Turning a faceoff loss into a power play goal

Jonathan Willis
February 23 2013 06:14PM

Winning faceoffs is without question a valuable skill for a hockey team, but sometimes it isn't necessary to score - even when the draw is in the offensive zone. Teemu Hartikainen's goal for Edmonton, which tied this afternoon's game and forced overtime, is a case in point.

Boyd Gordon (15 for Phoenix) wins the draw against Ryan Smyth (94 for Edmonton). Immediately, Teemu Hartikainen (56 for Edmonton) goes after Zybnek Michalek (4 for Phoenix) who has the puck.

Michalek throws the puck behind his own net, where his partner, Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23 for Phoenix), takes it. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93 for Edmonton) moves to put pressure on Ekman-Larsson.

Ekman-Larsson gets the puck away under pressure, but only bounces it softly off the boards.

The puck bounces in front of David Moss (18 for Phoenix) and Justin Schultz (19 for Edmonton) gets to it first. Ales Hemsky (83 for Edmonton) has smartly circled back to cover in case Moss gets the puck past Schultz at the blue line – not a small risk in a game that had three shorthanded breakaways.

Schultz gets a quick shot past Moss, and the puck goes directly to Smyth in front of the net. The Oilers have two guys right in front, with only Michalek near them.

Smyth makes a wicked redirection – not on the net, as Mike Smith clearly expects, but to Hartikainen at the other side of the net, who now has an instant with the puck and a wide open cage.

Hartikainen makes no mistake.

No doubt, the most critical play in this particular sequence - a sequence that ran just seven seconds from faceoff to goal - was the Smyth deflection which put Hartikainen in the clear. What strikes me the most, though, is how even in such a short series of events, everyone contributes. Hartikainen jumped into the play right off the faceoff, putting pressure on Michalek and ultiamtely scoring at the end. Smyth makes the deflection. Nugent-Hopkins pressures Ekman-Larsson, preventing a potentially better pass or a clear. Schultz makes a quick shot. Even Hemsky, uninvolved in the scoring play, needed to be where he was - had Moss blocked the shot or beaten Schultz to the puck, Hemsky would have been vital as the last man back.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#1 Kenneth Brown
February 23 2013, 06:28PM
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These moment-by-moment breakdowns are excellent, Mr. Willis! Glad you pointed out Hemsky's responsible play. I tend to see all his giveaways and soft offensive blue line plays.

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#2 Bonvie
February 23 2013, 07:04PM
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Kenneth Brown wrote:

These moment-by-moment breakdowns are excellent, Mr. Willis! Glad you pointed out Hemsky's responsible play. I tend to see all his giveaways and soft offensive blue line plays.

Its funny I never even noticed that the goal came that soon after the face off loss. Nicely done! I have noticed in general we do not do a good job on winger wins, lot of face offs are saw offs till a winger steps in to make the play. It's really frustrating especially on the PP, the centre will tie it up in the circle and then either the PK winger or D gets control of the puck, with the extra player on the ice we should be winning those.

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#3 striatic
February 23 2013, 08:32PM
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this is exactly why Hartikainen is so important to this team right now.

you need guys to get you the puck and Harski never gives up on getting it.

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#4 Poolanov
February 23 2013, 08:40PM
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Best breakdown yet. Nice work. Nice push back by the Oilers too.

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#5 justDOit
February 23 2013, 09:54PM
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Poolanov wrote:

Best breakdown yet. Nice work. Nice push back by the Oilers too.

close, but not the best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbG6M28UkFg

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#6 NewAgeSys
February 23 2013, 10:25PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by magnoctophas I think his one timer is fine actually. He's no Shea Weber or Zdeno Chara, but it seems to be pretty hard nonetheless. I think Schultz needs to learn when it's best to use the wrister (lots of traffic up front etc) and when to use the one-timer (open shooting lane etc) because right now he's using the wrister almost like a crutch. I'm sure he'll be able to pick it up as he builds experience down the line.

The only adjustment J Schultz needs to make is he needs to use his very accurate wrister to set up redirections and scoopshots or deflections into open netsides.Once in a while he should rip one way over to the side for a onetimer or redirection.

