Hockey Terminology & Strategy Basics for Parents Face-offs It most cases we are trying to “win” the draw backward to our team. We want to control where the puck goes next. Break Out In our defensive zone, we will run a play designed to move the puck out into the neutral zone. This play has several options or decisions each player makes. All the others must respond correctly to the decisions, an or interruptions, that occur. - a “strong side” break out indicates the defending team attempts to move the puck up the side with the most players on it, typically the side the puck entered the zone from. - a “weak side” break out refers to moving the puck quickly to the side with the least players on it, or typically the opposite side the puck entered on. As players get older they learn additional options, and also will be instructed as to team strategy preferences for choosing options. Choosing Players to play together A “line” is usually considered the 3 forwards. Sometimes a team my play in groups of 5, however most often as a forward line of 3, and a defensive “pair” of 2. As each player has different skills, selection of players is extremely important, and can dramatically effect overall performance. Line make up must also be matched to the particular competition. Line Matching Deciding which players play against each other is left up to the “home” coach as they get the last player change option before every face-off. Offensive zone play, the “attack” After gaining control and moving toward the offensive zone, players are taught a variety of plays to choose from, based on the situation they “read” as they approach the zone. Each “read” has a fundamental play associated with it – that again has several options depending on how the defense and teammates react. Here are some common situations and the basic strategy plays associated… “Read” O Player(s) D player(s) 1:0 “Breakaway” Accelerate to the net and shoot Only the goalie, defend the shot, control the rebound 1:1 Attack with speed, and get by to make a shot on goal. O player may opt to delay slightly to gain a teammate creating a 2:1 situation Must maintain position between O player and goalie, attempt to slow down the play, and drive to O player wide to a poor shooting angle. In Bantam/Midget this is a 100% checking situation 2:1 Maintain speed, attempt to draw the defender to you and make a pass to teammate for a good shot, or fake the pass and shoot Position between the 2 attacking players, defend the pass between them, drive shooter to poor angle 3:1 Utilize multiple passes to teammates to move near the goal and find the open player for a shot, other converge on goal for rebound Attempt to slow the play to gain help, defend the passing lanes from the middle , and challenge the most dangerous shooter 3:2 Enter the attack zone wide with control, second forward accelerates to the far goal post side, third player moves to middle high area, pass it to either the low post or high slot players Attempt to slow the play to gain help, defend the passing lanes from the middle , and challenge the most dangerous shooter Defensive zone play Is usually a “zone” type defense where the wings are higher in the zone covering the opposing teams defenseman, and the center is in the middle area, and the defenseman are one in front of the net and one chasing the puck in the corner. As soon as we gain possession of the puck the players must move quickly to the “break out” positions. Swedish Torpedo This is a strategy where one or two forwards never return to the defensive zone. It forces the other team to decide to cover these players with either one or 2 defenseman. If they choose one, then we have a 2:1 advantage on the attack, however we are at a 4:3 disadvantage in our defensive zone. This is still considered an advantage in most cases as the single defensive man cannot cover keeping the puck in the zone. If they cover with two defensemen then the zones are balanced however the better skating/passing team will have the advantage of lots of open ice. Forecheck When the other team gains possession anywhere on the ice (in particular in our offensive zone) we may choose to attack this player with 1, 2 or 3 forwards in some strategic fashion, or choose to drop back into a more defensive formation (sometimes called a “trap”. 2-3 + Pinch This is the primary “forecheck & attack” strategy used by the Sq B team this year. It involves 2 forwards (in our case it is designated the wings) are ALWAYS going hard to the puck carrier no matter where they are. (LW/RW does not matter!) The center is staying back in the middle and reading the puck carrier to intercept a pass, or if the wings are successful on the forecheck, he is in a good scoring position. This formation in the offensive zone also allows for the defensemen to be able to be more aggressive attacking the puck deeper on the boards (the “pinch”), and the center will rotate back an over to take a defensive position. Powerplay (PP) When the other team has a penalty, we have a man advantage. Teams may employ a specific breakout formation and offensive zone strtaegy/formation to best take advantage. Penality Kill (PK) When we have a penalty, we are down a man, and will also employ a specific forecheck strategy – usually a 1 man light forecheck, and use the other 3 to form a wedge to force the attacking team wide. Once in our defensive zone a “box” formation is used to try to keep the puck out of prime scoring areas. Checking/Body contact At Bantams/Midgets this becomes a huge part of the game – NHL All Star games scoring. At Mites/Sq/PW a checking penalty is defined as a body contact directed toward a player rather than the puck. Conclusions • Parents should not “coach”, as you just don’t know the strategy being employed in any particular game or time • Hockey is the fastest moving, highest complexity sport in the world, and the most FUN! • Passing the puck moves you 3-5X faster than skating the puck • Creativity & Teamwork is a priority !