The idea of the strong-side overload is for the defending team to basically split the ice in half.
Some teams will overload with 2 players going hard to the wall, 1 player playing just off the puck and 2 players defending the slot, but shading the strong-side.
Teams like the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks love to cycle you to death and then crash the net.
Some coaches will employ two defensemen along the boards down low and will use a forward to shade the slot, so F1 and D2 swap responsibilities. Last season the media made a fuss about the Rangers low zone strategy, which requires players to collapse around the net and block shots. In this system, four of five, or all five skaters defend home plate (protect the scoring area) by staying below the faceoff circle. Some teams will use a box+1 formation (show in the image above) while others collapse in a 2-1-2 formation (2 defenders on either post, 1 forward in the mid slot and 2 forwards just inside the face-off circles. Either way, the idea is to protect the house. If the puck is behind the net, the defense tightens up its formation to protect against plays in the slot. This system was popular prior to the 04-05 lockout, but the elimination of clutch and grab has made executing this system very difficult at The Show. Instead, some teams have adopted hybrids where D1, D2 and F1 will play man-on-man down low and F2 and F3 will collapse in the slot and play zone. There’s a lot less switching in this system and defensive breakdowns can occur if you chase your guy outside of the scoring area (a big no no).
Ultimately, it comes down to your coaching philosophy and your level of comfort with your roster. Would youse think this to be a good trade; MDZ and a prospect for O’Reilly and Erik Johnson? One thing that irked me all throughout last season, and that’s continued this season, is point man pressure. Your general duties as a wingman are to dig in the corner, feed the centermen and defence, wreak havoc in front of the other teams net, and outsmart the other teams defensemen on both ends of the rink.
The defensive zone is your teams end of the ice (the side where your goalie is in net) When you are playing in the defensive zone your team is trying to get the puck out (break out) and get into the offensive zone (the other teams end of the ice). To stop the other teams defensemen from getting the puck and getting a shot on your goalie. One of the biggest responsibilities of the winger in the defensive zone is breaking the puck out.
Carry the puck out and get a shot on net (your centermen or other winger should be there for a rebound).
Sometimes when the puck is in your corner the other teams defence will get there first, as it is their job to get the puck out. If the other team does clear the puck being closer to the blue line makes it easier to back check. Do not go into the other wingers corner unless you have learned a special drill in practice that calls for this. I like to always think of the ice as lanes, lanes for them to skate and lanes for them to pass.
When you are on the penalty kill you should think of your position more like another centermen.
When the puck is in the defensive zone most teams play in a box formation, this means your two defensemen will play down low, and the centermen and the winger play up high. Do you have any advice(s) on how to propretly cover both the shot AND the player at the point?
If it’s an offensive faceoff on the right side, I like to stand behind the centerman. Good article but they should add what to do if there is a scrabble in front of the net I always get confused to what to do.
Great article very helpful information to have as a winger but Jeremy you forgot to mention about forechecking.
You touch on the role of a winger during faceoffs a little in this article, but I think it could be expanded more.


In other situations it would be better to have the winger on the outside, lets say your centermen wins the puck cleanly back, the defence wraps the puck around the boards to the weak side and your winger picks up the puck for a breakout. This is a seriously good article – this is the sort of thing you really cannot find anywhere else. I once played with a player who may not be physically strong or fast enough for our league. Sign up for our Newsletter for more hockey tips, tricks, drills, and ways to improve your game!
I have written a guide to stickhandling accompanied with a 30 minute stickhandling training video. How to Hockey’s Favorite Hockey ProductsWe recommend these products to anyone who want's to practice their hockey skills at home. This is the single most important concept of defensive play.  If you can defend your house, you can significantly reduce scoring opportunities.
To date, we have discussed forechecking, puck possession strategies, powerplay strategies, penalty killing and face-off tactics. As you see in the image above, the defending team looks to out-number (or overload) you on the strong side of the ice, squeezing the opposition of time and space. While other teams prefer sending three guys to the wall, 1 playing off the puck and 1 protecting the slot, also shading the strong side (as seen in the image above).  Either way, the idea is to outnumber the puck on one half of the ice along the boards. However, more and more teams are adopting this style of play in certain game situations and the blocked shot totals are indicative of that. Most teams use the low zone collapse when the puck is either behind the net, or at the points.
If the puck is up at the points, some coaches will have the formation expand and get into shooting lanes, while others prefer the formation remain collapsed and block shots.
Other coaches have D1,D2, and F1 play zone in the slot and F2 and F3 will play man-on-man up high. However, once players get acclimated, it can help to create turnovers and limit the opposition’s time in your end zone. Also, by trading MDZ they add another hole in the lineup by trading their only offensive defenseman.
Specifically, the Rangers never seem to pressure opposition point men enough (whether at even strength or on the PK), while opposing teams are usually all over the Ranger point men (both at even strength and on the PP). Some of the quicker teams, like the Devils, hound our pointmen because they have the horses to do so.
When you are in the defensive zone you should generally stay between the blue line and the hash marks. When the other team has the puck you should keep a close eye on the defensemen as some times they will sneak in front of you, or move over to the center. The easiest way to get a pass is to take a few quick strides forward and take a pass at the hash marks along the boards, now your job is to break out.
Usually you will be taking a pass from the defencemen and it is then up to you to receive the pass, control the puck and either break out with it, or make a quick pass to your centremen or other winger.
If this happens you can try to take the puck from them, or tie them up and wait for your centermen to help you out. If you are on the attack you make hard passes through the neutral zone and feed the head man. Your position does not change during the power play unless you have a set play with your team.
If the puck goes into the offensive zone either you or the centremen will go in after the puck, only one man should go deep into the offensive zone, while the other hangs back near the blue line.
The idea is your formation will look like a box, and you want to keep the other team outside of the box, and take away any passing or shooting opportunities. Still, I feel like I’m lacking my D Zone and I would love to work on that this season before it hurts my team. Mark I would say both methods are correct, it all depends on the faceoff strategy you are going with.
If the opposing wingers are lined up on their respective hash marks then the strong side winger lines up inside our defenseman, weak side winger on his; and they both go through the circle to the points.


Of course every system can be beaten and nothing beats the overload better than a hard accurate pass or a defensive miscue. He also has to be aware of the weakside defensemen, who’ll likely want to pinch into the scoring area. That’s of course if the Rangers are even able to or choose to set up at the points, which is not always the case. As you get older and more skilled you can come down further and further like shown in the video.
When you are in the defensive zone the defensemen is your man, but it is also your job to accept passes from your own team members. The safest way to break out of your end is to bank a pass off of the boards to your center men who should be breaking out, or if the defensemen is right against the boards you can gently redirect the puck to your centermen, or your winger who should be cutting to center (Always look before passing because the last thing you want to do is give a one timer to the other teams defence!). Playing the puck off the boards and making yourself available to receive that pass from the defencemen is VERY important. A good trick is to put your knee between their legs and press them up against the boards, this makes it hard for them to move the puck.
This means if you get the puck out of your end you should be looking for a streaking centermen or your other winger.
Keep an eye on who has the puck, and where they might be skating to or who they might be passing to. When the other team is down a man they will play with two defensemen and two forwards, this means that on the faceoff there will one open spot. If you play good DEFENSE, the other team will have great difficulty scoring and preventing goals is easier than getting goals. Sometimes I like to faceoff on the inside and jet through the circle, the odd time I can pick up the puck, or surprise the D. Some coaches will pick a formation, but will want the players being more passive or aggressive depending on game situation, matchups, etc. As a winger you will mostly play on your side of the ice, right wing will play up and down the right side of the ice (to the right of the centermen at faceoff) and the left wing will play on the left side. Another option is to carry the puck out yourself, don’t try anything to fancy because if you mess up and the other team scores it will be very embarrassing.
If the puck is in your corner you have a few options, the most common and usually the best options are. If there are no options try to break into their end, and if that is not an option just cross the red line and dump the puck in (then chase it, or get a line change). This means your role during the face off is to either get the puck, or stop the other team from getting it. This means if you are on the open wing, and the centremen wins the faceoff to you, you will have some time to skate with the puck and set up a play.
If you were to faceoff on the side closest to the boards then the side closest to the center would be wide open, and give the other team more of an advantage if they win the faceoff. I think Torts will allow our defense to attack the points more next year if we can keep our guys together this offseason.
I would like to better understand the different break-out scenarios based on each defensive scheme. If your team mate has the puck and you are breaking out skate for open ice and try to get that lead pass. Talk to your centermen before the faceoff because he usually has a devious plan as to what he is going to do with the puck. Most face offs involve winning the puck back to the defensemen, when this happens your job is to tie up your man so your defensemen has time to make a play. Sometimes the centermen will pole the puck forward and have you pick it up with speed, or the centremen could tie up the other centermen and have you get the puck. I’ve watched several of your videos on skating, stick handling, and shooting, and it really helped me be more prepared.



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