HOW TO PLAY OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE SITUATIONS FROM A 1 ON 1 TO A 3 ON 3
During a game the player is faced with many situations that he must solve. In most cases the defender has the advantage because of the goal tender. For the defender a 1 on 1 situation is really a 1 on 2 etc. This is why communication between the goalie and his team-mates is critical in order to maintain this advantage.
1 ON 1 SITUATIONS
1 - 1 offense
The goal is to have the puck carrier become a threat to score and force the defender to challenge him instead of allowing the defender to dictate the play.
In an outside lane, attack from the side of defender and use change of pace and big moves. At the offensive blue line read if the defender gives up the blue line. If he backs in, cut inside, if he stands up or is slow then go wide.
Using various moves, and speeds forces the defender to think of various ways to defend and this slows his reaction and gives the attacker the advantage.
1 - 1 defense
Try to stop the attacker as far as possible from the defensive zone.
The goal is prevent the attacker from getting a shot from the slot.
If attacker is very fast give room wide rather than back in.
When the attacker is in an outside lane turn when he is parallel to you and flare out square to attacker, then angle him to the corner and finish.
Stay on defensive side blocking way to net or angling attacker into corner.
If the attacker delays you must stay with him and continue 1-1 beating him back to the net if he passes.
1 ON 2 SITUATION
1 - 2 offense
If defensemen are parallel try to go between, they get confused about who they are covering.
Get puck in deep or shoot on the net if challenged.
Gain the blue line and wait for support.
1 - 2 defense
Strong side man play 1-1
Weak side man check to see who next player entering zone will be, if it is a backchecker then come across and play body on the puck carrier, strong side defender support, if an opponent is the next player coming, stay in your lane as it is really a slow developing 2-2.
2 ON 1 SITUATION
2 - 1 offensively
Challenge the defenceman and use forehand passes whenever possible. This forces the goalkeeper to expect either a shot or pass and creates good passing angles.
"One high one low one fast one slow," is a poem to remember about not allowing the defenseman to stay in between you and your partner.
Puck carrier must be a threat so defender cannot overplay pass.
Make first pass by the top of the slot, this makes second play possible
Attack as quickly as possible to eliminate back checkers
Stay in middle of attackers, skating in a line toward the near post, delay play as much as possible, goalie take the shooter defender deny the pass.
When the defender is in good postition then make a fake toward the puck carrier; this causes many players to drop their head and shoot or panic and pass when the D is in good position to intercept.
After a shot from the wide lane the defender should tie up the stick of the attacker going to the net.
The most dangerous attacker is in the middle of the ice; so play him.
Don't allow puck carrier to break in post to post but go to him if he cuts in.
On trailer in middle lane line up with trailer and rush him with the stick in the passing lane when a trailer pass is made.
2 ON 2 SITUATION
2 - 2 offense
Isolate one defender and create a 2 on 1, and then go wide or pick, cross or cross and drop. A drop pass and pick or a pick and role can also be used.
Sometimes two quick diagonal passes will create openings.
2 - 2 defense
From the defensive point of view a 2 on 2 is really two 1 on 1"s. Remember that the puck carrier is not the most dangerous attacker but the pass receiver is. This means the weak side defenceman must concentrate on the potential pass receiver and leave the puck carrier for his partner.
Try to establish an angle on the puck carrier as soon as possible. If you have an angle stay with the puck carrier. If no angle then switch when puck is high and play a 1 on 1 when it is deep.
The key to defensive play is to play as tight a gap as possible while skating backwards facing the opponent from the defensive side. If you approach the opponent too quickly then the defender will lose defensive side positioning and have to check from behind.
3 ON 1 SITUATION
3 - 1 offense
Attack as quickly as possible with the first pass made before top of slot.
Use crosses and picks with the third man going to post.
Puck carrier must be a threat.
3 - 1 defense
Stay in the middle and delay the play, keeping skates in the lateral passing lane and maintain this positioning when puck is high.
Attack shooter on a trailer pass when puck is in mid to low slot with stick in lane of most dangerous pass.
Take stick of attacker at the post after a wide shot.
3 ON 2 SITUATION
3 - 2 offense
Attack as quickly as possible and set up a 2-1 versus one defender.
Puck carrier try to go to net and force the defender to play you.
If defenders have backed in cross and drop or cross and pick.
On a straight attack the second attacker skate to the post, on a cross the third attacker skates to the post.
3 - 2 defensemen
Delay the attack and try to stand up at blue line.
Weak side defender take one attacker to the post and strong side defender play the 2-1 and pressure the third man if a trailer pass is made to the middle.
3 ON 3 SITUATION
3 - 3 offense
Play the same as the 3 on 2.
3 - 3 defense
Get as tight a gap as possible through the neutral zone.
Communicate and identify who is covering who by the red line.
If the back checking forward has an angle on the puck carrier he should finish the check; if the attacker is too far ahead then pick up the trailer.
If the first backchecker is tracking the puck carrier and giving back pressure the defense can stand up and the forward pick up the loose puck on a hit or pursue a soft dump in. F2 the second forward back must then pick up the trailer and F3 the mid high slot to cover both points initially.
If the back checker has picked up the weak side forward, then the weak side defenseman play a 2 on 2 on the strong side.
Take the attackers all the way to the net, stay on the defensive side and control their sticks.