Welcome to Hold The Point, I thank you for stopping by. You may know me from other sites, where I have been a guest author or published fanposts. All my past work is here, under the BackCheck link on the left sidebar…
This site was born with a history, more about that later. All the work here is in tribute to the Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club. The site is evolving, even if my lineage isn’t. A few pages need some content filled in, but all in due time. I first decided to start my own site January 19, 2013, opening day at the Blackhawks game. I spent a week in concept development, then began adding content. Hold The Point went live February 4th, for a period of beta testing until the Public Launch on February 15th, 2013.
My goal here is to entertain, and inform, and display game info in new ways. I hope to find insight and offer analysis of in-game play and lineup choices, etc. Our team plays systems that require them to be among the smartest players in the league, so we need to work hard to fully understand what they do when they succeed, and what they do not do when they fail. It sounds crazy but if the truth were told, I really do think the team benefits from the full psychic backstop of its fans’ informed collective conscious.
Focus will be on the Kings NHL team roster, and choices and decisions made impacting them. The Monarchs, the Reign, the pipeline and the draft are far better discussed at other sites, and for the most part will be left to the experts.
There really is no censorship here at Hold The Point. Profanity is sometimes the only sufficient method of expression, so you may speak freely.
I will say that if you enter a debate or discussion here, please imagine yourself in person sitting next to your discussion partner at the Yard House. It’s easy to be mean; being kind takes effort. Make the effort. If all else fails, then you can let ‘em have it with all cannons. I will not ban people, but I will try to keep the focus on what is most entertaining.
You will see that the BackCheck section, my archives, contains posts going back as far as May, 2010. As I said, this site was born with a history compiled from those guest articles I wrote at other sites. I appreciated being allowed to post at those sites, but now I want to define my own style. Now, let me explain why I chose the name “Hold The Point.”
My logo is a whiteboard, showing a diagram of one way to maintain possession and presence in the offensive zone. On the whiteboard, (created in January, 2013) the opposition player is moving the puck from the corner, along the boards towards the blue line. #14 is “herding” or forcing movement by pursuit from behind, and is blocking any drop pass or lateral pass to a teammate. #11 is cutting off the carrier’s exit through the middle. #8 (the strong-side point man) does not back up, and blocks the puck-carrier from any exit along the boards. #7 is covering the middle of the ice, ready to retreat if the puck gets thru with or without a player, and #23 is shadowing the intended target for the opposition’s breakout pass. In the sequence below, this play is manifested in real life from an Avalanche game, February 23, 2103. The Kings are in their dark uniforms, Forum Purple and Gold. The Avalanche are in road whites.
The player in white at the top of the screen has just passed the puck from the corner, along the boards toward the blue line. #10 and #22 are “herding” or forcing movement by pursuit from behind, while also blocking any drop pass or lateral pass to a teammate. #77 is cutting off the carrier’s exit through the middle.
In the next frame, we see #77 continuing to cut off exit through the middle, as the forced pass from down low is lost by the receiver.
In this frame, #26 (the strong-side point man) has not backed up, and is blocking the puck-carrier from any exit along the boards. #7 is covering the middle of the ice, ready to retreat if the puck gets thru with or without a player. As you can see from the whiteboard, the play matches very closely, with all the elements present. The Kings Held The Point.
This exact play against the Avalanche resulted in a turnover. The turnover resulted in the game-winning goal. #26 won the puck, and fired it cross-corner to open ice where #10 could get to it first. #77 circled from his containment position out high (F3, the “high forward”) and came down the slot where he took a pass from #10 and rifled home the goal.
That’s why I named this site Hold The Point. Under Terry Murray, the strong-side point man (#26) would have begun to retreat, and his partner (#7) would have already been backpedaling almost to the Center Red Line. Under Sutter, pressure forced a turnover, play was held in the attacking zone, and even if the puck was lost our guys were disrupting the flow of the other team’s breakout and were simultaneously in a strong position to backcheck thru center.
To me, that’s why we won the Stanley Cup. Having a Coach that trusts his players, and having players with enough skill to be trusted, this is a high risk strategy unless done correctly every time. Knowing how, and being able, to Hold The Point is a winning hockey style; they proved it.
In closing, I want you to know that I view blogging as a collaborative effort. I learn from you when we discuss, and ultimately this site is intended to spur discussion. I know at most sites there are many more people that just read the articles than there are people that read and comment. I want this site to be different, I welcome discussion, and I really wish for Kings fans of all ages and experience to get up their nerve and fire off some comments. We are all learning the game, and we can all have a voice, especially here.
I hope you enjoy your time here, and again, I’m grateful for your stopping by. As I said, my goal is to provide information and facts, humor and analysis, but most of all I am hoping to establish a place where everyone feels comfortable and entertained.