Excerpt From: Hockey Plays and Strategies
The cross-ice dump (figure 3.2) works best under two conditions.
1. Defensive pressure is read and the offensive team is changing.
2. Defensive pressure is read and an offensive support player is skating in the wide lane.
The perfect cross-ice dump hits the boards halfway between the net and the side boards and angles away from the goalie toward the half boards.
Figure 3.2 the cross-ice dump-in.
A second tactic when the offensive player with possession of the puck reads pressure is the rim. The player entering the zone senses that his teammate skating wide can retrieve the puck and therefore the player with the puck rims it hard around the boards (figure 3.3). At the very top levels of the game of hockey, this tactic has limited success. Goalies in today’s game are so mobile and so good at trapping the rimmed puck that very few pucks get around to the desired teammate. Most are stopped behind the net and turned over to the opposing defense. Before using this tactic know the opposition goaltender and if he is not mobile or is poor at trapping the puck off a rim, then use it more often. Conversely if he gets out of his net quick and is able to handle the puck then dumping it in will only result in a turnover.
Figure 3.3 The basic rim.
The chip tactic (figure 3.4) is used in many different areas of the ice but may be most effective during an offensive zone entry. Chipping the puck refers to banking the puck off the boards to a space behind the defender. The chip works so well because it puts the puck in better offensive position (behind the pressuring defender) and also gives the player chipping the puck a good chance of retrieving it. Younger players make a monumental mistake by not pulling the defender off the boards slightly toward the middle of the ice before chipping the puck. If players are close to or right next to the boards, it is nearly impossible to angle the chip to a place where it can be retrieved. The goal of the chip is puck placement. Chipping the puck past the defender now forces him to turn and try to catch the offensive player. Because the offensive player is moving forward with speed and his supporting teammates are also moving to that area the defender is often caught in a difficult position. Several years ago the defender would have been able to hook or hold up the offensive player for a few seconds but not anymore – the obstruction rules have eliminated that tactic. Therefore the defender’s inability to pressure the player with the puck and creates the opportunity for puck possession deeper in the offensive zone.
Figure 3.4 The basic chip.
The chip has two options for retrieval. The first is to chip the puck and have the same player retrieve it. The second and most effective is to chip the puck into the space behind the defenseman and have a teammate with speed pick it up (figure 3.5). The chip to a teammate should always be used when the puck carrier has no room to carry the puck but has a teammate moving to support the space behind the defense. This strategy is also commonly referred to as attacking the space behind the opposing defense. Get your players to visualize this tactic and constantly talk about the “space behind”.
Figure 3.5 Chipping the puck behind the defenseman to a teammate.
Continue Reading: Mid-Ice Entries