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Hi Tom and hockey coaches - great site.

I have a question regarding DZC. Can someone explain to me what most high level teams in junior and professional do for DZC. Do coaches still use the terminology box +1 or is that become outdated and is new language/terminology being used . I am curious what language coaches are using to explain to the players DZC and any new trends. I see a lot of info out there that is pretty basic but nobody really has got that in depth on breaking the DZC in the new modern game. What has changed in the NHL since the rule changes in how they teach DZC to defenseman and forwards? I hear a lot of language by hockey commentators during games talking about staying between the dots, lining up with the dots, zone coverage and man to man coverage and what to do off the cycle but I have not completely understood it and just get bite size pieces. It seems as if the coaches use a lot of markings on the ice in the D zone to mark positions for forward and defense to discourage confusion? I would appreciate it if someone could get kind of detailed and break down the positioning in an advanced manner for high level players and explain the latest terminology and how they use markings on the ice and all that is being taught for DZC.

Thanks,

Pat

   
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The terminology may change, but there are essential coverage responsibilities in the D-Zone that won't. In my limited knowledge you will always have to protect the high scoring area, that being from the posts to the dots to above the circles. The Flames used to refer to that part of the ice as "The House". The present day Flyers call it 'Home Plate". In any event, you need puck pressure, net coverage and slot coverage to do so. Where the other players are and where they are about to go has much to do with your Defensive alignment. When any of the down low D-Zone players gets pulled out of the scoring area, you may want to devise some sort of rotation to reoccupy that space. I think that good Defensive Zone Coverage is displayed by teams that read well and anticipate - after all, you do need to break out when the puck is regained - and that is what makes Hockey so great, the ongoing transitions. I would strongly suggest that you read Hockey Coaching ABC's by Tom Molly & Jusso Wahlsten. Listening to commentators on TV or reading manuals published by USA Hockey and Hockey Canada may leave you still searching for direction. . .

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hockeytexcan,
I think there have been some big changes in the D zone coverage since they started calling the rules. When I coached men's university hockey we would stop the cycle by pinning the puck carrier to the boards with the lasso around the body and knee between the legs, push the elbow with the free hand and holding him for about 3 seconds. Lots of players relied on the can opener because once you got the stick between a players legs he was useless. In the 90's the kid's coming from major junior added smashing the players head into the glass with the fore arm just for good measure. (I remember asking a recent graduate from the WHL what the hell this driving the head into the glass was all about. Lyle responded "Everyone does that in the DUB."

D zone coverage now requires a lot more contain skating with the stick on the puck and then body on body. Always remaining on the defensive side. Shortcuts result in penalties, especially when you can't reel the puck carrier in like a big tuna when he beats you.

The Scotty Bowman style of the strong side winger being able to touch the Dman with his stick has changed to players collapsing into a tight box in the slot. It is still man on and a box behind but the D in front is more likely to move below the goal line to cut off the pass to a player behind than to stand in front and react later. So it is a lot more man to man with the 2 D and F! low. When the neither D is in front the weak side forward, F2 has low slot coverage in front but still must be able to move out to the point if the puck goes there or pick the middle D up if he back doors.

So great skating is critical. Being able to transition skate front to back, back to front with the stick on the puck and be agile on the skates is critical.

Also overloading the corner is becoming more popular where if the other team dumps the puck in one D is on the puck, one D is below the goal line taking the pass behind or low cycle away and one F on the boards taking the cycle up the boards away. F1 will be near the faceoff dot for an outlet. Watch teams like Detroit do this, especially when one short.

Teams now will give you the pass to the point and F2 or F3 are responsable to block it. The pants and shin pads get better all the time with the shin protection wrapping around the leg. This takes a lot of the pain out of blocking shots (fear).

I am sure I have missed some things and invite other coaches to contribute. Pops, thanks for the kind words.


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Registered: 06/25/08
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Hi Tom, Dean and Other coaches.

What are the rules or cues for F2 and F3 in Man On And Box Behind DZC, when opposite D's are switching places or they play high cycle?
D in OZ are becoming more and more active in cycles in Finland, Sweden and I think in rest of Europe too. There is alot of depth and wideness in the offensive zone systems.


Kai

   
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Registered: 06/10/09
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Good question Kai. I have been gone a few days attending my daughters graduation ceremony for her english degree. Just got home. I needed two big Red Bulls to drive home without dozzing off at the wheel.

I saw teams in Europe using the D as part of the attack on their side instead of all three forwards on the same side. One forward stays on the weak side a lot of the time. (we had a system like that in Salzburg and my Tsunami system and Pounce also have the D as part of the attack on their side) It causes problems here because the weak side F has the wide wing and point to cover.

My view is that it is man to man coverage. If the D goes in then the forward covering that point has to go with him. If the other D slides over to the strong side then the high forward stays with him but collapsed in the mid slot ready to move out. The weak side D is responsible for the weak side forward. So it is D1, F1, F3 covering their two F's and one D.. F2 in the mid slot between the strong side point and the goal and ready to move out if the puck goes there.

Playing a balanced style like this on offense where the D are more like midfielders in soccer football requires different coverage than if all three forwards are in a triangle on the puck side like in the NHL final now where the two D and the F1 low play man to man always pressure on the puck carrier and inside the dots and on the defensive side when they are outside the slot. The weak side forward has net front and mid point responsibility.

I hope I have given a understandable answer. Better if we had a whiteboard. Most NA coaches haven't seen the attack you are talking about.


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Kai, I am interested to read how you play in your Dzone.


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I'm with Tom to a certain point about man-to-man, but only if the D moves vertically down the boards does our F2 (board point defender in our system) follow the D down the wall with the high cycle.

If the D1 goes horizontally across and switch along the blue line with D2 than we stay zone or F3 (weak-side pt/high slot) comes out to play the puck with F2 sinking into the high slot depending on where the puck is. I prefer this way b/c it does a better job of keeping a defender between the puck and the net. I've seen the opposing D get a step on F2 and into the slot without too much difficulty if our slot guy goes with the other defenseman as in a straight man-to-man.

BTW-we play man-on, box-behind and pack the house.

And yes, this would be easier with a white-board. Smile

   
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Registered: 10/14/11
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Yes it would be great if we could add some diagrams.

We are going to use man-on and box-behind. We are still doing some research and try to tweak the system to match these really flexible and "no position" cycles where sometimes the offensive player without the puck might cycle from NZ or both of the Ds join the cycle.

I'll try to add diagrams or if I find some good video clips I'll send links to them.

I'll keep you posted.


Kai

   
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Kai, diagrams or video clips would be good.

The sort of cycle I saw in Austria was:
RW, C, RD cycling on the right side with the LD supporting at the right side behind them and the LW going to the front of the net or ready to cover the mid point if they lost possession. So 4 players are on offense and one at the point.

So the question is does the defender who covers the RD stay with his man and defend the cycle while the RD keeps track of the attacking LW on the weak side and the Defender who originally covered the LD slide across with him OR do the two D and low forward switch and play 3-3 vs C, RW, RD and the original two high defenders stay on their sides and cover the LD at the strong side point and the LW who is going from the point to behind the goal line.

I will switch computers to the one I have TC whiteboard on and draw it.


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Here is my view of what is being discussed.

Dzone Coverage vs 4 Deep

To simplifiy I will put defenders in traditional positions in the diagram.

Option A:
- Man on Original Man

Option B
Weakside F net coverage and Two D and low F cover the low 3-3 cycle.


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Hi all,

Sorry, this took so long to post.

So here are two diagrams on how to cycle D on OZ plays. These plays are commonly in use here (at least FIN and SWE)
Any idea how to defend these in 1 on + box behind. or in zone coverage, because against man on man coverage this works really well.

Kai
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Kai, I haven't seen the first part where the strong side D goes down to the dot then switches with the middle D but I have seen the F go up the boards and exchange the puck with the D who comes down.

