What are Offensive Plays?
When a Defenseman heads back to retrieve a puck below the goal line for a Break Out, a defined range of positive offensive plays are possible, each with a varying degree of advantage created. The Defenseman might:
Carry the puck the length of the ice, evade several players, shoot and score.
Carry it the length of the ice, create a 2v1 advantage, and make a perfect saucer pass to a teammate who is left with an open net.
Turn and make a pass to a teammate at the far blue line to create a breakaway.
Carry the puck to the neutral zone and make a pass to create a 3v2.
Evade two hard forecheckers, make a pass to his centerman near the defensive zone blue line, trapping the forecheckers.
Take a hit, protect the puck, read that his winger is covered and make a backhand pass to his centerman.
When attempting these offensive plays, there is risk involved. The primary risk is turning the puck over to the opposition. Turnovers are negative offensive plays, which we refer to as the cost of offense. Some players make a lot of positive offensive plays but also make a lot of turnovers; those players carry a high cost of offense. This makes up part of their Offensive Player Profile.
The same Break Out situation can result in negative offensive plays if the Defenseman:
Carries the puck in front of his own net, where it gets poked off his stick and into his own net.
Under pressure, tries a blind pass in front of his own net, where it is one timed by the opposition into the net .
Attempts to carry the puck out of the zone as the last man back, gets stripped of the puck, conceding a breakaway to the opposition.
Attempts a stretch pass to the far blue line which gets picked off, resulting in a 2v2 against.
Has plenty of time and space, rims the puck blindly, turning it over to an opposing forechecker.
Takes too long to make a pass to his D partner resulting in his partner getting hit and losing possession of puck.
All of these plays, and the resulting advantages or disadvantages, fall under defined ranges of the TRUPERFORMANCE Index. Over the course of a shift, game, and season, each player will make a number of offensive plays. These PLAYS, positive and negative, add up to generate part of the Offensive Player Profile.
Photo: Steven Kingsman/Icon Sportswire
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