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Play smarter not harder - The system of the New York Islanders

Zkibu
27 posts Member
I had some spare time while my wife and kid are in summer cottage and wanted to challenge myself with recreating different IRL systems in the game.

In my books the Isles are the best team in the final four. Emphasis on the team because while they are traditionally underrated they still lack some talent in the key positions to perhaps win it all. Isles have this hard working blue collar label on them, but honestly I think that they are just smarter than most of their opponents. Their system can easily be described as "don't let your emotions get you and don't do anything stupid". For example Isles will never forecheck if the opponent has the puck comfortably, they'll dump the puck if they are facing superior numbers, they'll change with the puck and they'll never attack fast if the opponent is settled in trap. Stupid simple and still for some reason many more talented teams in the NHL are surprised by their ability or steal a page from their playbook. Due the the Chel's rigid systems their system is impossible to apply in the game 100% but I think that their philosophy can be copied.

FORECHECK 1-2-2 aggressive. F1 applies the pressure, F2 covers the strong side and F3 protects the weak side or middle. Strong side D may pinch if the F3 is in position to cover.

NEUTRAL ZONE 1-2-2 Red/1-1-3 the latter is not available so I settled with the 1-2-2. Nothing crazy, they are just forcing the play to the sides.

TRAP/FC SLIDER Islanders has few different approaches. But if you want just one universal setting, just set it to press (4 clicks to the right). They play about 40 forechecks and 20 traps in a game, which clearly shows that they prefer to forecheck. However it's more nuanced than that. They usually start with heavier approach which suits their dumping approach, something like 5-6 clicks (full forecheck). Then in the second period tone it down a bit like 4 clicks and finally in the final period go with balanced approach 3 clicks or even 2 clicks.

OFFENSIVE PRESSURE Conservative. All the fancy buzzwords like total hockey are ignored in Long Island. Defenders are defenders and forward are forwards. Still the defenders have the permission to pinch if the third forward is ready to cover.

DEFENSIVE PRESSURE Protect the net/Contain puck/Normal Honestly I think it is a combination of all of these. The key idea is to collapse infront of the net and let the opponent shoot from the perimeter (or actually in Chel to clog the middle for those one time cross crease goals). Between protect or collapsing it's matter of taste, but I included normal because NYI absolutely man marks the Bolts signature high third forward in the slot.

DEFENSIVE STRATEGY Collapsing. Like mentioned earlier their goal is to put bodies between the puck and the net.

QUICK BREAKOUT Leave Zone Early. The weak side winger pushing up with pace. While he is totally an option to pass, they rarely go directly to him. Instead his job is to mainly stretch their opponent, add some layers in their breakout and create some time and space to other players. Besides in the real game passing constantly the puck in a situation where one attacker has 2-3 guys to beat with no support, hampers team's ability to win the game, unless you happen to have a generational talent in your lineup. Still that is no Islanders hockey.

CONTROL BREAKOUT Blue to blue. The Center curls back while wingers sit in both blue lines. If the opponent sits in a trap, Isles have no problem to slow the game down and gather some speed and get the free forecheck opportunity via dump ins.

POWERPLAY SYSTEMS Hilariously outdated so set them how you want.

LINE STRATEGIES Energy and blocks are set to 5 and 10 for every forward lines

1st

Overload, Carry/Dump 5 clicks , Cycle/Shoot 5 clicks

Skill line which basically takes what is given. They'll dump if they have to, they'll cycle if the are no direct shooting lanes.

2nd

Overload, Carry/Dump 8, Cycle/Shoot 6

Skillful forechecking line. Whatever scoring odds you lose with constant dumping is given back every successful forecheck close to the opposing net.

3rd

Crash the net, both C/D and C/S 7

the crashing line. They are probably forcing some shots, but the purpose is clear. Just get the puck on the net.

4th

Behind the net, C/D 9, C/S 3

The so called Identity line. Probably the one of the most annoying styles to play against. Their job is to wear out the opponent with constant battles in the corners and cycling.

With the defenders I made an universal system because they are basically playing the same way and the little differences are probably result of their natural instincts than strategy

Hold line/Pinch 3

Cycle/Shoot 7

Replies

  • Sega82mega
    3812 posts Member
    edited June 15
    Hehe cool post. So attentiveness from you.

    And I agree. I notice some of this in their first game against Tampa.

    Islanders play what I would call a 'slow hockey', they need some time before they manage to trick the opponent's into their net - and then they go with full force.

    Adam Pelech is such a great player - so impressive of him.

    And the combination - whole team feels really solid and then they got Barzal who really stands out from the crowd - who deliver the unexpected to the team.

