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Afternoon Analysis

Afternoon Analysis: How Not to Play Defence

A look at the Tavares goal versus the Oilers, November 2, 2009.

In yesterday’s first edition of Afternoon Analysis I highlighted a nicely executed stretch pass that took advantage of some soft defensive zone coverage. Today’s Analysis examines what happens when two defenders fail to communicate and are matched against a wily veteran.


Just prior to the clip above, the Islanders dump the puck deep to counter the Oilers blue-line stand. Both Denis Grebeshkov and Taylor Chorney turn to retrieve the puck despite only Doug Weight making any move to go deep on the forecheck. They proceed to collide with Doug Weight behind the Oilers’ net, and Matt Moulson picks up the puck and makes an easy pass to Tavares in the slot.

While Sam Gagner, the centreman on the play, did a poor job of picking up Tavares, he was at least in the right position. Chorney and Grebeshkov, both young players, should have decided who was going to take Weight and who was going to watch Moulson. Both of them ending up behind the net is not the end of the world, if they had a clear assignment there. However, they both went for Weight and paid the price.