Yak needs to be the centerpiece of his line, if we want to win that is, if we want to operate a hockey republic then use him as we have been. waste his potential. At least the voting constituants will stay happy.

Thanks for the excellent read this was a very good dynamic analysis of the game tying goal. This is a GDT post I made at 3:33 this afternoon before this goal was scored this way you have illustrated, spooky isnt it?

I mean "lucky" isnt it -- to be so right on with such a dynamic? Down to the player and positions, and gametime. The NewAge Hockey System philosophy comes with a crystal ball I guess, ha ha ha.

I really appreciate the format you are using to give us such excellent Intuative Dynamic Analysis, the way you break the plays down into specific dynamic opportunitys and then let us see the options each player has that we might otherwise have missed as the play action evolves. It is close to Imax in its ability to keep you tied into the moment and seeing things you normally wouldnt or couldnt. Very much like the old style cartoons that were printed on the corners of book pages and you had to flip to see the actions, attention grabbing and fun, thanks for all the hard work and attention it payed off.

NewAgeSys.

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#7 David S
February 24 2013, 02:59AM
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@NewAgeSys

You really have to lay off the mind expanding pharmaceuticals man. Especially during Oilers games. Messes you right up.

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#8 The Oilers Shot Clock
February 24 2013, 07:05AM
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I'd just like to remind you that this sequence of events and subsequent goal are copyrighted by the NewAgeSys hockey technique. Any and all facsimiles are subject to the NewAgeSys approval.

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#9 Oiler Al
February 24 2013, 09:46AM
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Nice breakdown, as usual, but would like to mention that the scoring opportunity, actually starts with a shot from the backend by Schultz, basically on a poor clearing shot by the Yotes. I mention this, because I think there is very little scoring from the backend. We need D men to take more shots and play the scramble around the net game.

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#10 Fatbob24
February 24 2013, 10:01AM
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David S wrote:

You really have to lay off the mind expanding pharmaceuticals man. Especially during Oilers games. Messes you right up.

Hehe, pharmaceuticals.

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#11 NewAgeSys
February 24 2013, 04:54PM
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David S wrote:

You really have to lay off the mind expanding pharmaceuticals man. Especially during Oilers games. Messes you right up.

@ David S

Ha ha ha, just for fun why dont you post some adjustments on some GDTs and lets see how things pan out. I consistantly post data that manifests on the ice almost immediatly. And none of it is random. When I post player specific tactics that are pretty much immediatly implemented then its not fluke and its not luck. My accuracy is in the stratosphere.

Come on I gave you the post on the GDT, Willis gave you a freeze frame by freeze frame of the exact dynamic sequence down to player name and tactical dynamic played out in exact order. if you go get your gametape and rewind it so the time matchesmyGDT you will see a sweet camera shot of Ralphgetting a message on the bench in an unconventional manner, ha ha ha, its perfect timing. The cameraman frames it perfectly.

Now you have the GDT pre-play with name and dynamic, you have a visual breakdown for confirmation and you have interesting gametape shots of perfectly timed bench communication. What exactly is it that you need?

This is just one example, the actual system adjustments I post follow the "lucky" pattern as well,you ought to give the GDTs a shot it so easy to guess exactly what an NHL coach and NHL players can and will do that you should be posting your own results after the Chicago game,I know i will be posting the NHS Intuative Dynamic Analysis results pre-during-post game.

Come on David you know thats a challenge, lets see what youve got. You post player specific data and adjustment specific tactical data before and during the Hawks game and so will Ilets see who is the "luckiest" poster? Lets see whose analysis ends up manifesting itself on the ice, this is the most important game of the year against a record setting team what better stage. I am pretty sure the Oilers will be using their most critical assets datawise, they wont be able to afford to miss a beat. If you are up to the challenge you can post the results in one of your articles here. What say you Mr. Staples, are you willing to back up your perspective by providing some tangible results? Because i am. Just list some random adjustments pre and during the game live and in realtime and lets see who has more"luck" you or the NewAge Hockey System. If you lose you have to post a nice long article on the NHS here, if I lose I will not post another NHS article for the rest of the season. You need to name names and exact adjustments.

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