Hey… this systems stuff actually works! We talk a lot of theory here on the blog, but I also like to show what our systems look like in action from time to time, and the Leafs had a text-book execution of our Post-Up Regroup, which led to a goal by Kadri. Let’s take a look at some of the key points of the Post-Up Regroup:
1. Defensemen pick up the puck in the NZ and drag skate to open ice
2. Both wingers position themselves on the boards at the far blue line for an outlet pass
3. Center reads the puck movement, and provides middle support to whichever winger receives the pass
4. If the opposing Defenseman “bites” on the winger, he can touch pass to the center swinging through
5. Center enters the zone wide, far-side winger drives the net, close winger becomes the trailer
In this post we’re dissecting Pavel Datsyuk’s end-to-end goal against Nashville. As great as the individual effort was, there are quite a few team details that really made this play possible.
It starts with Datsyuk providing proper support for his defenseman in the defensive zone. He picks up the puck and initiates the breakout to the right winger. After making the breakout pass, he follows up the play, providing mid-lane support on the breakout. As the breakout is happening, the weak-side winger blows out of the zone, pushing the opposing defenseman back, which opens up space for Datsyuk to wheel. The play finishes with the opposing defenseman reaching for the puck, and Datsyuk eats him alive.
Great individual effort, made possible by well-structured positional play.
I’ve had a few questions come in recently on the 1-2-2 Forecheck. Specifically, coaches are looking for ways to beat it. The 1-2-2 is a great forecheck, but, as is the case with any system, it’s beatable. Your objective is to control the puck, drawing players out of position, then beating them with a pass. Here are the key points:
How to Beat the 1-2-2 Forecheck
1. Defenseman carries the puck to open ice
2. Defenseman walks the puck until someone comes to get him (if nobody comes, he walks all the way down the ice!)
3. As soon as F2 or F3 leaves their coverage to attack the Defenseman, he or she moves the puck to that side of the ice, hitting the now-open player with the pass
4. At this point you’ve got two players beat, and you’re walking out of the zone in an odd-man rush
Winnipeg Jets Power Play Dissection from the Illegal Curve show on TSN Radio 1290 in Winnipeg
This past Saturday I had the opportunity to be a guest again on the Illegal Curve show on TSN Radio 1290 in Winnipeg. If you haven’t listened to the show before, and you’re a Jets fan, check it out here: http://illegalcurve.com/
The topic I covered on Saturday will be useful to any coach, whether you’re a Jets fan or not. I also made a video dissection of the Jets power play after the fact, illustrating a few of the things I mentioned on the show. So, Check out my segment in the audio below, then watch the vid!
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Here are the key points as discussed on the show:
Not getting a lot of power plays in the first place (especially last week)
Only two against Boston
Only one against Buffalo
Against the Rangers and Devils they started using their speed, and Drew more penalties those game
Puck movement is pretty good once they actually get the set-up
Problems with breakout and moving through the neutral zone
Forcing passes to covered players in NZ (in my opinion, it’s ok for the defenseman to carry it all the way on a PP if the other team lets him walk)
Against Rangers and Devils, they improved on this a lot – and were able to get the puck deep and set up
Not driving deep enough
Problems with the initial attack
taking the shot before getting the set up (I usually say don’t shoot on the initial attack on a PP unless you have a 2 on 1 or better, because if you miss, you’re not in position to rebound and the other team can ice it and waste time)
Forcing passes – the whole idea of the PP is to isolate a man, then beat him with a pass. If you pass too soon, or force a pass, you’re not going to open up opportunities
They never really got the set-up in last week’s games… this week was better on that front.
Against the Rangers & Devils they started fixing these problems
Used speed more to draw penalties
Didn’t force passes in the neutral zone (defenseman started walking it more)
Drove the puck deep then looked for the set up, or sometimes dumped it in to the open man
Great puck movement within the zone
Still not pulling the trigger enough, and getting sticks on rebounds
MY SUGGESTIONS: Assuming they continue to improve on the breakout and puck movement through the NZ, and assuming their puck movement on the set-up stays solid like it was this past week, my main observation would be that the men in front might be a little too low. There are two approaches to screening a goalie, both have pros and cons:
Right on top of him – better screen, more annoying, but tips don’t have as much room to change the trajectory of the shot, and rebounds usually bounce past you (which happens a lot to the Jets)
Further out (7 or 8 feet in front of the goalie) – not as good for screens, not as annoying/distracting for the goalie, but much more effective for tips, and way better for jumping on rebounds
In our last post, we talked about beating a 2-1-2 with a D to D pass. In the footage, we saw the NJ Devils using an aggressive 2-1-2 “Stack” against the Rangers. In this post, we’ll show you the LA Kings using another variation of the 2-1-2, the 2-1-2 “Spread.”
2-1-2 Stack vs Spread
There are two types of 2-1-2 set-ups; the “stack,” where the first two players enter the zone on the same side of the ice, the first player hits and pins, the second player takes the puck; and the “spread,” where the first player attacks the puck carrier, and the second player eliminates the D to D pass (this is what the Kings are using in this clip).
2-1-2 “Spread” Explained
The key to an effectice 2-1-2 “Spread” is for F1 (the first forward on the attack) come in aggressive. If F1 is lazy geting in, the play won’t work. F2 must also get in hard and take away the D to D pass. F3 reads F1’s forechecking angle, and takes away the strong side breakout. If done properly, there’s nothing the opposing defenseman can do except try to force a pass up the strong side, or dump it out of the zone.
The 2-1-2 is a great forecheck to set an aggressive tone at the beginning of a game. If your players are in good enough shape, and can execute it consistently, you can stick with it for an entire game. But I recommend having another forecheck to fall back on if the 2-1-2 starts getting sloppy.