Ok, a lot of teams make the mistake of allowing their defenseman to hang back at center ice or more towards their defensive blueline because the other team might be a little faster or the other team is using a "Cherry Picker". This is a bad tactic to play. Why?

First, if you are in the attacking zone and your defenseman are hanging back, this means that you are in the attacking zone with only 3 players against their 5 players. You might as well take those 2 defenseman and have them sit the bench for extra rest. Why? well, they are not doing you any good sitting at center ice just because you feel the other team might have a start on you. This is not good defense.

Ok, so what's the difference? If you have the defenseman move up to the blue line, it allows the defenseman to maintain the pressure on the defending team. If your defenseman hang at center ice, it allows the defending team to have an easy breakout with no pressure.

If your forwards are in the attacking zone and the other team gets control of the puck for a breakout..where's the pressure? Normally if the puck comes around the boards, the attacking defenseman can rush towards the puck and pinch, then push the puck back behind the net. This is where the pressure comes in.

Statistically speaking, the defensing team only has 8 second to get the puck out. after that 8 second, the odd of getting scored on becomes great. But, you can't score goals when it 5 against 3 in the attacking zone.

Ok, so that if you have 5 guys in the attacking zone and the other team is using a "Cherry Picker" out at center ice...then what? Well, again, this would be like playing with a man short because of a penalty. If the other team wants to cherry pick...let them. This means that now you have to change your tactical mode into a Power Play situation and set up in an outer perimeter with two high, two on the board sides and one set up behind the net...like a star pattern.

Then you keep the puck moving from player to player within the attacking zone, until the other team realizes that they have an idiot standing out at center ice. Once they figure it out (hopefully not too late) they will switch into a defensive box to protect their area.

However, most teams panic when there is a cherry picker out at center ice and they forget that they have the man advantage in the attacking zone. Instead of switching into a Power Play mode, they are more focused on the cherry picker and that's what the coach of the other teams wants you to do...be focused on the cherry picker.

However, you have to stay clam, cool, and under control. Now is not the time to panic. Now is the time to score an easy goal because the other coach is desperate.

So, don't be afraid to come up to the blue line to add pressure while you attack. This is why you have to practice on your "one timer" passing, which is also known as a "kiss" pass. In this type of attacking, "Tape to Tape" passing is the key to success.

The team that controls the puck the most...wins!

Head coach