    I hope islanders will take the cup. I enjoy the philosophy behind their hockey. (and I really bealive they got what it takes)..
  • Efbomb
    174 posts Member
    As a hockey fan, I’d have to agree that the Isles are a hard working, gritty team that can surprise their opponents with a relentless forecheck. They’re well coached, and very disciplined. A trip to the finals would not surprise me.

    As a Rangers fan, I hope they lose! 😄
  • Trotz is amazing coach. Unfortunately, no NHL system can be accurately replicated in this game due to the AI. They will not pinch when appropriate nor are they aggressive enough on the forecheck to actually force turnovers. I think what you’ve provided is a good “in theory” attempt but I don’t remember watching NHL teams completely give up obvious stretch passes along the wall nor does the first forechecker completely abandon the play and go to “cover” mode after steering the play.

    They really need to do some deep dives on how the AI forechecking team reacts when the puck is reversed or rung because they generally get confused and/or stand still way too often.
  • Zkibu
    27 posts Member
    Trotz is amazing coach. Unfortunately, no NHL system can be accurately replicated in this game due to the AI. They will not pinch when appropriate nor are they aggressive enough on the forecheck to actually force turnovers. I think what you’ve provided is a good “in theory” attempt but I don’t remember watching NHL teams completely give up obvious stretch passes along the wall nor does the first forechecker completely abandon the play and go to “cover” mode after steering the play.

    They really need to do some deep dives on how the AI forechecking team reacts when the puck is reversed or rung because they generally get confused and/or stand still way too often.

    I hear you buddy and it is true, it's not 100 % accurate. I believe that I mentioned it somewhere in my text. Still, like mentioned I do believe that the philosophy is somewhat replicable. Honestly those sliders and settings what I did doesn't even matter that much. If you just play patiently and never forcing things, that is pretty much it, the Islanders brand of hockey. I just thought it would be fun to get those nuances close as possible. About the stretch passes, I don't know, maybe I was a bit unclear in my explanation but I wanted to say that they rarely go for stretch passes, not completely abandon it. For example in Europe (not including Germany and Switzerland) those type of passes are nearly extinct in 1st and 3rd periods.

    I agree that they need to reinvent the defensive AI in every zone of the rink, give us something like a quick switch between forechecking and neutral zone play. Never liked the trap/FC slider which is just completely unrealistic, because usually decision between forecheck or trap is just a quick reaction and read from the defensive players. I usually control the f3 when my team is forechecking. That way I can sort of decide whether I go to the side or protect the middle. Even though it's not perfect you can still apply the philosophy in the forecheck - third forward is always ready to fall back and defend the rush.
  • Zkibu wrote: »
    Trotz is amazing coach. Unfortunately, no NHL system can be accurately replicated in this game due to the AI. They will not pinch when appropriate nor are they aggressive enough on the forecheck to actually force turnovers. I think what you’ve provided is a good “in theory” attempt but I don’t remember watching NHL teams completely give up obvious stretch passes along the wall nor does the first forechecker completely abandon the play and go to “cover” mode after steering the play.

    They really need to do some deep dives on how the AI forechecking team reacts when the puck is reversed or rung because they generally get confused and/or stand still way too often.

    I hear you buddy and it is true, it's not 100 % accurate. I believe that I mentioned it somewhere in my text. Still, like mentioned I do believe that the philosophy is somewhat replicable. Honestly those sliders and settings what I did doesn't even matter that much. If you just play patiently and never forcing things, that is pretty much it, the Islanders brand of hockey. I just thought it would be fun to get those nuances close as possible. About the stretch passes, I don't know, maybe I was a bit unclear in my explanation but I wanted to say that they rarely go for stretch passes, not completely abandon it. For example in Europe (not including Germany and Switzerland) those type of passes are nearly extinct in 1st and 3rd periods.

    I agree that they need to reinvent the defensive AI in every zone of the rink, give us something like a quick switch between forechecking and neutral zone play. Never liked the trap/FC slider which is just completely unrealistic, because usually decision between forecheck or trap is just a quick reaction and read from the defensive players. I usually control the f3 when my team is forechecking. That way I can sort of decide whether I go to the side or protect the middle. Even though it's not perfect you can still apply the philosophy in the forecheck - third forward is always ready to fall back and defend the rush.

    Yeah 100% I appreciate the write-up. I love Trotz hockey (caps fan) and I wish the AI could actually replicate this well! This game would be so much mote fun if the forecheck was actually intense and executed properly!
  • Sega82mega
    3812 posts Member
    Not just a good coach - also a head of steel.



