*All gifs made at MakeAGif.com
The day after games, I will usually pick out a goal to breakdown for all of you. For this version of ‘Stop It Right There,’ I have a couple other plays to show you before I dive into the goal.
Stop it right there: Vincent Lecavalier and Brayden Schenn converge to the puck.
This play was one of several chances the Flyers had to score. I chose to breakdown this play because it illustrates the results of good forechecking.
Good forechecking is all about turning up the pressure on the opposition in their defensive zone. A good forecheck usually results in increased offensive time and more scoring chances. While this play will not come up on the scoresheet, it shows how a team can generate pressure by simply challenging the puck carrier.
Wayne Simmonds winds the puck into the corner where it is picked up by one of the Flames players. He tries to backhand the puck to the opposite corner, but Lecavalier reads the play and cuts off the pass. Schenn, realizing Lecavalier’s intentions, transitions and gives him a target in front of the net. Lecavalier passes to Schenn who is stopped by Reto Berra. This chance reminded me of Schenn’s first goal of the season against the Maple Leafs.
Stop it right there. Fowards bunched up.
Yes, this rush did lead to a scoring chance, but watching it made me cringe. Sean Couturier, Steve Downie and Matt Read all head up the ice together…less than six feet apart from each other. The Flyers had four men to the Flames’ two defensemen. Numbers are your friend in hockey, and when a four-on-two develops, the players need to spread out and stretch the defense. This gives the puck carrier wider passing lanes.
Couturier did a good job driving the net, and Mark Streit made a great slap pass. Berra just made a better save. If the forwards had spread out this may have been the Flyers’ first goal of the afternoon.
Stop it right there. Andrej Meszaros’ pinch.
As a defenseman, pinching can be one of the more difficult choices. There is so much to take into account in such a short amount of time.
Meszaros has found his offensive game since the month of January, and he made this goal happen. During this sequence, Meszaros and Scott Hartnell converge on the puck along the boards. The puck comes loose, Meszaros tracks it and sends it around the boards to Jakub Voracek. Claude Giroux reads the play and gives Voracek an option, which Voracek takes.
One portion of this play I think really stands out is how Giroux covered for Meszaros. Watch the right side of the screen when the gif restarts. As Meszaros pinches, Giroux slides back to make sure the blue line is covered. When he sees Meszaros skate back to his position, that is when Giroux returns as a forward.