One common observation, which Logan brings up to Gordon: One recent opponent suggested the Islanders' aggressive forechecking system, which encourages their defensemen to pinch in an attempt to maintain puck control in the offensive zone, often leads to easy breakouts and odd-man rushes by opponents in transition. But Gordon staunchly defended that aspect of his system. "It's not pinching," Gordon said. "If you've got four guys [coming] back, it doesn't matter if you pinch or not." I think they're both right: Gordon's system is allowing easier breakouts for other teams -- but the reason for that is the Islanders' underperforming personnel is lately not covering up and backchecking to cover for the pinching D. Should be a fun debate for the rest of the season. Thoughts?