The Importance of Pressure for a Successful Forecheck

Most of my posts so far have talked about zone exits from the perspective of the team trying to breakout out of their defensive zone. Now, let’s flip the script and discuss the team on the forecheck. This team does not have possession of the puck, but they are in their offensive zone, which is an advantage. So, how can they regain control?

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Team Level Zone Exits

From past posts, we have a general sense of the basics of zone exits: zone exits are important because they get you out of your zone and towards an opportunity to score. The key to a successful zone exit is maintaining possession, ideally by avoiding the temptation to dump the puck out.

But so far, we have only looked at zone exits league wide. Most fans care about one particular team more than the rest, but we haven’t looked at team-level results at all. So today, let’s see how each team has performed at zone exits over the past three seasons.

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Introducing the 2016 – 2017 Forechecking Project

Passing and Zone Entries are so last year.

When Corey Sznajder decided to track microstats for the upcoming season and began incorporating my passing concepts into his work on last season’s playoffs, I wondered if we really needed to track this season. Instead, Corey and I chatted a bit and decided the best use of everyone’s time would be if myself and the other passing project volunteers continued to work on last season*, with the hope that we can build a solid sample by the time Corey finishes the 2016 – 2017 season. Having two (nearly) full seasons of data would be excellent to have.

However, this also gave another idea to explore something we really haven’t done a lot of: forechecking.

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