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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The Whiteboard: Defensive back-pressure

Posted: 01/25/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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SETTING THE SCENE

The Jets are leading the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 early in the second period in Tuesday's 3-2 Winnipeg win. The play begins in the Ducks zone, when Eric O'Dell -- set up along the boards with the puck -- attempts to feed a pass to Chris Thorburn, who has come off the bench in a line change into the Anaheim end. The attempt is blocked and the Ducks gain possession.

HOW THE JETS REACT

It's not complicated, but with the puck turned over and the Ducks on the counter-attack, O'Dell and Thorburn bust their backsides to get back to their zone while Michael Frolik, who was deep in the Anaheim end, heads to the bench and is replaced by Anthony Peluso.

Adam Pardy and Keaton Ellerby are the defencemen on the ice and work back to defend their zone.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

Ducks centre Andrew Cogliano (7) enters the Jets' zone with the puck and surrounded by four opponents, opts to drop a pass to defenceman Hampus Lindholm (47). The four Jets defending shift over -- with Peluso entering the play -- and Lindholm's shot attempt is blocked, one of the 36 registered by Winnipeg.

J.P. SAYS

A big component of the win over the Ducks the other night was the Jets' willingness to block shots. They have been lot better at defending because they have been back-checking with a sense of urgency and have been committed to playing sound defensive hockey.

"What I liked about this play is after an offensive zone turnover the Jets hustle back and there is one Anaheim player in the Winnipeg defensive zone with four Jets around him. Cogliano hangs on to the puck and gets a pass across, but the Jets are all in good lanes and are in a position to protect 'The House' -- the slot area."

 

J.P. Vigier, who grew up in Notre Dame de Lourdes is a former NHL winger (Atlanta Thrashers, 2000-07) who finished his career in the Swiss league. He does Jets analysis for both TSN 1290 and Radio Canada and teaches power skating and skill development for kids of all ages (jeanvigier11@gmail.com).

 

-- Ed Tait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2014 C2

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