    I love hes reaction just before the clip ends.

    Like "it's no big deal. Happens all the time.." 😄
  • Sega82mega wrote: »
    Not just a good coach - also a head of steel.



    I love hes reaction just before the clip ends.

    Like "it's no big deal. Happens all the time.." 😄

    GMBM really messed up letting him walk...
  • kyl_35
    149 posts Member
    Sega82mega wrote: »
    Not just a good coach - also a head of steel.



    I love hes reaction just before the clip ends.

    Like "it's no big deal. Happens all the time.." 😄

    GMBM really messed up letting him walk...

    I believe that was Sweaty Teddy’s call. Dude had a cap on what he’s willing to pay a coach. Absolute moron policy for a guy who just won your franchise their first cup.

    I hate the Caps, though, so I’m glad they let him go.
  • kyl_35 wrote: »
    Sega82mega wrote: »
    Not just a good coach - also a head of steel.



    I love hes reaction just before the clip ends.

    Like "it's no big deal. Happens all the time.." 😄

    GMBM really messed up letting him walk...

    I believe that was Sweaty Teddy’s call. Dude had a cap on what he’s willing to pay a coach. Absolute moron policy for a guy who just won your franchise their first cup.

    I hate the Caps, though, so I’m glad they let him go.

    As a caps fan, whoever made the call is an absolute clown lol.
  • Jagavekov
    156 posts Member
    edited June 20
    Zkibu wrote: »
    I had some spare time while my wife and kid are in summer cottage and wanted to challenge myself with recreating different IRL systems in the game.

    In my books the Isles are the best team in the final four. Emphasis on the team because while they are traditionally underrated they still lack some talent in the key positions to perhaps win it all. Isles have this hard working blue collar label on them, but honestly I think that they are just smarter than most of their opponents. Their system can easily be described as "don't let your emotions get you and don't do anything stupid". For example Isles will never forecheck if the opponent has the puck comfortably, they'll dump the puck if they are facing superior numbers, they'll change with the puck and they'll never attack fast if the opponent is settled in trap. Stupid simple and still for some reason many more talented teams in the NHL are surprised by their ability or steal a page from their playbook. Due the the Chel's rigid systems their system is impossible to apply in the game 100% but I think that their philosophy can be copied.

    FORECHECK 1-2-2 aggressive. F1 applies the pressure, F2 covers the strong side and F3 protects the weak side or middle. Strong side D may pinch if the F3 is in position to cover.

    NEUTRAL ZONE 1-2-2 Red/1-1-3 the latter is not available so I settled with the 1-2-2. Nothing crazy, they are just forcing the play to the sides.

    TRAP/FC SLIDER Islanders has few different approaches. But if you want just one universal setting, just set it to press (4 clicks to the right). They play about 40 forechecks and 20 traps in a game, which clearly shows that they prefer to forecheck. However it's more nuanced than that. They usually start with heavier approach which suits their dumping approach, something like 5-6 clicks (full forecheck). Then in the second period tone it down a bit like 4 clicks and finally in the final period go with balanced approach 3 clicks or even 2 clicks.

    OFFENSIVE PRESSURE Conservative. All the fancy buzzwords like total hockey are ignored in Long Island. Defenders are defenders and forward are forwards. Still the defenders have the permission to pinch if the third forward is ready to cover.

    DEFENSIVE PRESSURE Protect the net/Contain puck/Normal Honestly I think it is a combination of all of these. The key idea is to collapse infront of the net and let the opponent shoot from the perimeter (or actually in Chel to clog the middle for those one time cross crease goals). Between protect or collapsing it's matter of taste, but I included normal because NYI absolutely man marks the Bolts signature high third forward in the slot.

    DEFENSIVE STRATEGY Collapsing. Like mentioned earlier their goal is to put bodies between the puck and the net.

    QUICK BREAKOUT Leave Zone Early. The weak side winger pushing up with pace. While he is totally an option to pass, they rarely go directly to him. Instead his job is to mainly stretch their opponent, add some layers in their breakout and create some time and space to other players. Besides in the real game passing constantly the puck in a situation where one attacker has 2-3 guys to beat with no support, hampers team's ability to win the game, unless you happen to have a generational talent in your lineup. Still that is no Islanders hockey.

    CONTROL BREAKOUT Blue to blue. The Center curls back while wingers sit in both blue lines. If the opponent sits in a trap, Isles have no problem to slow the game down and gather some speed and get the free forecheck opportunity via dump ins.

    POWERPLAY SYSTEMS Hilariously outdated so set them how you want.

