Some of the most exciting offensive plays on the ice come when the goalie is pulled during the final minutes of a game. There’s nothing like a team completely going for a tie (usually) and risking their entire open net for a goal. But, if you practice 6-on-5 strategy correctly, you won’t need to be worried about that open goal 100 feet away.
Easy Tips To Remember
Side to Side Action
By moving the puck from side to side, you force the defense to continually rotate and switch, thereby creating a hole for a one-timer or short shot on one side of the net. Misdirection is key in a six-on-five situation, and if you can work your opponents on one side, while sneaking a player for an open shot on the other side, you can get a few easy shots off.
Crash The Net
Your team has the man advantage when a shot is fired, you should have all angles of the goal covered. Below is what your offense should look like when a player takes a shot, with the point player ready to skate back on the defensive end in case the other team gains possession.
Another diagrammed play for taking a quick shot when you have a 6-on-5 man advantage looks like this:
In this next play, the wings and the extra man crash the net to distract the goalie, while the right wing shoots immediately after the faceoff.
Why Pull the Goalie?
Statistics Says It Works
A study literally called "Strategies For Pulling the Goalie In Hockey" stated that when NHL teams refused to pull the goalie and score the conventional way, they only earned 0.2045 points (loss=0 points, tie=1 win=2). However, if the team went 6-on-5, they averaged .2116. If the team pulled the goalie for 3 minutes, the authors deduced they averaged 0.2527 points. The study came to the conclusion that home teams should pull their goalie down two with up to six minutes left. Why home teams? A man advantage gets the crowd into the game, and could spark a rally.
It Gives Your Team Confidence
Pulling your goalie in a dire situation signals to your offense that you have faith that they’ll be able to pull off a goal in a short time. That psychological benefit of never giving up will pay dividends for you down the line.
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