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Dvorak Studying One of the Game's Greats

'D-vo' developing a knack for the net

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Arizona Coyotes

Just because you're a pro doesn't mean you stop going to school.

Because to be great, you often need to learn from the best.

For example, Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak is examining one of the masters of his position, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron.

Specifically, he is studying Bergeron's "bumper position," on the power play, which has come to be known on the East Coast as "The Bergeron Spot." Many consider it to be the position most crucial for power play success. 

The phrase refers to the middle-man in the slot. Players who thrive there generally have a quick release, acute positional awareness, and are fearless. They understand the physical costs of earning a living around the net 

Indeed, Dvorak leads the Coyotes this season in power play goals (3) and points (4).

"He was watching (Patrice) Bergeron tapes the other day," Tocchet said. "Just the way Bergeron can get inside and out of that bumper position, and then go downhill and make those plays. He's learning from a guy like that." 

Dvorak requested the Bergeron clips two weeks ago. 

"He went himself and asked our video coach," Tocchet said. "'I want Patrice Bergeron video clips.'"

That proactive approach impresses Tocchet. 

"To me, that's a self-starter," Tocchet said. "The coach doesn't have to tell him to go do this. He did it on his own."

Tocchet thinks the video analysis is making a difference.

"Now, he's scoring goals in the last three-four games," Tocchet said. "Is that why? I believe it's why. It is. I mean, maybe some people don't. They think it's a coincidence, but I don't think it's a coincidence. I think if you look at the goals, the position of his goals -- the one the other night on the power play against Anaheim, big goal, that power play goal. (Tuesday), going downhill on two plays, getting inside people. That's what Bergeron does; that's what (Brad) Marchand does.

"Those are the type of guys he's learning from, and he's getting rewarded. So, he's putting the extra time in and he gets rewarded. I believe in karma. If you work at your game, you're going to get good results and D-vo, you know, he's a poster child of it, especially the last couple of weeks."

Dvorak leads the Coyotes in overall scoring with five goals and nine points. On Tuesday, he became the first Coyote since February 2016, to record consecutive multi-goal games. He has scored four of the team's previous six goals.

(Like Bergeron, who has won the NHL's Frank J. Selke Trophy four times for his defensive play, Dvorak isn't focusing solely on his offense. "I try to play a 200-foot game," he said, "win face-offs, make sure I'm good in the d-zone.)

But in terms of goal-scoring, his goals are the result of his knack around the net. 

"That's where goals are scored," Dvorak said. "I try to get there as much as possible. I just try to get (to the front of the net) as much as possible, and good things happen.

"Just get to the net, whether it's tips or rebounds or guys make a nice back-door pass to me, I just try to do as much as possible." 

Tocchet's mantras always include the need for traffic and bodies around the net.

"We need some more D-vo like goals," Tocchet said. "Guys going to the net. Dvo's getting his goals around the net. We need more of those."

Lead Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett - Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Kaci Demarest - Arizona Coyotes // GIF Highlights - FOX Sports Arizona

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