Now everybody was excited this summer when Jacques Martin was hired by the Penguins to be the assisstant coach who was going to teach this Penguins team to play defense. This was due to Bylsma lack of defensive structure was costing the Pens in the playoffs. While, at the time I was initially overjoyed because the Pens had brought in an outside voice and Bylsma would learn from him. However, after the initial joy passed I worried due to how this Defensive Coach plays defense. He prefers to collapse in the defensive zone instead of pressure and this we saw when the Pens played the Canadiens in the playoffs and it lead to the Pens having high possession numbers. As we again have seen this season collapsing leads to being outshot and it being hard to breakout because the wingers are so low and everybody to grouped together. Also every missed shot is picked up by the opposing team in the offensive zone, along with leaving the points open. A great writeup was made by JPNikota over in Pension Plan Puppets. here.
When looking at the statistics in 2010-2011 the Pens had 31.1 shots and 28.3 against with a difference of +2.8 shots, Montreal had 31.6 shots for with 30 against with a difference of +1.6. The 2009-2010 was way worse for the Habs and happens to be the year the Habs beat the penguins. The Pens had 32.1 shots for and 28.3 against with difference of +3.8 shots. However, Montreal had 26.9 shots for and 31 shots against with difference of -4.1 shots, but were 4th in save percentage. The Pens this season with Martin have produced 22nd ranked 28.5 shots for and 6th ranked shots against 27.5 with a difference of +1.
Now while I did see the need to hire an outside oppinion who had experience defensively. I would of preferred hiring somebody who more aggressive defensively in the defensive zone. Unfortunately the coach I thought would be perfect was fired in the season not before the season in Peter Laviolette.
So while some of you may find certain scapegoats in the series and playoffs if the Penguins lose. I see the massive drop in possession numbers and the only major change this offseason Jacque Martin has caused the drop in possession.