Transition-Break out of own zone question?

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Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby OKpensfan247 on Tue May 14, 2013 11:13 pm

Heck yeah boys/girls... great game tonight!

Question for the Board regarding our break out of our own zone and through the neutral zone... it appears to my amateur hockey eyes that Bylsma's system relies on consistence of working the puck out of the defensive and neutral zones up along the boards when the opposition is applying a heavy/effective forecheck. Almost like his system fears any transition/break out of the defensive zone through center ice when a forecheck is being applied by the opposition.

Now, I read the great thread after game 3 or 4 of the Islanders series over a week ago where posters were explaining that Bylsma's system ideally would like a seam pass by the defenseman up along the boards to a winger, who can then catch and dump into the offensive zone where we can chase and attempt to cycle. The thread was great, and the link to the website that explained how the Islanders were disrupting our system was also great. But I guess I did not realize how reliant our transition was even out of our defensive zone along the boards. It seemed like there were several times tonight we would have 3 guys all on the wall alongside each other trying to wack the puck up ice along the boards even if we did not have anyone up ice to possess the puck.

Ottawa seemed to do the opposite tonight. When a forecheck was being applied by the Pens, Ottawa would whip a quick pass behind their own net to a defenseman who would swing a pass to a teammate by the top circle, and then they would look for passes to a teammate breaking through center ice. To me it appeared Ottawa had much smoother puck possession in transition out of their own zone tonight, again, whenever a forecheck was being applied compared to the Pens.

Hey, we won tonight and we beat the Islanders... this is not a nitpick, but rather an educational question... why does Bylsma favor transition along the boards strategically in hockey? Is transition through center ice systems historically more risky ala lead to more turnovers, is Bylsma's system's transition based on the opposition's style of forecheck/defense that we face, is Bylsma's transition system structured like it is because we have Crosby and Malkin and it favors their games... or is there something else?

It just seems like the teams that can have true puck possession (stick on puck) transition through the defensive and neutral zones look so much smoother than our high octane, ADHD if you will, transition out of our own zone. It seems like even back to 2009 when Bylsma was just breaking in as HC, we would still see our defenseman slamming the puck up around the boards and the side wall hoping to connect with wingers instead of looking for little quick touch passes back and forth up center ice... is there a strategic reason in hockey?
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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby Dan H on Wed May 15, 2013 12:09 am

What you described Ottawa doing, D to a winger near the top of the circle (often at the boards) to a streaking forward is one variation of the basic breakout used at least some of the time by almost every ice hockey team at any level. The initial D to D pass behind the net just serves to move the puck to the side of the ice with less pressure.

One little weakness of this breakout is that last pass, from the winger near the boards to a streaking forward, sends the puck through the center of the ice. If it's picked off there, it usually leads to a great scoring chance the other way. If the winger isn't really sure he has that pass open, he's supposed to chip the puck up the boards and out. Even though that usually yields possession, it clears the puck out of the zone.

I think I remember from a few years ago, the Pens had some issues making that last breakout pass; they gave up a bunch of good scoring chances. I can't remember which playoff series it was, or if it was in the middle of a season, but that might be one reason Bylsma is now having the defensemen clear the zone by chipping the puck off the boards.

I suspect that's part of the reasoning. Obviously there's a greater chance you'll turn the puck over with Bylsma's way. The initial breakout pass is longer, frequently hard off the boards, and often the winger just chips it into the offensive zone to go chase it. But turning the puck over in the neutral zone or deep in the offensive zone is a lot safer than turning it over in front of your own net; most hockey teams would probably rather lose 10 out of 10 pucks behind the opponent's goal line than 1 out of 10 in front of their own net and skate the other 9 out of their zone. And the Pens will generate some offense from the stretch passes or off the forecheck, so they won't lose 10 out of 10 pucks sent out this way.

Of course, if the defenseman makes a dumb stretch pass on the ice that gets picked off before it reaches the winger waiting out of the zone, that can also lead to a good scoring chance against. So the system relies on having d-men who can make good decisions and make good breakout passes.

