Sunday, January 29, 2017

Shooting pucks on net

I love the game of ice hockey. My friends and I were huge Buffalo Sabres fans growing up. I attended a few games as my friends dad had season tickets. Back then the Sabres were competitive enough to be a part of the Stanley Cup finals in '75. One lasting memory is the fog game in which Jim Lorentz swatted a bat out of the air, killing it.

Youtube link of the incident

Wishing the current Sabres team was more competitive I have noticed a trend when the team carries the puck into the offensive zone. Too many passes in an attempt to secure a goal before shooting the puck on net. A single pass can have a negative result if the puck is missed by the intended recipient. Or the pass can be intercepted by an opposing defense-man resulting in a turnover. Every pass attempted before shooting increases the chance of a negative result.
However if the player who carries the puck into the offensive zone attempts a shot on net the end result can have a positive outcome. Here are some examples of a shot taken directly on the net as the puck is carried into the offensive zone...
1. The absolute best result is a goal. If the goalie is caught off guard by the initial shot the puck may end up in the back of the net.
2. The goaltender may cough up a juicy rebound that can be picked up by the shooter or a player coming into the offensive zone. Again a shot on net is better but by this time a pass can be attempted as the wingers hone in on the goal. A good pass can result in a goal at this point as the goalie may be screened by his defense man or an opposing player.
3. The goalie may choose to freeze the initial shot resulting in a face off in the offensive zone.
The important thing to remember is every shot on net can result in a goal, the more shots attempted the better. I have never claimed to be a expert on the game of hockey but over the years I have noticed that a initial shot as the offense rushes toward the net is the best way to go about trying to score a goal. After gaining the lead a team can pass the puck around as much as they want to try and run down the clock. Especially in the 3rd period. Any comments are welcome.

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