Defensive Zone Face off

The Defensive zone face off presents interesting strategic challenges.   Their are many setups and theories but the arrangement and strategy described below works well for beginning and intermediate teams.  There are three diagrams below which show positioning and how to cover the attacking team.  They are not animated as it is necessary to show all the skaters.

The attacking team is brown and sets up in the traditional offensive position (Figure 1.)  The defending team, in green, sets up as shown below.  The Green Left Defense covers the brown wing, the center covers the brown center and the green Right Defense covers the brown Wing.  The green Left Wing, Left Defense and Right wing form a close triangle.  They must allow the goalie to have a clean view of the draw.  This close formation prevents the brown team from crashing the nets.

Face-off1a

Figure 1

Figure 2 shows the coverage points for the Right and Left Wings if the brown team wins the draw.  This coverage also has the advantage that the green Right Wing will be moving quickly toward the point.  On the way, the wing can move quickly behind the brown center and stop a shot if either brown wing has moved behind the brown Center.

 

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Figure 2

If the green team wins the draw it is the responsibility of the green Right Defense or the Right Wing to retrieve the puck on the boards and start the break out.  This is illustrated in Figure 3.

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Figure 3

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