This Week’s NHL Hockey 101 Highlights | 11/30/14
This is a new weekly feature that I’ve come up with that details the play-by-play of the top 5 great plays from highlights that I pick around the League. It’s a great way for all of us to learn how hockey systems work and how players think.
5. Chicago Blackhawks @ Vancover Canucks (11/23/14)
Hawks’ Kris Versteeg ties the game at 1 on the man-advantage.
Versteeg’s PP goal comes at the 2:53 into the video. This goal shows the importance of just getting pucks to the net and having bodies at the net in front of the goaltender providing either a screen or a deflection, or even just whacking home a rebound. At the 2:49 mark, Blackhawks’ forward Patrick Kane (#88) works the puck along the boards to defenseman Brent Seabrook, who’s set up at the point along the offensive blue line. It’s important to notice Patrick Sharp (#19) supporting the play and being ready at any time the puck gets intercepted. Seabrook then passes the puck to defenseman Duncan Keith along the blue line. Meanwhile, at this time (although you won’t notice until after the shot is fired), Kris Versteeg’s already established body position at the net looking for a deflection. Surely enough, Keith blasts the rolling puck from the point and Versteeg deflects it home past Ryan Miller to tie the game at 1 on the PP. Again, note the importance of just getting the puck to the net and — if you’re the team mate — making sure you have established body position in front of the opposing goalie.
4. Arizona Coyotes @ Anaheim Ducks (11/23/14)
Keith Yandle cuts the Ducks’ lead to 1.
Unfortunately this video doesn’t show how the whole thing is played out, but basically Arizona Captain and forward Shane Doan (#19) rims the puck from the point behind the net to the eventual goal-scorer defenseman Keith Yandle (#3). Yandle tries to make a cross-crease pass to Antoine Vermette (#50), but it ends up back at the point where it’s kept in the offensive zone by Milan Michalek. Michalek then rims it back behind the net to Martin Erat (#10) who backhands a pass to Yandle for the one-timer in the slot area. What’s the key here? Puck recovery. Yandle tried to set Vermette up for a shot on goal in the slot area but because they couldn’t connect, the puck would have gotten out of the zone had Michalek not recovered it in time. Nice puck recovery and pressure to cut Anaheim’s lead in half.
3. Montreal Canadiens @ New York Rangers (11/23/14)
Carl Hagelin makes it 4-0.
This goal happens because of some nice passing between rookies Kevin Hayes and Anthony Duclair, and of course Carl Hagelin finishing it off with the one-timer. At 11:22 of the video, Hayes receives a pass in the Neutral Zone from the New York Rangers’ Defensive Zone. He skates into the Offensive Zone and chips the puck to himself past the Habs’ Douglas Murray (#6). He then pivots and sees Duclair trailing into the zone.
Duclair kicks the puck up to his stick and is going to skate into the slot area where Hagelin is skating for net position with #77, Tom Gilbert, on him.
Eventually, it’s a cross-crease pass by Duclair to Hagelin for the one-timer. 4-0 Rangers.
2. Ottawa Senators @ Detroit Red Wings (11/24/14)
Riley Sheahan gives Detroit their first lead of the game on the power play.
This goal is all about driving the net for the rebound. It’s pretty simple. Tomas Tatar skates into the Neutral Zone at 5:13 of the video and keeps skating into the Offensive Zone. He shoots a hard slapper on net. Sens goalie Craig Andersen stops it, but leaves the rebound wide open for Sheahan to one-time it home. Andersen can’t stop it and it’s 2-1 Wings. Again, drive to the net and good things will happen.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins @ Boston Bruins (11/24/14)
Milan Lucic ties the game at 1.
This was just a beautiful play from top to bottom. At 6:27 of the video, Carl Soderberg has the puck in Boston’s defensive zone. He skates with it into the offensive zone and backhands a drop pass to Loui Eriksson. Meanwhile, Milan Lucic — the eventual goal scorer — is driving the net and getting into position.
Eventually, Eriksson’s going to be in the slot area and passing the puck to Lucic, and the rest is history. Great play though, and great finish.