Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/16/13
Excellent goaltending explains only part of the Avalanche's 5-0 start behind an NHL-best 0.8 goals-against average. The newly adopted defensive-zone coverage in front of goalies Semyon Varlamov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere has been equally stellar. "Varly and I are what people are talking about but it's a different team in front of us" Giguere said Monday. "We're on our toes more into the game more in the guys' face instead of always letting the opposition come to us." Credit rookie NHL coach Patrick Roy for installing the Detroit-tested system in Denver. The hall of famer has kicked any evidence of zone defense at even strength out the door. Roy demands that his defenders continually move their feet and pressure the puck carrier. "It's man-to-man/support" Roy said of the defensive coverage he brought with him from his eight-year stint with major junior's Quebec Remparts. "More and more teams will have their defense men involved in the attack and if you play (zone) you cannot follow them. "All the teams that I've watched have success — St. Louis Detroit and the other top teams — are doing it. And in order for us to have some success there are things you have to copy and this is one of the big things." Roy's defensive system has been fine-tuned with the help of his assistants including defensive development consultant Adam Foote and is being taught to the club's minor-league affiliates. Much of it is basic hockey. "There's a few ways to do defensive-zone coverage — every team has a different system — but if guys don't buy into it like what we did last year you're not going to have success" Giguere said. There is no winging it with Roy. For example if the opponent creates a 3-on-3 rush the Avs' two behind-the-play forwards aren't coasting into the defensive zone and thinking transition. Roy wants them to support and smother the attack before the opponent's defense can get involved. "The biggest part of our D-zone is our forwards and a lot of what Patrick is telling us to do is support — play man-to-man and when someone gets beat there's always a guy supporting you" Avs defenseman Erik Johnson said. Colorado is allowing 34 shots per game 26th in the league and about three more than it is producing. But that's not necessarily a bad thing when most of the shots are from the perimeter and the goalie and his defenders are working together in unison. "A lot from the perimeter" Giguere said of the shots allowed. "We've done a great job taking rebounds away and the D has done a good job boxing out."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Seahawks players feel Sherman bombshell story ‘nailed it’

Turkey: Kanter a member of terrorist group, issues warrant

Chad Johnson says Roger Goodell consulted him on touchdown celebration rule change

Kevin Durant is not to blame for the NBA’s lack of parity, and he knows it

Khloe Kardashian called out Cavs fan who mentioned ‘curse’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Warriors’ Mike Brown: Steve Kerr may be back for the Finals

Dodgers transfer Andrew Toles and Scott Kazmir to the 60-day disabled list

Looking back at 40 years of women racing in the Indianapolis 500

U.S. national soccer teams to wear LGBT-themed jerseys to celebrate pride month

Mike Zimmer: Teddy Bridgewater still has ‘long ways to go’

Report: Clippers concerned about Chris Paul leaving to sign with Spurs

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker