Disruption in Action: The Anatomy of a Goal.

Patrick Johnston
February 12 2012 02:20PM


We know they score goals, but how do they do it?
(Photo: John Russell/Getty Images)

In a follow-up to my previous post about the purpose of offence - here's an example how 'disrupting the defence' leads to scoring chances (and sometimes goals).

It involves the Sedins and their new pal Byron Bitz (otherwise known as the man who can everything).

This is the 3rd goal for the Canucks from Tuesday's first period. In the first frame, we see Byron Bitz down and the Sedins driving the puck up the boards, AWAY from the net. It's pretty obvious what they are looking to do, they are looking to drag the Preds' defence apart and also create space to play in too.

The Predators' defence is already in trouble; Daniel has put himself in a spot which is meant to confuse the defenders coverage game. It's right here where the scoring chance is created - two touches of the puck BEFORE Daniel gets his shot.

 

Frame two shows us just how much trouble the Predators are in. Look carefully, but don't get distracted by Daniel changing direction in perfect time with Henrik throwing the puck back around behind the net; focus instead on the three Predators who are fixated on Henrik and the puck. This is 'puck-watching' at its finest. Daniel's earlier support drove both players' eyes away from him and towards the puck. He's going to reap the rewards from this.

Now the puck is at Byron Bitz, who we can see is in a very strong position. He's a big guy who, we are learning, knows how to use his size to protect the puck. The two Predators defenders are scrambling - they know that Daniel's beaten them.

Remember how your coach always told you to put your stick on the ice? Daniel listened. His goal will come a second or so later (it's credited as 1:16). As noted above, this goal (or at least the scoring chance it resulted from) was really scored at 1:21 when Daniel's movement away from the puck caused a fatal disruption for the defence.

As you can see, Daniel now has a clear path for the tap in, and when Bitz makes the pass from the behind the net cleanly: Rinne doesn't have a chance. 

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Patrick Johnston is a Vancouver journalist. In addition to regular contributions here at Canucks Army, his work has appeared in The Province, Hockey Now and on the CBC. Check out his blog and other writing at http://johnstonwrites.wordpress.com or follow him on twitter: @risingaction
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