1. Soft support when puck moves up the half wall
One of the biggest defensive zone breakdowns happens when the opposing team moves the puck from the corner, up the boards to the half wall. Chances are that the strong side defenseman was pressuring hard when the puck was in the corner and in an aggressive frenzy, continues to chase the puck up the wall. At this point, the defenseman is now doing the centerman’s job and will be overstepping onto the strong side wingers responsibility as the puck goes toward the point. The ability to think in terms of quadrants and understand pressure, versus support responsibilities is the key to all defensive zone success. The decision to stop pressuring/pursuing the puck and jump back onto the D side of the puck for support has to happen ahead of time. Watching the opposing forward walk toward the hash marks and then deciding to get back to the defensive side of the puck is too late. The minute the forward has control of the puck and any carrying momentum, the strong side D needs to get a jump toward the faceoff dot.
2. Leaving the front of the net when puck switches corners
- 5 Top Things Every Winger Needs to Be Effective in the Defensive Zone
- Troy Smith – Developing Defensemen
- Jim Playfair – Defensemen Details
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