The Boston Bruins made a coaching change one year ago with the hiring of Bruce Cassidy. The team is now in the top 5 in the NHL and best in the Atlantic Conference in goals against. I enjoyed watching the Bruins play against the HABS on January 13th and 17th but I can’t say I liked the outcome, my HABS lost both games.
Teams that win Championships play fast. Playing fast means they are able to successfully accomplish some of the following outcomes on the ice surface against their opponent, such as but not limited to:
1. Exit their defensive zone (DZ) strong side under pressure or weak side using the width & depth of the ice surface.
2. Enter and exit the neutral zone (NZ) with speed and puck control. They make good puck management decisions seldom turning the puck over to their opponent.
3. Play fewer minutes in their DZ defending.
4. Defend the NZ with a pressure (fast) forecheck with tight GAP control by the D pairing to force puck turnovers to counter attack and prevent the attack rush capability of their opponent.
5. Regain puck control in all three zones with good angling and body checking (don’t stick check).
6. Play a strong down low game with their forwards out performing their opponent’s D pair and down low forward to advance the puck on net from many different locations. Work the puck below the hash marks with chips and indirect passing.
7. Win the face-off game in all three zones, seldom being scored against off a face-off loss.
8. Play fast on the PP and PK to improve performance.
9. Create scoring chances with quality passing and shooting lanes from player and puck movement as a unit.
10. Defend their blue line and entrance into the defensive zone as a unit.
- Use of the width and depth of the ice,
- Outnumbering on the puck strong side off pressure triggers (always outnumber, never outnumbered),
- Angling with speed and physicality forcing puck turnovers,
- Grit, discipline and determination to win one on one puck battles and challenges,
- Consistently win group puck battles through sound execution,
- Players know their role and how to execute.
- Every player is all-in.
We created the document below and video of the highlights of these two contests if you are interested in the subject of playing fast.
Document link, Bruins Playing Fast:boston bruins playing fast videoposttlpf