When the 2019-20 NHL season was suspended after 70 games the Boston Bruins were in 1st Place in the league standings. The Bruins under Cassidy’s leadership had a goal differential of +53, best in the league and the best goals against record at 167 or 2.39 per game played. This Bruins team is highly skilled, hard working and a highly competitive group. These guys hunt pucks and are relentless in their support of the puck offensively and defensively in all three zones of the rink. Cassidy has to get a lot of the credit for the team’s play. It’s the coach’s job to play tactics that support the skills and abilities of players.
The video clip below from a Bruins-Islanders contest is shared because it shows some of the tactics deployed by this skilled group to support the puck in offensive zone to create quality scoring chances. The group on the ice in this clip for the Bruins:
#37 Bergeron (F), #63 Marchand (F), #88 Pastrnak (F), #72 McAvoy(D), # 48 Grzelcyk(D)
Tactical Support of the Puck by the Bruins – Breakdown of the Video Clip
☑︎High cycle from below the hash marks by #37 and #63 – Bergeron doesn’t panic on the puck recovery on the wall and recognizes he has support of the puck below and above the puck, ☑︎Marchand carries the puck up the wall and passes to the weak side D #48☑︎Pastrnak moves through middle ice into the net zone to set a screen☑︎#48 Grzelcyk moves the puck to his D partner and makes room for #72 McAvoy in middle ice up top, ☑︎#72 McAvoy runs a “switch” with #63 Marchand and drops down low into quadrant 2 to get away from coverage up top. The Islanders are in a 2-3 zone defence and fail to switch into man coverage when McAvoy drops down below the hash marks.
The Game Video:
PDF of the Slide: Tactical Play Against Zone & Man Coverages:Bruins OZ Tactics
Game Video Breakdown: