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Coachspeak from A to Z
Posted: Monday September 27, 1999 07:23 PM
By Pierre McGuire, CNN/SI
Aggressive Box : Penalty killing scheme deployed to hinder the offensive teams chances to make nifty plays on the power play. Defenders move toward puck-handlers and force them to move the puck.
Changing the point of attack : This just refers to moving the puck quickly and smartly from player to player.
Closing down the shooting lane : Defensive players do this by getting in the way of an offensive shooter's avenue to the net. This tactic forces the attacking player to decide between having his shot blocked or perhaps shooting the puck wide.
Cycle : Type of offensive set-up used down low (below the faceoff dots) in the offensive zone. Teams like to cycle with two or three forwards circling in either the corners or around the net. This system of creating offense is often capable of breaking down man-to-man coverage.
Passive Box : Penalty killing scheme deployed to limit the attacking team's chances to pounce on rebounds. It allows shots from the point, but very little else.
Matchups : Coaches like to create line matchups -- a checking line versus a scoring line, for instance -- in order to manage a game. Remember that the home team has the advantage with the last change before every faceoff.
Neutral Zone : The area between the two bluelines.
Sin Bin : The penalty box.
Stick and Pin : Coaches tell their defenders this all the time. It means hitting an offensive player into the boards and pinning him there until the puck is picked up by one of the defender's teammates.
Strong Side : The area where the puck is being carried. The strong side can become the weak side very quickly.
Support Mode Defense : Type of defense deployed when a team is deep in their own zone. If someone gets beat by a player with the puck, he has help in the form of another defensive player to support him.
Time and Space : Offensive players try to create this as much as possible, by moving the puck sharply to different parts of the ice and moving to available space, while defenders try and take it away by anticipating where a pass or a player is going. Creating time and space allows you to play the game at your pace.
Traffic : Teams want to create traffic in front of the opposition's goal by crowding the crease, hopping on rebounds, screening the goaltender and preoccupying defenders, while limiting the amount of traffic in front of their own goal.
Train Wreck : A term referring to what a coach wants to see when one of his forechecking players has a chance to make contact with an opposition defenseman or forward.
Transition game : Can only happen when a turnover is created. A teams ability to go from defense to offense or visa versa.
Trap : A form of neutral zone play that is done to create turnovers and protect your defense from speedy rushes.
Up-ice pressure : A tactic deployed sometimes when a team is a man down. It is used to cause havoc for the attacking team by not allowing them easy penetration into the defender's zone.
Weak side coverage : The area away from the puck. Sometimes the most dangerous area is the weak side because defenders aren't always prepared for the players who can break out of that area.
Zamboni : Ice-resurfacing machine.
Former NHL coach Pierre McGuire is now a Sports Illustrated special contributor and appears regularly during the NHL season on CNN/Sports Illustrated.
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