EA Forums - Banner

NHL 20 Patch Details April 3rd

image
Check out our April 3rd patch details here.

Exiting the Defensive Zone

I mainly play NHL 18 franchise mode against the computer. I am relatively new to the more recent generation of NHL games, the last version I played was NHL 12 on PS3, which I played regularly up until I bought my PS4 last month, so I am not new to the game in general, just the more recent iterations.

The main problem I am having is exiting my own defensive zone efficiently. Specifically when I am in one of the corners, looking for an outlet pass to exit the zone and start the rush. Now I know I'm going back a long way, but in NHL 12, you AI defensive partner was almost always supporting you below the goal line while you were in one of the corners. He would either be right behind the net, or maybe in the other corner, typically open and ready for an outlet pass. In NHL 18 he is nearly always directly in front of the net. Now, I never actually played ice hockey, so I'm guessing this is where he is supposed to be in a real life situation, but in the game this is really not an ideal position for him to be in for the style I like to play in my defensive zone. I don't feel comfortable trying to outlet the puck to him, because he is in front of the net, and that is a dangerous position to play the puck in a defensive situation. Ideally I'd like to work the puck behind the net and then around the boards and up the half wall on the opposite side of the ice from the current corner I'm in.

An example of this occurs on dump-ins made by the AI opponent. I'll chase the puck into the corner, gather the puck, and look for an outlet pass before the forechecker can hit me or pin me to the boards. My defensemen typically are not fast enough or skilled enough to just skate the puck out of the danger area and into open space, so I'm looking to pass to an open man. Typically the guy who is most open is your opposite side winger, who will likely be on the opposite side of the ice on the half-wall. The problem is that the pass to him just takes too long to travel and either gets picked off or pressured by a pinching defender or another AI forward on the opponent's team. This problem also occurs when I win face-offs in my own defensive zone. When I win the face-off directly backwards, I want my other AI defender to get to the opposite side of the ice, behind the goal line, into some open space.

So I guess what I'm asking is, is there any way to get my AI defensive partner to support me behind the net and behind the goal line (instead of just sitting in front of the net, where he is not really an outlet), and just have your center cover the front of net?

Replies

  • JDuff902 wrote: »
    I mainly play NHL 18 franchise mode against the computer. I am relatively new to the more recent generation of NHL games, the last version I played was NHL 12 on PS3, which I played regularly up until I bought my PS4 last month, so I am not new to the game in general, just the more recent iterations.

    The main problem I am having is exiting my own defensive zone efficiently. Specifically when I am in one of the corners, looking for an outlet pass to exit the zone and start the rush. Now I know I'm going back a long way, but in NHL 12, you AI defensive partner was almost always supporting you below the goal line while you were in one of the corners. He would either be right behind the net, or maybe in the other corner, typically open and ready for an outlet pass. In NHL 18 he is nearly always directly in front of the net. Now, I never actually played ice hockey, so I'm guessing this is where he is supposed to be in a real life situation, but in the game this is really not an ideal position for him to be in for the style I like to play in my defensive zone. I don't feel comfortable trying to outlet the puck to him, because he is in front of the net, and that is a dangerous position to play the puck in a defensive situation. Ideally I'd like to work the puck behind the net and then around the boards and up the half wall on the opposite side of the ice from the current corner I'm in.

    An example of this occurs on dump-ins made by the AI opponent. I'll chase the puck into the corner, gather the puck, and look for an outlet pass before the forechecker can hit me or pin me to the boards. My defensemen typically are not fast enough or skilled enough to just skate the puck out of the danger area and into open space, so I'm looking to pass to an open man. Typically the guy who is most open is your opposite side winger, who will likely be on the opposite side of the ice on the half-wall. The problem is that the pass to him just takes too long to travel and either gets picked off or pressured by a pinching defender or another AI forward on the opponent's team. This problem also occurs when I win face-offs in my own defensive zone. When I win the face-off directly backwards, I want my other AI defender to get to the opposite side of the ice, behind the goal line, into some open space.

