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Tactics [DONE]

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Updated October 28, 2019


## Tactics

Tactics are an important part of creating a successful team. There are a number of aspects to consider when choosing tactics. First you need to evaluate what your roster's strengths and weaknesses are. Depending on your roster some tactics may be a better fit than others. You may also want to consider your opponents' tactics and choose a tactic that may give you the upper hand when facing them. Some tactics work better against certain tactics and vice versa. See explanations of the different tactics below.


There are different tactics used depending on game situation; Equal strength and Special teams (Powerplay and Penalty kill). On equal strength you actually use two different tactics; One that your team will use offensively when trying to score goals and One that your team will use to obstruct and prevent your opponent's scoring chances.


In addition to these tactics there are also a few different styles of play that impact the game performance in different ways; Fair play and Team focus settings. More below.


To change tactics choose Tactics from the Action menu on your team page.


### Equal strength - Offensive tactics


#### Puck Possession

An offensive strategy in which a team having the puck and keeping control of it until you can gain the flow by regrouping. Patient teams will cycle in offensive zone until something opens up on the weak side of the ice.


To be successful at this tactic you should look for players with great passing, puck handling and skating skills. You also want to have a few snipers that really can shoot the puck.


To defend against this tactic you should try to play an aggressive style of play with high pressure and combine with defensive-smart players that also can skate well. Your defensemen should also be able to box out opponents and keep clear in front of the net. Goalies with great reflexes are invaluable when facing a puck possession team but they will also need to be well positioned, be able to control all rebounds and quickly move from post to post.  


#### Transition rushes

A strategy where a team tries to go on the rush creating for example 2-on-1s often starting with a quick long pass from the defensive zone. Not necessary a defensive style of play, instead the strategy is to outnumber the opponent by quickly setup an offensive play and enter the attacking zone with great speed.


In order to succeed in this tactic you'll need fast skaters, especially fast forwards, and players with great passing skills in order to quickly set up a play. You'll also need players with great puck handling skills to get by opponents and players that can finish a 2-on-1 with a one-timer shot or to deke the goalie in a breakaway.


When defending against this tactic a more defensive and passive approach may be appropriate to prevent the opponent from advancing too fast into the neutral and offensive zone. Your players should also have great skating skills in order to keep up with the opponent in the event of an attack. Also defensive smart players can read the opponent early and intercept the pass attempt. When facing 2-on-1s or even breakaways goalies need to be very agile and be able to move quickly sideways to make the save.


#### Crash the net

An aggressive strategy in which a forward charges towards the opponent's net in hopes of deflecting a shot, banging a loose puck in, obstructing the goaltender's view, or simply creating mayhem that could lead to a scoring chance for his team.


If you're considering this style of play you'll need tough forwards that can overpower the defensemen and that isn't afraid to jump right into heavy traffic in front of the net. In addition to this your players need to make shots and dumps (passes) from decent angles and have enough stick handling skills to be able to deflect shots and make the most of rebounds.


When facing an opponent that have this style of play the best way is to try to keep the opponent away from center ice and to outnumber the opponent in your own zone. Strong physical players are preferred and goalies need to be strong in their positioning, stay calm and control every rebound.


#### Dump and chase

An offensive strategy in which a team shoots (or "dumps") the puck into the attacking zone and aggressively pursues it in hopes of retrieving possession and setting up a scoring chance. Most effective for teams with enough speed and size to force opposing defensemen off the puck. On the downside the dump and chase is a quite non creative play and can be easily read by opponents.


To be successful at this tactic you'll need gritty players with good skating skills that ain't afraid to both receive and deliver hits near the boards behind the net. They also need decent passing and shooting skills once they retrieved possession of the puck to setup a pass to a player in front of the net.


To defend against this tactic it's important to not be too passive and stationary. By back checking and putting at least some pressure on the opponent you will in combination with strong and tough defensemen have a good chance of preventing them from regain puck possession. Goalies with good puck handling skills may also help to clear dumped pucks in the defensive zone.


### Equal strength - Defensive tactics


#### Conservative trap

The trap consists of one forechecker in deep and four skaters lined up along the blueline forming a four man wall to prevent the opposing offense from advancing into the neutral zone.


This tactic is effective against counter attacks and tactics that try to find their way into center ice. On the down side your team may become quite stationary making them vulnerable for opponents with a more non creative direct style of play.


If you're considering this tactic look for defensive minded players that also can play tough.


#### Aggressive forecheck

The aggressive forecheck causes the opposing team to fail in their defensive assignments since the four skaters down low aggressively attacking the puck in waves.


The tactic forces teams with a passing style of play to make bad decisions but at the same time leaving the team more vulnerable to teams going for counter attacks and to outnumber their opponents.


Players in this tactic need to be able to work hard, skate fast body check the opponent.


#### Moderate forecheck

The moderate forecheck consists of one forechecker down low, two forecheckers high and two defensemen back in the neutral zone. The basic idea is to funnel the offensive team to the outside, away from center ice and cut off passing lanes.


This tactic is effective against teams that are trying to find their way into center ice or more non creative plays. The team may however be vulnerable for highly skilled passing plays.


The team needs a combination of players where forwards need to be good skaters and be able to work hard and tough defensive players.


#### Left wing lock

The left wing lock always allows an offensive player to be used as a defensive safety valve. This allows the best skaters to be aggressive, but whenever there is a possibility of a transition from offense to defense, there is a third guy high to eliminate odd-man rushes in the goalie’s direction.


This tactic will keep opponents away from center ice and preventing the opponent to outnumber the team in the defensive zone. Teams with a more patient passing play may however find weaknesses in the defence.


