Narrowing Drewiske's focus

Davis Drewiske will be a healthy scratch tonight for the second consecutive game. This morning, I asked Terry Murray about which parts of Drewiske’s game he needs to see improvement in, and, as you can read below, Drewiske brought up something from Drewiske’s past. Drewiske played at the University of Wisconsin, where the home ice is 97 feet wide, rather than the traditional North American 85 feet.

Drewiske had a plus-10 rating in his first 15 games, but is minus-8 in his last 12 games. We can debate the value of plus-minus — I’m not a big fan of it — but Murray talked about what he wants to see from Drewiske, going forward…

MURRAY: “There’s no one that’s angry with him or upset or mad at him. It’s a young player that has played some games in the NHL. I think he ended up with 17 last year. So he’s a young guy getting into this level of play, and you’re seeing the top players in the world coming at you. Limiting time and space and opportunities to make plays, that’s critical for a defenseman.

“You have to be able to react and close fast, and I think that with his time in university [NCAA], playing on the big sheet of ice, you get into that `contain’ game. You’re kind of playing the rink within the rink. So those habits have a tendency to surface. He’s getting better at closing and finishing. He’s a big guy, a strong guy, and we want him to be a good NHL shut-down defenseman. That’s getting on players fast. Just do the one thing: finish and pin. You don’t have to knock the guy off the puck, get the puck and make the first outlet pass. That’s maybe a tendency that is there also. So we’ve talked about that, and he’s a smart kid. He will get better at that.”

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