    So I guess what I'm asking is, is there any way to get my AI defensive partner to support me behind the net and behind the goal line (instead of just sitting in front of the net, where he is not really an outlet), and just have your center cover the front of net?

    To answer your game question: no. Your teammate AI are very unreliable at getting into useful positions in the breakout, especially your D partner.

    To answer your real-life question, it is also no. If a puck is in the corner, the defensemen in-front should be positioned right off the near (strong side) post. This provides a nice defensive position plus it also allows you to use the net as a screen should your d partner kick the puck towards you. A simple two steps (probably not simple with TPS, but simple in real life) to the puck, the use the net to create separation. Or, if your partner carries the puck behind the net, sitting on that near side post allows your partner to reverse the puck to you if he has too much pressure.

    Sitting with both d behind the net is certainly used still in real life as well, but that normally happens more when you already had puck possession as it is more risky to have both D behind the net. The scenario I described would be what you would see when the puck is being cycled/fought over. Both are correct, just different scenarios.

    I find the the AI D partners in this game get caught standing out front even when having clear puck possession, and it certainly does derail the breakout. On my sliders (based on mizzourahs sliders on Operation Sports) I like to use small chips with the sauce pass to breakout.

    Since using these sliders, I’ve found offline NHL to be the most enjoyable offline experience out of any NHL game! I can’t say that about the online side of this game, but it shows that there is a solid base to work with, and hopefully his game continues to grow and improve.

  • Thanks for the detailed response. I couldn't agree more about the positioning of the AI defender. Even when I have clear puck possession in my defensive zone near or behind the goal line, with limited pressure by the opposing AI, he just kind of stands in the middle of the ice in front of the net, completely negating his usefulness as a potential pass receiver. To pass it to him is just asking for a turnover in front of the net.
  • Nope. You just have to pray that when you ring it around the boards to the opposite winger that he wants to face the right direction so that when you gain control of him, you don't have to do a 180 that takes too long to implement and he ends up just letting the puck go right by him because turning is tough.
  • Nope. You just have to pray that when you ring it around the boards to the opposite winger that he wants to face the right direction so that when you gain control of him, you don't have to do a 180 that takes too long to implement and he ends up just letting the puck go right by him because turning is tough.

    I can't count the number of times my skater on the other side is doing some ridiculous back or side skate animation towards the boards, but he shows no intention of actually facing the direction that EVERY SINGLE NHL skater would in real life in that situation. It looks like he his heading there because EA told him to, but EA forgot to mention that the REASON he is going there is to get the puck that is on its way there.

    The game just needs better situational awareness in general.
  • I don't think EA understands the importance of puck support as evidenced by offensive zone entry. This is why it is a necessity to bring back the created play feature (preferably the NHL10 version but would be satisfied by the NHL11 version)
  • Nope. You just have to pray that when you ring it around the boards to the opposite winger that he wants to face the right direction so that when you gain control of him, you don't have to do a 180 that takes too long to implement and he ends up just letting the puck go right by him because turning is tough.

    I can't count the number of times my skater on the other side is doing some ridiculous back or side skate animation towards the boards, but he shows no intention of actually facing the direction that EVERY SINGLE NHL skater would in real life in that situation. It looks like he his heading there because EA told him to, but EA forgot to mention that the REASON he is going there is to get the puck that is on its way there.

    The game just needs better situational awareness in general.

    When playing offline, you really do see the limitations of the skating imo. I totally agree about the weak side wing not in proper position to catch a puck. They are usually going in full speed back against the boards without any awareness as to where the puck is.

    Obviously a real NHLer (or peewee for that matter) would simply do a quick pivot and pick the puck up either looking up ice, or bracing facing the boards if expecting a hit.

    That being said, the offline play in this game is amazing compared to years past. These little immersion breaking things hold it back from really being great though! Hopefully soon we’ll get there!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!