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02-28-2011, 12:35 PM
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The rim around the boards is the easiest breakout to defend because it's either too slow and the defense can react, or it's too hard to pickup clean and the defense can react. Teach your d-men to try and put it on your tape. Yes, lots of plays go along the boards but that's more of an "oh-****" play than what you really want.

If you're running a very basic breakout like the above with you along the halfboards, here are some options from "most likely" to "least likely", not necessarily best to worst:
  • Defender crashes you hard, you one-touch pass it to the center with speed ~10 feet from you, lateral to you or slightly defensive-side of you for a 2on2/2on1.
  • Defender crashes you hard, you chip it off the boards out of the zone as the center, with speed, picks it up behind the defender for a 2-on-1 with the other wing
  • Forechecker leaves your D continues to you chasing the puck, center is MIA/covered. Chip it back to the D where he can skate or distribute the puck
  • Defender stays at the blue-line, you turn and have time to set up a breakout
  • Everyone is covered, you are screwed. You chip it off the boards to clear the zone or down the ice for icing. At worst, you panic and throw it to the other team.
  • Defender backs up, you pick up the puck while quick-starting to get speed because it's on your tape and you leave the zone (note, if you're doing this, you need to move towards the middle of the ice or you'll get squeezed out along the boards. Also, if you're doing this in a check league, make damn sure you're not going to get clocked Kronwall style)
  • You find the far-wing open for a long cross-ice pass tape-to-tape.
  • Main options are covered, but the weakside D-man is open for a breakout pass (pretty unlikely, they generally hold hands with the goalie for some unknown reason)

In my limited experience, this breakout depends on several factors. On your side, it depends on the defenseman moving the puck QUICKLY and ACCURATELY on your tape. It depends on the primary wing looking up BEFORE the puck gets there, and having the composure not to panic. It depends on the center actually getting low in the zone (so the pass is easy) and getting close enough to the winger (so the pass is harder to intercept), as well as building speed to force the puck out. It depends on the far wing stretching the ice to create space for the breakout.

On the other side, a team with D and a Center that can anticipate this simple breakout is going to absolutely destroy any slow rim around the boards. Passes should be tape-to-tape.

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