    LINE STRATEGIES Energy and blocks are set to 5 and 10 for every forward lines

    1st

    Overload, Carry/Dump 5 clicks , Cycle/Shoot 5 clicks

    Skill line which basically takes what is given. They'll dump if they have to, they'll cycle if the are no direct shooting lanes.

    2nd

    Overload, Carry/Dump 8, Cycle/Shoot 6

    Skillful forechecking line. Whatever scoring odds you lose with constant dumping is given back every successful forecheck close to the opposing net.

    3rd

    Crash the net, both C/D and C/S 7

    the crashing line. They are probably forcing some shots, but the purpose is clear. Just get the puck on the net.

    4th

    Behind the net, C/D 9, C/S 3

    The so called Identity line. Probably the one of the most annoying styles to play against. Their job is to wear out the opponent with constant battles in the corners and cycling.

    With the defenders I made an universal system because they are basically playing the same way and the little differences are probably result of their natural instincts than strategy

    Hold line/Pinch 3

    Cycle/Shoot 7

    That is a great writeup, and you know a decent amount about hockey and care more about it than a lot of people involved in making this game, since they haven't given any thought to strategies since around 1998.

    This game's mechanics make playing this style (especially competitively against humans) not very successful. Puck carriers can get out of bad situations so easily due to the insanely forgiving skating and passing mechanics. You can have a guy angled out with no options only to have them send a no look behind the back backhand saucer pass right on the tape of a teammate across the ice. Or since or everyone skates like a combination of McDavid and Cale Makar on uppers, they can wiggle, pivot, skate backwards, and accelerate out of bad situations very easily. And the boards essentially don't exist so they are basically playing on international ice too.

    This is why basically no one uses a dump and chase strategy online. Why dump in to avoid bad neutral zone turnovers if you can more easily go Harlem Globetrotters/Barcelona and endlessly regroup in the neutral zone?
  • Jagavekov wrote: »
    Zkibu wrote: »
    I had some spare time while my wife and kid are in summer cottage and wanted to challenge myself with recreating different IRL systems in the game.

    In my books the Isles are the best team in the final four. Emphasis on the team because while they are traditionally underrated they still lack some talent in the key positions to perhaps win it all. Isles have this hard working blue collar label on them, but honestly I think that they are just smarter than most of their opponents. Their system can easily be described as "don't let your emotions get you and don't do anything stupid". For example Isles will never forecheck if the opponent has the puck comfortably, they'll dump the puck if they are facing superior numbers, they'll change with the puck and they'll never attack fast if the opponent is settled in trap. Stupid simple and still for some reason many more talented teams in the NHL are surprised by their ability or steal a page from their playbook. Due the the Chel's rigid systems their system is impossible to apply in the game 100% but I think that their philosophy can be copied.

    FORECHECK 1-2-2 aggressive. F1 applies the pressure, F2 covers the strong side and F3 protects the weak side or middle. Strong side D may pinch if the F3 is in position to cover.

    NEUTRAL ZONE 1-2-2 Red/1-1-3 the latter is not available so I settled with the 1-2-2. Nothing crazy, they are just forcing the play to the sides.

    TRAP/FC SLIDER Islanders has few different approaches. But if you want just one universal setting, just set it to press (4 clicks to the right). They play about 40 forechecks and 20 traps in a game, which clearly shows that they prefer to forecheck. However it's more nuanced than that. They usually start with heavier approach which suits their dumping approach, something like 5-6 clicks (full forecheck). Then in the second period tone it down a bit like 4 clicks and finally in the final period go with balanced approach 3 clicks or even 2 clicks.

    OFFENSIVE PRESSURE Conservative. All the fancy buzzwords like total hockey are ignored in Long Island. Defenders are defenders and forward are forwards. Still the defenders have the permission to pinch if the third forward is ready to cover.

    DEFENSIVE PRESSURE Protect the net/Contain puck/Normal Honestly I think it is a combination of all of these. The key idea is to collapse infront of the net and let the opponent shoot from the perimeter (or actually in Chel to clog the middle for those one time cross crease goals). Between protect or collapsing it's matter of taste, but I included normal because NYI absolutely man marks the Bolts signature high third forward in the slot.

    DEFENSIVE STRATEGY Collapsing. Like mentioned earlier their goal is to put bodies between the puck and the net.

    QUICK BREAKOUT Leave Zone Early. The weak side winger pushing up with pace. While he is totally an option to pass, they rarely go directly to him. Instead his job is to mainly stretch their opponent, add some layers in their breakout and create some time and space to other players. Besides in the real game passing constantly the puck in a situation where one attacker has 2-3 guys to beat with no support, hampers team's ability to win the game, unless you happen to have a generational talent in your lineup. Still that is no Islanders hockey.