With man to man defense you would be running around a lot.

This is what I think would work the best. The strong side F defending drop down when the D sktates to the dot but remain on the strong side when that D goes to the middle point and switch coverage with the middle F. So that F just goes down and back up to the top of the circle.
hen the offensive F skates up the boards with the puck the strong side D stay with him. The strong side F who is still on the same side has to cover the D who gets the puck but stay on the inside allowing the offensive F and his D to go by. The D has to stick with the F after he drops the puck.

Those are my thoughts. So a combined man to man zone starting with one on and a box behind.
Tom
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Kai

   
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Registered: 06/10/09
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Kai,

During your Option 2... You have the D2 cheating to the strong side. Im curious, when teams do this, where is F3? Lots of teams we see place F3 in that high circle area on the strong side.

   
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Registered: 02/24/10
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Sorry, my diagram was not that good. Actually It's a one play in two parts/ diagrams. I attach new

Eric, here F3 is on the weak side.


Kai

   
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okay... That makes sense now.... I could imagine that would be hard to defend. Are you guys on an olympic size rink? I would think that it would take a little while to develop that who sequence and the extra room would help

   
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Here is a clip of a Finnish youth practice led by Jukka Jalonen where they end the breakout, attack drill with a high cycle and drop to the D.

I love the way they automatically skate to the big ice between the dots when they get the puck.
http://www.hockeycoachingabcs.com/mediagallery/media.php?f=0&sort=0&s=20121028211245159


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It would be great if other coaches give there thoughts on Kai's question.


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Quote by: Kai K

Hi all,

Sorry, this took so long to post.

So here are two diagrams on how to cycle D on OZ plays. These plays are commonly in use here (at least FIN and SWE)
Any idea how to defend these in 1 on + box behind. or in zone coverage, because against man on man coverage this works really well.

Kai
----------------------------------------------------------
Kai, I haven't seen the first part where the strong side D goes down to the dot then switches with the middle D but I have seen the F go up the boards and exchange the puck with the D who comes down.

With man to man defense you would be running around a lot.

This is what I think would work the best. The strong side F defending drop down when the D sktates to the dot but remain on the strong side when that D goes to the middle point and switch coverage with the middle F. So that F just goes down and back up to the top of the circle.
hen the offensive F skates up the boards with the puck the strong side D stay with him. The strong side F who is still on the same side has to cover the D who gets the puck but stay on the inside allowing the offensive F and his D to go by. The D has to stick with the F after he drops the puck.

Those are my thoughts. So a combined man to man zone starting with one on and a box behind.
Tom
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Tom , Kai

First I'm assuming this play has been used on your team before and you're trying to find the best way to defend..
Interesting play.
This play if I'm correct try's to create confussion. Creates a brief 3 on2 high. Offensive F1 is trying to draw movement with him.
Tom question for you on what you posted.
If the strong D stays with F1 and strong side F plays the drop.
Would the strong side F get caught flat footed with speed from offensive D2 from behind when he picks up the drop.?
Strong side F has to briefly watch offensive D1 when he cuts to the middle, because if he doesn't D1 gets the pass.

Could you have strong side D call "switch" with strong side F. D releases and F picks F1 up.
If you don't F1 is causing strong side D to screen strong side F briefly at the point of drop .

This is like a lacrosse play.
Kai how do you defend this play?

Any other coaches?

RookieCoach
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Rookie Coach: They could switch but remember the D is skating hard toward the blue line with F1 so would be way behind D2 when he gets the puck. If he isn't chasing hard then a switch would be effective. It looks like a difficult play to defend.
Good one Kai.- Tom

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Wow ...um so I hope none of my opponents are looking at this thread. I don't have any good ideas for defending this, which is scary. I'm really gonna have to think on this one. It looks a lot like a typical basketball play, only it would take great agility and explosiveness to be able to make the switch to the speedy D2 on the ice like you would on a court. Great question.
Dave

   
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