Sunday, January 3, 2010

Anatomy of a Goal: Crisp Passing


Everyone raves about how the Predators are a hard working team.  Very true.  The Preds, however, are a really good passing team as well.  Who cares?  You do.  Well, crisp passes move faster than the fast skaters.  In this edition of Anatomy of a Goal, lets see how solid passing makes Preds' opponents look silly, in Arnott's game-winner.   Don't forget to vote at the bottom to let me know how impressive you think this play is.

[Need help with all the arrow's and circles and nonsense?  Check out the new AOAG Legend.]

The Breakdown: Four Passes, Eight Seconds, One Goal.

1. Shea Weber (D, #6) begins the play in the defensive zone, making the first pass ("Good Pass #1") to defensive partner Ryan Suter (D, #20).

2.  Patric Hornquist (RW, #27) breaks toward the top of the screen.  Hornqvist will fill the void created by the Anaheim player moving forward to forecheck Suter.

3.  Suter receives Good Pass #1, and waits until the defender is on top of him.  He then sends a long bomb pass ("Good Pass #2") down ice to Hornqvist.  Weber breaks quickly down ice.

4.  Good Pass #2 = Long Bomb to Hornqvist.  He does a great job of collecting the pass.

The star means this is the "Play of the Play", IMHO.  That means that it was this play that was the most crucial in setting up the goal.  

5.  Hornqvist also waits until the defender is on him, and then fires a hard, crisp, accurate pass.  This Good Pass #3 goes directly to the spot where Weber will be. Tape-to-tape.  Weber is full speed and catches the pass in stride.  

6.  The Anaheim defender moves up to make a play on Weber and the puck.  

7.  Because Weber receives Good Pass #3 at full speed, he is able to make a quick move and blow by the Anaheim defender.  Weber's speed forces the defender to turn around.  Thus, the Predators are able to enter the zone with speed, instead of dumping-and-chasing.

[Entering the zone with speed is critical to setting up the offense.  It is much easier than getting the puck deep and having to race behind the net to reestablish possession].

8.  Because of the speed of entering the zone, the both Anaheim defenders cheated toward Weber.  Weber makes the Good Pass #4 to Jason Arnott (C, 19).  Arnott has a direct shooting lane because both defenders played Weber.  Good Pass #4 is tape-to-tape, allowing Arnott to fire a quick wrist shot.

Good Pass #4 forces the Anaheim goalie to move quickly from his left to right.  Arnott's quick shot is able to go over the goalie's shoulder for the game winning goal.

The Video

The Poll

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