Ultimately, I think the system is just a bunch of tactics to address a simple philosophy: we want the puck at the other end of the ice as much as we can, because when it's there it's much more likely to end up in the opponent's net than ours. So let's pick players who can execute a system to make that happen....
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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby murphydump55 on Wed May 15, 2013 12:11 am

Get the puck into their end as fast as possible with as little passes as possible. That is Bylsma's system.

Breakout? We don't employ a breakout. Honestly, we don't.
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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby MRandall25 on Wed May 15, 2013 12:29 am

murphydump55 wrote:Get the puck into their end as fast as possible with as little passes as possible. That is Bylsma's system.

Breakout? We don't employ a breakout. Honestly, we don't.


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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby murphydump55 on Wed May 15, 2013 12:29 am

MRandall25 wrote:
murphydump55 wrote:Get the puck into their end as fast as possible with as little passes as possible. That is Bylsma's system.

Breakout? We don't employ a breakout. Honestly, we don't.


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Thanks.
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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby MRandall25 on Wed May 15, 2013 12:30 am

In seriousness, if you don't think we have a breakout, I don't know what to tell you that others haven't already said about your posts.

Anyway, they either have a forward come up the ice with the D to make short passes for zone entry (see last series), or they chip it up the boards to keep the puck moving around the D.

You don't see many teams try to pass through the middle of the ice because a turnover there puts the other team in a prime scoring position, not to mention that pretty much every team's forecheck consists of a forward taking away the middle of the ice/slot. At least with play along the wall, there is a little bit of wiggle room in terms of breaking up a scoring chance (though it doesn't always happen that way).
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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby CERV96 on Wed May 15, 2013 8:08 am

Pens just need to get to there game.


:pop:
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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby Jesse on Wed May 15, 2013 11:58 am

It's called an "over" breakout. That's the generic name. The idea is that, under pressure, your center (or wing depending on circumstances) hangs back a bit below their own defensive blue line. If the guy along the wall runs into pressure, it's all about Puck Support. Game 4 against the Islanders, Kunitz goal was a result of this. He played patty cake with Crosby up the wall and got lost in the shuffle for an easy goal (wait, I think Dupuis tipped that one.)

Anyway, yeah, when the stretch pass is there they take it. But otherwise, they'll chip up the board systematically with the center and wing playing puck support with quick touch passes along the way.
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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby stopper40 on Wed May 15, 2013 12:35 pm

CERV96 wrote:Pens just need to get to there game.


:pop:



Their*

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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby mikey287 on Wed May 15, 2013 5:34 pm

Jesse wrote:Anyway, yeah, when the stretch pass is there they take it. But otherwise, they'll chip up the board systematically with the center and wing playing puck support with quick touch passes along the way.


Yup. People also have to understand that a breakout isn't necessarily and usually isn't drawn up like a football play. There's too many moving pieces to hockey for that to occur. Football is stop, talk about it, start, stop, talk about it, start, stop, stop, stop. There are options/reads that are activated all over the ice with one goal in mind: go forward without ******* up.

Not directed at anyone in particular, just in general: Just because you don't see the same thing happen every single time doesn't mean the team doesn't have a breakout. Just because pucks are chipped up the boards and gotten in deep doesn't mean the team doesn't have a breakout. Frankly, I'm not sure what that would mean...it sounds just made up. You really think they spent an entire NHL season practicing and playing and not once addressed how they move the puck forward...at all...that sounds pretty unlikely.

Now, if every single time the Penguins had the puck in the defensive zone they iced it or shot it out of play, then yeah...maybe you're on to something...maybe Eddie Olczyk is back coaching again...
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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby farnham16 on Wed May 15, 2013 7:50 pm

I think this team's breakout is their weakest link at times. Too often, because Bylsma loves the stretch pass, the forwards are much too far away from the D when the D has the puck in the Pens end. This is okay when the stretch pass is working, but honestly it doesn't work very often in the playoffs to the effect the Pens want.