    CONTROL BREAKOUT Blue to blue. The Center curls back while wingers sit in both blue lines. If the opponent sits in a trap, Isles have no problem to slow the game down and gather some speed and get the free forecheck opportunity via dump ins.

    POWERPLAY SYSTEMS Hilariously outdated so set them how you want.

    LINE STRATEGIES Energy and blocks are set to 5 and 10 for every forward lines

    1st

    Overload, Carry/Dump 5 clicks , Cycle/Shoot 5 clicks

    Skill line which basically takes what is given. They'll dump if they have to, they'll cycle if the are no direct shooting lanes.

    2nd

    Overload, Carry/Dump 8, Cycle/Shoot 6

    Skillful forechecking line. Whatever scoring odds you lose with constant dumping is given back every successful forecheck close to the opposing net.

    3rd

    Crash the net, both C/D and C/S 7

    the crashing line. They are probably forcing some shots, but the purpose is clear. Just get the puck on the net.

    4th

    Behind the net, C/D 9, C/S 3

    The so called Identity line. Probably the one of the most annoying styles to play against. Their job is to wear out the opponent with constant battles in the corners and cycling.

    With the defenders I made an universal system because they are basically playing the same way and the little differences are probably result of their natural instincts than strategy

    Hold line/Pinch 3

    Cycle/Shoot 7

    That is a great writeup, and you know a decent amount about hockey and care more about it than a lot of people involved in making this game, since they haven't given any thought to strategies since around 1998.

    This game's mechanics make playing this style (especially competitively against humans) not very successful. Puck carriers can get out of bad situations so easily due to the insanely forgiving skating and passing mechanics. You can have a guy angled out with no options only to have them send a no look behind the back backhand saucer pass right on the tape of a teammate across the ice. Or since or everyone skates like a combination of McDavid and Cale Makar on uppers, they can wiggle, pivot, skate backwards, and accelerate out of bad situations very easily. And the boards essentially don't exist so they are basically playing on international ice too.

    This is why basically no one uses a dump and chase strategy online. Why dump in to avoid bad neutral zone turnovers if you can more easily go Harlem Globetrotters/Barcelona and endlessly regroup in the neutral zone?

    Thank you, holy cow. The agility/acceleration is just laughably forgiving. Playing proper defense and forechecking properly is not something that is successful in this game because of these slider values. Playing zone defense and never shrinking a gap because of fear that some will break both elbows then slam their face into the boards to bounce off of it to escape what should be a situation where the carrier either moves the puck or loses it, is not proper defense or hockey.

    Defense is literally so boring. Until this meta changes, regardless if pass interceptions are easy or hard, means that the defensive side of the puck by default is not engaging, deep, interesting, or fun in the least bit regardless of success rate.
  • Zkibu
    27 posts Member
    edited June 23
    Jagavekov wrote: »

    That is a great writeup, and you know a decent amount about hockey and care more about it than a lot of people involved in making this game, since they haven't given any thought to strategies since around 1998.

    This game's mechanics make playing this style (especially competitively against humans) not very successful. Puck carriers can get out of bad situations so easily due to the insanely forgiving skating and passing mechanics. You can have a guy angled out with no options only to have them send a no look behind the back backhand saucer pass right on the tape of a teammate across the ice. Or since or everyone skates like a combination of McDavid and Cale Makar on uppers, they can wiggle, pivot, skate backwards, and accelerate out of bad situations very easily. And the boards essentially don't exist so they are basically playing on international ice too.

    This is why basically no one uses a dump and chase strategy online. Why dump in to avoid bad neutral zone turnovers if you can more easily go Harlem Globetrotters/Barcelona and endlessly regroup in the neutral zone?

    Thing is that I don't really care about winning or losing. Or maybe I do a bit (I am a human after all), but not that much after I realized that one can create tons of beautiful chances in the slot, control the game with different kind of attacks and still lose against people who will never breakout using the middle or even attempt to do something else than force the cross crease pass. I probably made a mistake with not explaining that this is not about trying to create best slider setting or meta-tactic. It is just a humble attempt to simulate one team in a context of this videogame. Which is where I'll get my fun out.

    I like your 98 comparison, honestly it's probably not far from truth. Last new stuff are the breakouts I guess, which they never explained. How on earth a new player should know which one to use or especially when to use the control breakout? I pretty much agree with rest of the stuff, with the exception of dump ins. True people rarely use them, but I still find that many times after rimming the puck my forward is first to retrieve it
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