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 STRATEGY: Detailed Defensive Positioning

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emericaridr11
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PostSubject: STRATEGY: Detailed Defensive Positioning   Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:27 am

Lt.Brannigan says...

I hope everyone reads this.

Before reading, it is important to know 2 hockey terms. I gave the exact definition because I figured it would be better than mine.
Point - The point is the area just inside the opposition's blue line close to the boards on either side of the rink. A defenseman usually occupies this area when his team is in control of the puck in the opposition's defensive zone.
Slot - The prime scoring area up the middle of the ice, between the face-off circles. When you "clear the slot," you shove an opposing player out of the area in front of your goal.

Now that we have that down, let's explore this defensive positioning thing.


On defense,each player covers their zone. There are exceptions, but if we can stay basic, then we will be set, until we learn as a team anything else. Stay in your zones. This may look like a boring style, but it is not. There is still pressure. Each player applies pressure to the puck carrier that is within their zone. Forwards must stop trying to lay out players with the puck (a common problem), as using the vision control and lifting the stick/poke checking will accomplish the same thing, without losing position. All players should be using vision control in the defensive zone. It straightens your player to the puck, and allows you to move slightly without over-persuing. Going for hits is useless, as you miss the majority of them, and that kind of selfishness really hurts the team. Instead, like I said, the best thing to do is make sure you straighten up to the player. When moving the analog stick, gently press it where you want to go, donn't jam it. This way you have free, precise movement, and not jerky, over-persuing movement. But anyways, let's move on.



Winger Positioning
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PostSubject: Re: STRATEGY: Detailed Defensive Positioning   Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:28 am

Lt.Brannigan says...

The winger's job is to make sure the opposing d-men are covered at the point. If the d-men cycle, however, it is still the winger's job to make sure whoever is cycling in that zone is covered.
1. Never stray past the blue line defensively until the puck is secure.
2. Do not chase the puck below the faceoff circles (out of your zone) to help a defensemen. It is the defenders job to play that entire board side.
3. Follow the play according to puck location.

Examples:

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PostSubject: Re: STRATEGY: Detailed Defensive Positioning   Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:28 am

Lt.Brannigan Says...

Defender Positioning (examples at bottom)



The defensemen's job is to make sure the forward in each of their zones are properly pressured/covered. There is a lot more for a defensemen to know.
1. If an opposing player takes the puck into one of these zones, the proper defender must apply pressure.
2. If an opposing player is skating into the slot, the defenders must learn to "bump" the player out of the way.
3. Try not to skate behind the net, but cover the wrap-around in the corner instead. If a defender is forced to skate behind the net and across, however, the other defender should switch sides and cover the forward in front.
4. If there are two opposing forwards in front of the net, and only one of the defensemen are currently in front, the center will come down and provide proper support.
5. If there are no skaters in your zone, then focus should be on the front of the net, unlike the wingers, who follow the play.

Examples:



Center Positioning (examples at bottom)



A center's job is definitely the most difficult on the ice. He must provide cover for the entire center of the ice, including the high and low slots, and the point.
1. A center is to cover whichever forward is skating in his zone that is NOT covered by the defense. They should never be covering a defender unless there are 3 opposing players at the point, and enough defensive coverage in the slot. (rare situation)
2. If there is enough coverage in all zones, and nobody is skating in your zone (very unlikely), pick a passing lane to cut off.
3. If there are two opposing forwards in front of the net, and only one of the defencemen are currently in front, the center will come down and provide proper support.
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PostSubject: Re: STRATEGY: Detailed Defensive Positioning   Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:29 am

Lt.Brannigan says...

Detailed Examples For Positioning

This is an example where there only two defenders at the points, and one skates over, leaving the normal winger zone (shown by the blue box) clear of any players. If this situation occurs, you are allowed to leave your zone to cover the d-man ONLY IF THAT BOX IS OPEN. If an opposing player skates into the box, then you must skate back to cover.


*From here on in, allow the green triangles to resemble opposing players.


This is an example where the Center needs to help out on D. As you can see, the opposing skater took the puck in the defensemen's zone. The winger needs to stop where he should and discontinue the chase at this point. We have been caught chasing with wingers far too much, and it is not the right move. Anyways, here the d-man decides to apply the pressure (as he should), leaving the front of the net with one defencemen. The other forward sees this, and crashes the net as well, leaving it a 2 on 1. The Center must then collapse to cover the second forward (as seen above). When this happens, the defender should always play the outside forward (furthest from the puck) and the center should play the inside forward (closest to the puck besides the puck carrier). This cmpletely shuts down the attempt at a pass, and doesn't leave us with a one on two from chasing with wingers and the center.



The below example is a continuation of the example above. Suppose the forward takes the puck behind the net. This is not animated, so the example may not look right, but just read along. The d-man on the puck-carrier forwards side does NOT chase behind the net. Instead, he hold the red line to make sure there is no pass OR wrap. In this case, the center should be on the RIGHT of the forward in the slot (not like below). If the puck-carrier continues to skate behind the net, then the center should move to the opposite side of the forward (like in the example below). This completely shuts down the wrap-around with poke-checks, and covers the second forward with a center. Nobody can chase behind the net, because if you do, it will leave a hole and a clear passing lane. This is also a problem we have. Speed is not that important in comparison to positioning.



Below, we see that there is a defender applying pressure, but there is still only one forward in the slot. This means that the center should keep on the player that is in his zone (not skate around). The other d-man is then left with the pass. If you are holding a lead, then the center collapsing would be best. Otherwise, this will shut down all passing lanes. Also, the wingers are clearly pressing towards the puck side of the play, knocking off the passing chance to the point.



Sometimes, 3 men may appear at the point. It is important to use your head and not panic. At this point, the opposing point players positions do not matter. Only their location in our zones matter. Below, the defender applies slight pressure to the puck carrier so he can not just skate around. The wingers cover the two outside point men and knock off the pass. The center, in this situation, must stay at center and slightly toward the puck side. It is important to stay as shown below, as it knocks off the pass lane. If the center presses too much, it leaves a hole in the slot, and if the defender is beat, no back up. By doing this, if the defender does get beat, the cente can provide backup. Or, if the defender holds his ground, the center can continue to knock off the pass. This will force an early turnover.



As you can see, it is a bit to work on, but we need to study this big time. There need to be 3 things happening for this to work.
1. Forwards must stop going for checks in the defensive zone unless along the boards (and even then it is risky). We miss the majority of them, so it ruins our position.
2. Everyone must use vision control to straighten up to the puck carrier. Use slight movement with the analog stick so that you can cover and apply pressure without over-persuing.
3. Stay in your zones! Even in the cases below, players were still in their zones.

Good luck, let's make it happen! I will post pk later.
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