There needs to be better puck support by the Pens forwards by getting back into their own zone when the D has the puck. Yes, this is a more conservative approach but it will cut down on the turnovers and help the flow of the game better.
Last edited by farnham16 on Wed May 15, 2013 10:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby CERV96 on Wed May 15, 2013 9:14 pm

stopper40 wrote:
CERV96 wrote:Pens just need to get to there game.


:pop:



Their*

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Sorry, I couldn't resist


It's OK
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Re: Transition-Break out of own zone question?

Postby murphydump55 on Wed May 15, 2013 9:34 pm

mikey287 wrote:
Jesse wrote:Anyway, yeah, when the stretch pass is there they take it. But otherwise, they'll chip up the board systematically with the center and wing playing puck support with quick touch passes along the way.


Yup. People also have to understand that a breakout isn't necessarily and usually isn't drawn up like a football play. There's too many moving pieces to hockey for that to occur. Football is stop, talk about it, start, stop, talk about it, start, stop, stop, stop. There are options/reads that are activated all over the ice with one goal in mind: go forward without ******* up.

Not directed at anyone in particular, just in general: Just because you don't see the same thing happen every single time doesn't mean the team doesn't have a breakout. Just because pucks are chipped up the boards and gotten in deep doesn't mean the team doesn't have a breakout. Frankly, I'm not sure what that would mean...it sounds just made up. You really think they spent an entire NHL season practicing and playing and not once addressed how they move the puck forward...at all...that sounds pretty unlikely.

Now, if every single time the Penguins had the puck in the defensive zone they iced it or shot it out of play, then yeah...maybe you're on to something...maybe Eddie Olczyk is back coaching again...


Mikey, I understand hockey, I played, and continue to play as I get older.

With the Penguins, you never see them put 2-3 short passes together to get out of the zone like other teams. I'm not saying that's always the best way to do it, but if that's what a team is allowing you to do, you take it.

These other posters that are claiming that the one forward comes down low and skates up with the D is so rare, it barely happens. It was a slight adjustment Bylsma made, but 90% of the time, our forwards are at the redline, or deeper, while our defensemen have the puck at the faceoff circles in our zone. Most announcers always point this out and claim it's the reason that the Penguins can't get offensive zone time. Our forwards leave the zone immediately upon the defensemen's retrieval of the puck.

As for icing the puck, we do it a lot. I would love to know the totals for each team throughout a season. I'm pretty sure we are near the top, if not the leaders.

Byslma's system is bare bones simple. When breaking out on a controlled breakout, all 3 forwards dart up the ice and situate themselves to chip a stretch pass in. When our defensemen come out from behind the net with the puck and refuse to even skate to our own blueline, that's when I start having a problem with it. They're obviously trained to STOP no higher than the top of the circles and look for the stretch pass, I've just never seen defensemen stop still as often as ours do in a game during a breakout. When our D skate the puck up, most teams are giving us room to gain the redline. Why not take it? The odd time our forward does come down low and allow for an outlet pass, it either opens up more ice for the defenseman to skate the puck up, or it allows him to hit the forward in stride. Just about every single time we do one of the aforementioned, we gain the zone....when we stretch pass in the playoffs, we're probably at about 50% it seems, and we also turn a lot of pucks over into odd man rushes.

I just don't like Byslma's system, and it hasn't been effective for 3.5 years in the playoffs. We're a completely different team since we entered the playoffs. Why? Not because 20 guys forgot how to play hockey, it's because teams implement a strategy to stop our only option, and even Capuano mentioned that we won't deviate from it.

If these teams haven't figured out how to stop Byslma's system (for the last 3 post seasons), can you explain why this team has gone from a dominant puck possession team with a ferocious forecheck, to a team that is chasing a lot more and not able to get offensive zone time or a tenacious forecheck? Did 20 guys actually stop playing great hockey all at once?

I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm actually looking for your opinion and analysis of this and see what you think is going on?
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