Back Up the D, Yes; Back Off the Puck Carrier, No

In general, I'm a fan of staying up at my point. I can cycle*, sort of, but I'm totally fine with staying high most of the time in the defensive zone. I'm not great at getting control of the puck when it comes out to the point, but I'm fairly decent defensively and can usually block a shot or keep my check from doing much other than popping the puck forward blindly.

More importantly, by staying high I'm not clogging up the slot and causing confusion, and I'm backing up the opposing D if we get control of the puck. (This is something Billy taught us; by moving out of the defensive zone aggressively, we force the D to back up instead of trying to hold the blue line.)

It also happens that I'm a fan of forechecking. I've forced lots of turnovers by forechecking in the offensive zone, some of which have even resulted in goals. I usually *don't* forecheck in the defensive zone, for the reason stated above: namely, I'm covering the point and trying to avoid clogging up the slot and confusing our D. There are exceptions, however, and this is one:

The girl carrying the puck was their slowest, most tentative player, and yet we kept backing up whenever she got the puck. Maybe it was her strange skating style that froze us all (we tended to stop and stare at her, slack-jawed), but whatever it was, I finally got sick of just letting her walk around unchallenged. I left my point and and skated straight at her, offensive-zone forechecking-style... and she passed to Carol. :-)

*Incidentally, this video also shows me cycling a bit; Carol had come up to the point at the beginning of the clip, so I'd covered the slot. We switched when the D sent the puck around the boards.

Posted by Lori in Freeze ~ Fall/Winter 2008 | December 30, 2008·10:47 AM