Mistakes Were Made – Defensive Fundamentals

Breakdown of Mistakes Made

  1. Forechecker HABS #24 (F3) was too low in the zone to provide defensive support to set a good approach angle to pressure the puck carrier.
  2. F1 Forechecker left the ice to be replaced during the opponent’s Attack Rush. If you’re too tired to support the puck defensively you were too tired to support the puck offensively had the puck been recovered. No time to come off the ice.
  3. HABS D#51 was positioned outside the dots backing up when he should be positioned inside the dots giving the offensive player room to the outside not inside (middle ice). Always protect middle ice. By backing up outside the dots too close to the wall, D#51 is vulnerable against a puck chipped off the wall (indirect pass) by a player getting in behind him or other options through the middle of the ice.
  4. HABS D#6 should have been in middle ice when the puck moved to the other side of the ice to support his D partner & middle ice. The weak side D has to be aware of Bruins #88 in a middle ice high position to get in behind the strong side D (#51) or between the D down the middle of the ice surface.

Offensive Zone Forecheck Objective to Regain Puck Possession & Control 

The positioning of the F3 Forechecker is important for offensive and defensive reasons in support of the puck. In this clip F3 is too low below the puck to have a good approach angle to the puck carrier on the wall. F3 was too low and as a result was late getting to the strong side Puck Carrier on the wall. By being “late” to support the puck (check the puck carrier) he could only stick check and not make a better play on the forecheck.

Neutral Zone & Offensive Zone Defending

The HABS D# 51 doesn’t drop down (pinch) to make a play on the puck rimmed by the D on the wall. Even had the D# 51 pinched down the wall to support the puck F3 (#24) wasn’t in position to cover up top for the D#51. Remember, the objective is recovering the puck on the forecheck. Most teams give their D the green light to pinch down low if they have a good opportunity to make a play on the puck. Teams make F3 responsible for covering the pinching D dropping down (rotation).

The HABS D#51 should be positioned inside the face-off dots backing up. His D partner #6 has to move to middle ice (between the dots) when the puck moves strong to weak side.

Awareness of Players on the Ice & Their Tendencies 

The Bruins #88 PASTRNAK is an offensive threat and you should know the opponent will be attempting to use his skills (speed, shot, puck skills) against you by positioning him to succeed. This goal against the HABS represents a good offensive play to take advantage of the skills of a player like PASTRNAK.

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