NHL 14: Scoring Written Guide
Written By: TargetAudience18
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky
Single-handedly the most important aspect of NHL 14 is shooting. We can’t score without shooting. You can finish the game with 85% passing completion or a 10 minute time-on-attack advantage, but the only numbers that matter are goals for and goals against. So let’s take some shots.
But you can’t just fire ‘em at the net all willy-nilly. You have to take good shots from good positions, and that is where skating and passing come into play.
Types of Shots
There are four types of shots: Snap shot, wrist shot, backhand, and slap shot.
How to execute:
Snap Shot – Press up on the right stick
Wrist Shot – Hold right stick to left (for lefties) or right (for righties) and roll the stick to the 12 o clock position
Backhand – Hold the right stick to right (for lefties) or left (for righties) and roll the stick to the 12 o clock position
Slap Shot – Pull straight back on the right stick to the 6 o clock position and the press up to the 12 o clock position. The longer you hold the stick back, the harder the shot. Hold it too long and the puck will slide out of position
Which shot to choose?
Each shot has its advantages and disadvantages, which can influence at which point in the game and the circumstances under which one is attempted.
Typically, as a forward you would want to stick to the first three, avoiding the slap shot for the most part. During gameplay you don’t get much space to play with the puck, and high accuracy and a quick release is favored.
As a defender you have a much better opportunity to utilize the slap shot. You have more time with the puck when you get it at the blue line and because of your distance from the goal, it is really the only shot that you can utilize with any effective ness (for the most part).
In NHL 13 there is a ton of ways to score. Be creative and try different things, but allow me to outline the most common ways to put the puck in back of the net.
The one timer is an old time favorite. It was one of the most relied upon ways to score prior to NHL 14 because the goalies really were out-ta-lunch any time you managed to pull one off. However you can still pull it off, it just takes a little more finesse.
To execute a one timer simply hold up on the right stick before the puck reaches your stick. If you are playing EASHL, wait for the pass to come and before it reaches you hold up. If you are playing as the whole team (online versus, play now, be a gm, etc.) pass the puck to a teammate first and hold up on the right stick right after you pass. Don’t forget to aim!
Aiming in NHL 14 is a little different in terms of the one timer, especially on the cross-crease. Prior to NHL 14 you would aim to the short-side because the goalie would read shot on the puck carrier and not pass. In NHL 14 they have programmed the goalies to read pass first, no matter what. So, to take advantage of this, aim your one timer to the far-side (the side the puck was passed from). Try to keep your shot lower (between the arm and the leg) as most goalies expect shots to go high. Another place you can aim is five-hole. When the goalie slides across the crease to make the save he has to push off of his opposite leg to get there. This movement opens up a space between his pads. You can take advantage of this movement if the timing is right.
If you want in depth coverage on how to snipe, watch my tutorial here.
Sniping is actually relatively easy in NHL 14. When the programmers revamped the skating and goal-tending engines they did two things:
- They made the goalies better on two-on-ones and two-man breakaways, but they made it easier to beat the goalie with a snipe, deflection, or rebound.
- They made the defense smarter. They position themselves a lot better to pick off passes, block shots, and clear garbage out from in front of the net.
So, while sniping is easy, getting to the spots where sniping is effective is the hard part. Let’s cover a few ways to get to these spots.
- 45° Cut: Skate down your off-wing (righties on the left side and lefties on the right side) towards the offensive zone faceoff circle (try to keep your path as straight as possible. You do not want to angle yourself towards the goalie on your initial approach). Once you hit the blue line, begin to coast (release the left stick). Just before you hit the faceoff circle or as you hit it, point the left stick at a 45° angle towards the opposite side of the ice. As your player cuts to the inside look for the gap over the goalie’s short-side shoulder. If you see it, take it! The gap won’t be there very long, so take advantage of the snap shot’s quick release to beat the goalie. If the gap over the goalie’s short-side shoulder is not there, look to the far-side. If you see a gap there use a wrist shot to hit the mark. The general rule of the thumb is if you are shooting short-side use a snap shot and if you are shooting far-side use a wrist shot.
- Stop Then Cut: Again, skate down your off-wing towards the offensive zone faceoff circle. Once you hit the circle stop and then skate towards the inside. Using the hustle button here is a good idea because acceleration is the key to this move. As you move towards the centre, look for that same gap over the goalie’s short-side shoulder. If you see it, use the snap shot. Now, with this move you often are too close to shoot far-side, so trying for it is generally futile, but if for some reason the goalie is having and off day, take it if it’s there.
- On-Side Short-Side: Skate down your on-wing towards the offensive zone faceoff circle. When you hit the top of the circle you want to cut slightly to the outside. While cutting hold the right stick out, preparing to release a wrist shot. When you hit the hash marks release your wrist shot over the goalie’s short-side shoulder. This shot is not as likely to go in as the two cut methods listed above, but it can still work really well. Another way to score on the on-side short-side is by doing a slight toe drag. Make sure you have a defender in front of you and when you are in the high slot pull the puck into a toe drag. DO NOT SHOOT FROM THE TOE DRAG. After holding the puck in the toe drag for a second, put it back into the wrist shot, then release it short-side. This movement of the toe drag pulls the puck out of the goalie’s field of vision and is temporarily screened by his defender. We put the puck back into the wrist shot because on the short-side it is more powerful a wrist shot than on the toe drag. I would recommend only using the toe drag when moving from on-side to off-side wing. When you make this movement you can utilize momentum and body position to place a stronger flex on the stick and thus create a wicked fast wrister.
