HABS Defensive Zone Woes

The video below is 4 or 5 clips from recent games played by the HABS. The clips reveal that there is work to do on playing faster in their own end of the rink. The HABS must start taking pride in their individual one against one man coverage situations and in one on one puck battles. The team seldom outnumbers on the puck and sits back playing passive zone coverage with five in the box.

I would like to see Montreal play faster in the defensive zone. When the HABS do start playing faster in the defensive zone the following will be clearly evident:

  • winning races to loose pucks,
  • less stick checking by first defender, body-stick-puck,
  • outnumbering on the puck strong side off pressure triggers,
  • ability to force puck turnovers,
  • defending their blue line and stop backing up when back pressure support is evident,
  • playing more man coverage,
  • executing better when they lose the face off in the defensive zone, better up top coverage (faster out to the points), better down low play by the Centre supporting the D pairing below the hash marks,
  • exit the DZ strong side off five in the box,
  • better net and slot zone coverage,
  • better five in the box play, contracting and expanding the box.

Players look like they don’t know their role and there is poor execution of roles in the defensive zone. Drouin has been a good addition offensively but he needs to be better in the defensive zone below the hash marks. He’s not alone, the entire team needs to hit the classroom to review their roles and how they can play faster in their own end of the rink.

The video evidence:

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