Players should be able to play tough, work hard and to take good defensive decisions. Forwards, except the Left Wing, also need to have good skating skills. 


#### Spread

In the spread, once the opponent takes the puck behind his net, a forechecking winger moves from the right to flush him out. The other winger then moves from the opposite side and forces the enemy skater to get rid of the puck.


The tactic work well against puck controlling teams but may open up space in the neutral zone making the team vulnerable for counter attacks and allowing opponents into center ice.


The forwards forechecking should have great skating skills and be able to play tough and work hard. The defensemen in this system should have great defensive skills but also be able to play tough.


### Powerplay tactics

During powerplay it can be wise to study in which direction your players are handed/shoots.


#### Umbrella

Three players near the blue-line forming a high triangle and two players low in the slot parallel to the goal line. The idea is to get the puck to the middle of the ice for hard blasts from the point.


To be successful at this tactics you will really need to have good shooters, especially on the blue line. Forwards in front of the net should also be able to deflect pucks and play tough to obstruct the goalie.


To defend against this tactic you'll need a strategy that cover most shooting angles and at the same time boxes out opponents in front of the net. You'll need defensive players able to read the opponent and be able to play tough in front of the net. Goalies must rely on a combination of reflexes and good positioning in order to stop pucks.


#### Overload

Overload aims to outnumber the other team along the half boards, thus creating a lot of three on two scenarios. The idea is to constantly cycle the puck and create a lot of movement down low, which causes defensive breakdowns.


To succeed in this tactic you'll need players with good passing, skating and puck handling. 


To defend against this style of tactic you'll need to keep the box together with players that are smart defensively and that both can skate and play tough. Goalies need good reflexes and be able to quickly move from post to post.


#### The 1-3-1

This strategy creates four triangles to pass around and take one-timer shots. This system forces the defense to focus on the middle players causing the PK to shrink.


In order for this tactic to work you'll need great passing och puck handling skills among all players while moving around the puck. You also need players being able to take one-timer shots.


To defend against the 1-3-1 you need to cover angles and put pressure on the opponent causing them to make mistakes. Your players should be smart defensively and being able to skate and work hard. Goalies rely on great reflexes and swiftly switching position.


#### Spread

The aim of the Spread is to overrun the slot with forwards and outnumber penalty killers down low. Causes opponent to abandon the blue-line, which allows your d-men to come in for one-timers.


This tactic requires forwards that can play tough, work hard but at the same time set up a play. Defensemen should have a great shot.


In order to defend against this tactic you'll need to keep your box together and perhaps put some pressure on the player with the puck. In addition to this your players should not be afraid to play very tough. Goalies with good positioning and that can control rebounds are invaluable when facing this tactic.


### Penalty kill tactics


#### Diamond

A strategy to cover shooting angles. A high forward is set up to defend against the power play quarterback, another forward and a d-man take the guys atop the circles and a low d-man covers the slot.


This tactic is effective against shooting strategies in power play. Your players should be able to read the opponent plays and skate well to cover most angles. The defensemen need to be able to play tough in front of the net.


The tactic can make your team vulnerable for power play strategies where the opponent are trying to outnumber your team finding their way in to the center ice.


#### Simple Box

The tactic basically allowing the other team to have the puck so long as they are along the perimeter. Using this strategy is more about having good stick work and not chasing after the puck carrier.


This tactic will defend center ice making it hard for opponents crashing the net. Your players need to be strong defensively and box out the opponent by playing tough in front of the net.


On the downside shooting strategies may punish your team and block the sight for your own goalie.


#### Wedge

Three collapsing players in the slot in a triangle formation while the extra manis free to run around and create havoc along the perimeter. Since this formation is always rotating, every skater needs to be aware of the responsibilities of every position they rotate into.


This tactic puts pressure on the opponent forcing them to make mistakes when trying to find a pass into the slot. Players need a combination of good skating and defensive skills but also being able to work hard. On the downside it won't work as well when facing teams with a more patient approach or a strategy where shots are mostly coming from the point.


### Tactics familiarity

Although there are benefits to adjust your tactic for each opponent your team will suffer when it comes to tactics familiarity. By sticking to one or a few different tactics your team will learn and eventually be experts on the chosen tactics. This may give your team advantages in certain game situations where your more experienced players are more likely to benefit.


### Fair play

Instruct your team on how much they should push the boundaries of the rules to gain an advantage. The dirtier your team style of play the more likely is your players to take penalties. You can set the fair play style into five different ranks.


#### Safe

The players will avoid penalties at all costs. However, this may cause the opponent to gain great advantages in the physical play.


#### Fair

The players will hold back to avoid penalties and only play as tough as absolutely necessary. This may cause the opponent to gain some advantages in the physical play,


#### Normal

The players will play tough when necessary but will try to avoid any unnecessary penalties.


#### Hard

The players will play tough as often as possible. They will try to get the opponent out of balance. This will give them an advantage but it may cause more penalties.


#### Dirty

The players will play very tough and cheap shot the opponent to get them out of balance. This may cause many penalties but also give them a great advantage.


### Team focus

Your team focus will set your team to an offensively, defensively or balanced style of play. This may also be varied depending on game situation. There are possibility to adjust your team focus depending on your team is ahead or below.


Also note that if your team are set to, for example, an all offensive style of play for too long they may eventually start feeling uncomfortable in their defensive duties.


#### Very defensive

Players only focus on defence. All players will participate in the defensively play.


#### Defensive

Players won't take any chances when going on attack.


#### Normal

Players will go on attack when possible but doesn't ignore their defensive responsibilities.


#### Offensive

Players will go on attack as often as they can.


#### Very offensive

Players only focuses on going on attack. All players will participate in the attack to create a scoring chance.

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