This is a short video from the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadians game the other night. At TLPF we advocate that players must know their role and how to execute their role to play with pressure in any zone on the ice surface. In this video the evidence suggests their is poor execution of roles by the Montreal Canadians which we attribute to confusion on knowing what each player’s role is on the ice surface in the defensive zone (DZ). The result is a goal against (GA).
Face Off Loss Roles (Man Coverage)
- With a loss of the face the two Montreal wingers have the responsibility for getting out to the Bruins point men to apply pressure and take away the D to D pass and the shot from the point by getting into shooting and passing lanes. (#41 and #62 of Montreal are the Wingers)
- The Centre #14 must play man coverage on the opponents Centre #46.
- The strong side D for Montreal #6 should be playing man coverage against the Bruins strong side winger #88.
- The Montreal weak side Defenceman #74 should be in man coverage on the Bruins weak side winger # 83.
- There is the option of switching off coverages on the ice with communication by the defensive players with player movement for efficiencies in executing coverage.
Bruins Tactical Offensive Pressure Play from Face Off Win
- The Bruins execute an offensive tactical play based on set structure with the following steps: 1) weak side winger 83 leaves the face off circle and sets up on the hash marks down low vacated by Montreal’s # 6, 2) #88 the strong side Bruins winger moves from the face off position to the top of the face off circle strong side to play the apex of the triangle set up by the moving forwards, #46 the centre goes to the front of the net to set a screen, # 54 the weak side Bruins D drives a lane from up top with the movement of the puck down low to #83 on the hash marks to set a passing lane for # 83 down low on the wall which is a pressure offensive play.
- A pressure offensive play is one where there is player movement and puck movement to force man coverage and break away from zone or man coverage which is stationary. Remember time and space is created by player and puck movement. To defend against a pressure offensive play you must use a defensive pressure play where the defensive players are moving and playing sound man coverage or zone coverage if necessary.
Montreal Defensive Lapse – Failure to Apply Pressure Tactically
- #14 for Montreal ties up his man coverage off the loss but lets him go to be picked up by #74 the Montreal weak side D in front of the net zone. #14 appears lost once he lets his man go as to what his role is now – #14 looks at #6 as to what each player should be doing in coverage. This loss of role awareness in a fast paced game at the professional level is enough for a bad outcome to result because of the skill and pace of the game.
- #6 and #14 fail to pick up # 83 of the Bruins moving to set up on the hash marks on the strong side by the boards. Neither #6 nor #14 pick up the Bruins winger setting up down low. Neither #6 or #14 cover the Bruins strong side winger moving into the apex of the triangle to set up a shooting position in middle ice.
- There is way too much white ice (term used to describe “space and time”) provided to the Bruins down low so that #83 can make a great pass to #54 setting the passing lane from coming down from up top.
- #41 for the Canadians leaves his man coverage assignment and fails to move with #54 of the Bruins into man coverage (D side of the puck) at take his man to the net.
- Result is a goal against by the Bruins from a well executed pressure offensive play with quality player and puck movement from a set play five against five.
Hockey is a game of time and space. The Bruins deserve credit for making the Montreal team play man coverage and defend their zone. Any team can set up zone coverage but there must be the ability to transition from zone to man and back to zone based on factors in the game. Quality coaches teach and coach the pressure game. The best players study how to play with pressure and execute with pressure.
Enjoy the video.
Video Bruins vs. Habs Goal Against with Pressure:https://youtu.be/Tmzh8PE9OnE