One of the biggest skills a team needs in EASHL is defending the blue line. Top Teams make it very difficult to enter the offensive zone and games can be won or lost in the neutral zone. It’s a very simple thought process. Good Blue Line Defense = Less chances to score.
All 5 skaters play a role in defending the blue line. Top Clubs have very good forechecks but when they realize it won’t work in some situations, they’ll usually drop to the 1-4, where 1 player challenges the puck carrier and the rest protect the blue line. Even when you’re on the Penalty Kill it’s still very possible to protect the blue line.
The backbone of the Blue Line Defense is the defenseman. They have to read the opposing skaters AND see where their teammates are to figure out where the gaps are and close them.
- If you notice your defensive partner step-up to make a play on the blue line, its important for the weak side defenseman to move towards the middle of the ice. This will put them in good position to defend a 2 on 1 should your defensive partner miss AND you’ll have a head start if the other teams tries a dump and chase.
- YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO FOR THE BIG HIT!! A defenseman’s job is to ‘get in their way’. If you can’t take the puck away in your 1 on 1 battle don’t worry. Stay close and slow them down until a forward can help on the backcheck. Slowing the puck carrier down can also be enough to force a teammate of theirs offside.
- Adjust to your teammates. If you’re in a club you should be used to what your defensive partner likes to do. If you’re playing drop-in, it will be a bit more difficult. You might have to adjust your style based on what they’re doing. If they love to go for hits, you’ll want to stay back more just in case. If they prefer to stay back, you’ll have to be a bit more aggressive on the puck carrier but not wreckless to leave him out to dry.
Hopefully these NHL 16 Tips helped you guys out, any comments or feedback are welcome. The easiest way to show your support is a simple like and comment on my video. Special thanks to SGO for giving me this opportunity and happy hockey!