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
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
A Detailed Analysis of the Winnipeg Jets’ Penalty Kill Forecheck and Defensive Zone Coverage Setups
In this video we walk through a detailed analysis of the Penalty Kill Systems the Winnipeg Jets are using. Remember, systems play is very subjective – everyone has their own opinions… this is my two cents worth!
Here’s a quick breakdown of what to look for:
1-3 Forecheck: F1 tends to commit too early, allowing the Wild defenseman to walk out from behind the net uncontested.
F1’s Angle: Breaks my cardinal rule for trap-style forechecks – DON’T GET BEAT BEHIND YOU!
NZ Transitions: Jets rely too heavily on picking off passes in the neutral zone, and not enough on solid angling and positioning. This won’t work as well against the better teams.
PK DEFENSIVE ZONE COVERAGE:
Triangle +1 against Umbrella: Not a good systems match-up in my opinion. Angles are off, and it allows the opposing team’s “Quarterback” to easily pass to whomever he wants.
Standard Box against Overload: Good systems match-up, but the Jets need to tighten up on a few things (see next few points)
Weak-side Forward: Tends to over commit, leaving the opposing far defenseman open
Net-front Coverage: Jets are letting a player sit right in the middle of their coverage, in front of the net
A few Neutral Zone Faceoff options that have worked well for me in the past
Neutral zone faceoffs are a good time to get a little more aggressive than maybe you otherwise would be. Here are a few “more aggressive” options I like to throw in every once in a while to catch the other team off guard.
I’ve always been a fan of the “T” PK Forecheck. If done correctly, it is very effective at stopping the other team’s breakout, and causes a lot of turnovers in the neutral zone.
Over the years, I’ve developed a slightly “beefed up” version of the “T” Forecheck, that is more aggressive, and just as safe (if not, safer!). In this video, I show you both versions. As you’ll see in the video, the second version can actually cause a lot of offensive-zone turnovers and odd-man rushes… ON YOUR PK!!