- On-Side Far-Side: This shot is done almost exactly the same as the on-side short-side except we are aiming to the far-side. When aiming to the far-side, try to keep the left stick just above 3 o clock for lefties and 9 o clock for righties. This will place the puck between the goalie’s leg and arm. If you aim too high, then the puck can easily soar over the top of the net.
As I mentioned before the main advantage of the slap shot is its speed, but to make use of it you need to have enough space and good positioning on the goalie. The most effective way to score, especially with the slap shot is by using a screen. As a defenseman especially, you will notice a large group of players accumulate right in front of the goalie. These players are opponents attempting to clear gaps for their goalie to see, and teammates attempting to screen and deflect shots.
With this gap in front skate into a position where you can shoot around the mob. Aim your shot top shelf. There is no messing around with this one. If you have utilized the screen properly, then they goalie won’t have a prayer at stopping it. Just make sure you hit the net!
I don’t think there is anything more frustrating in this game than a deflection goal against your team. The reason being is that it only happened because you didn’t play proper defense to keep the slot clear of opponents. Now, on the other hand, it is pretty satisfying to score a deflection because they are quite rare, but they are only rare because people do not know how to properly do them.
Just like every other way of scoring, there is a science to it. The best way to deflect a puck is to have a forward skate through the mid-slot from his on-wing. By doing this, it will open up his body to easily see the puck when it is shot. Then, have a defenseman fire a low slap shot at the forward. You want to aim the shot to where the forward will be. A good way to make a deflection accessible to a forward is to use the slap dump function. This is done by holding RB or R1 while you perform a slap shot. This creates a softer slap shot that is easier to control for the forward, especially if that forward has low hand-eye attributes. The only downside to this method is that it is harder to control the direction of the shot, but with a little practice you can easily make this work for you.
If you don’t have any forwards in position for a deflection or the mob is too spread out to actually find a gap down either side, try firing a low shot through some legs. Often you’ll find the puck will pinball through the crowd, and sometimes even finds the net. If you’re really lucky you might just score a goal. You never know!
Just like I mentioned before, the programmers made it easier to score a goal on a rebound in NHL 14. The reason being is that the goalies really commit to one play. When they commit to that play they leave an area that is unguarded, and this can be exploited.
One of the most effective ways to get a rebound goal is to skate in on your on-wing towards the offensive zone faceoff circle. When you hit that circle look for a gap towards to goalie’s far pad. When you find your gap, release a soft wrist shot or a snap shot at the pad. Make sure the puck is low and that the shot is hard enough that the goalie can’t grab the puck as it comes to him. You want him to play the puck with his pad. If you placed your shot well enough and with the right speed, it should pop out the other side. Now, it is important to have another winger on the opposite side prepared for the rebound. Make sure you communicate this to your teammates so they know to prepare for it. When the puck pops out on the other side, scoop it up and fire it home. The goalie might try a ‘desperation save’, so look for this. If it is the diving one, shoot low. If it is the sprawling one, shoot high.
Another way to get the puck on net while using the right amount of power is to use a saucer pass. This will put the puck at the right speed and level for the goalie to bobble it, the only problem is that it is hard to direct a pass on net, especially a saucer pass, but practice makes perfect.
Breakaways and Penalty Shots
To get some good tips on how to score on a breakaway or penalty shot check out this page for video tutorials: Breakaways
If I were to give you any tips to beating a goalie (especially a computer goalie), it would be to use both sticks. Most players skate in and try to deke out the goalie by just using the right stick. This is definitely not enough. When you come in on the breakaway the goalie reads two things from the shooter: The puck’s position and the player’s body movement. To really deke the goalie’s jock off use both simultaneously back and forth. I would recommend push right on both sticks and then left on both sticks before shooting. This body juke causes the goalie to cheat a bit to the first deke side. Add a couple more jukes in there and you’re laughing! That goalie will have no idea what just happened.
I will tell you the one move I like to use. Skate in at an angle towards the goalie from your on-side wing. Once you hit the top of the faceoff circle coast, I then push both sticks to the backhand, then push the left stick back to the forehand while releasing the right stick to the neutral position.Tthen I take the snap shot. This typically throws the goalie off enough to squeeze the puck through.
Another one you can try is the one hander. Skate straight towards the goalie and when you hit the spot between the top of the circle and the hash marks, coast while holding LT or L2 and pulling the right stick back to a backhand toe drag. Then release both the trigger and stick to return to the forehand and press up on the right stick to release a snap shot past the goalie. This move takes a little practice to get the timing down, but you should be good to go after about 15-20 tries in practice mode.
Like I said before, mix it up. Try different shots from different areas and see what works for you. You may find great success with some methods of scoring and none with others. Stick to what you are best at. Don’t forget to get creative. Use the LT or L2 to utilize the new skating engine. This can really get you into some interesting areas in the offensive zone that you might not have reached had you not been creative.
I really hope you can utilize these strategies in whatever game mode you play.
See you out on the ice!