Welcome to the first EASHL Film Session! The purpose of this series is to watch some gameplay that was either sent to me or recorded myself. I’m going to break it down, go over what you do well, what can be worked on, and I’ll offer my advice on what can be done to help take you to the next level. I hope you guys enjoy and I’d appreciate any feedback in the comments section to help me make this series the best it can possibly be. This is open to both goalies and skaters, for today’s video we’re going to analyze the skaters of the LG Texas Stars.
Team Issue #1 – Corner Containment
This is one of the toughest defensive concepts to grasp, as it requires all 5 skaters to know their responsibilities. Whoever is defending him is usually chasing instead of containing and the puck carrier is able to get a clear path to the front of the net.
Here in this play the puck carrier is in the right corner. Here are the team’s responsibilities to effectively contain the puck.
1. Yellow – Approaches the skater from the boards as to cut off a passing lane behind the net and prevent the puck carrier from attempting a wrap around. If yellow cannot win his 1 on 1 battle, his job is to ‘guide’ the puck carreir towards a teammate. If the pass does go behind the net, yellow can sprint towards the right post AND teal is ready to protect the net.
2. Red – Red approaches the edge of the cirle. First he must be in line with any passing lane towards the slot. Next he’s ready to make a play on the puck carrier should he try to cut towards the middle. If the puck does escape the corner he’s most likely going back towards the slot.
3. Blue – Notice where blue currently is. He’s left the entire half-boards open as an escape route for the puck carrier. If you position yourself by the half-boards you accomplish multiple goals. First of all blue is in the passing lane towards the defenseman. Next he’s given less space for the puck carrier to escape. And third he’s ready to make a play should the puck carrier get too close (most likely from yellow/red guiding him towrads you).
4. Teal – protect the net, make sure you have inside positioning on whoever you are covering. Make yourself ready to protect either post and look for anybody crashing the net.
5. Green – Starts off in the High slot. You are covering for ‘Red’. Be ready to move lower if anybody’s crashing that area. Be ready as you are most likely the first forward out of the zone on the breakout but remember protecting the slot comes first.
Team Issue #2 – Blue Line Defense
Our Defenseman play too far off the blue line and the other team is able to walk into the zone. In 1 game, I saw 7 free entries in the zone. That’s 7 free possessions they have in our end, and any team is going to take advangtage. Stay a little bit closer to the blue line, you don’t have to go for the hit. Stay close, stay controlled, and if you can’t take the puck away, then slow him down and guide him towards the boards or to forward on the backcheck.
Team Issue #3 – Protect the Slot, ESPECIALLY SHORTHANDED
Last but not least, protect the slot. It’s nothing fancy but once in a while we’ll go after the puck or do something which leaves the front of the net exposed. Hockey has this statistic for goalies called HomePlate Save %. A shot from inside the HomePlate area has the highest chance of going in so that needs to be your priority when it comes to defense, even moreso on the penalty kill.
GOOD! 5 on 4, play a tight box and protect the slot!
When shorthanded, your focus should be on protecting the slot and not giving them a clear path to the net. Once your team is set up, then you can focus on containing the puck carrier like the first tip.
That wraps up the first EASHL Film Session. I want to say more nice things in future videos, but they asked me to ‘be mean’. I think we’ll do much better if we lock down the blue line and work together more as a team in the defensive end in time for the playoffs. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
If you want your gameplay broken down, both goalies and skaters, team and individual, let me know. I prefer to focus more on the individual but if teams are interested I’ll help. I hope you guys enjoyed, and hopefully I’ll see you in the next film session. 😀