Last night’s game between the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs was not one that would make a lot of coaches happy. It was great fun to watch as a fan, as mass quantities of defensive lapses led to sacks-full of legitimate scoring opportunities, but anyone breaking down film of that game would have days of work ahead of them.
For my part, I’ll be looking at two similar plays. In both cases, the d-man tries to slide to break up a 2-on-1 (sort of, we’ll get there). One does it well, the other…well, we’re doing a Systems Analyst post of the goal, so you guess how it goes.
First off, the d-man slide:
A defenseman’s job on a 2-on-1 is to take the pass (despite how I’d like to see it played). Standing, he has the length of two feet and a stick-blade to stop the puck with. If he times a slide right, he has six feet of lane blocked, and a higher (and wider) frame to have to sauce the puck over. So, the key is timing.
You want so drop around the moment that it’s decision time for the player, and slide backwards off the inside post (as sliding backwards and taking out your own goalie is a pretty terrible defensive play).
First, we’ll look at Cody Franson doing it against Casey Cizikas. The play eventually results in a goal, but whatever, he did all he could on the 2-on-1. Read the rest of this entry »