Anyways, back on track – if you haven’t already read the Overload section of my previous Coaching Strategies thread then make sure you check that out first: Coaching Strategies Overload(opens in new tab)
That will ensure you are aware of the Overload basics and player positioning. This post is going to build on that to improve your success rate.
Perfect Execution Example
Magical isn’t it? When it works it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face 🙂
Now, let’s break down the video a bit here.
AI Covering Positions
Notice at the 7 second mark when I go down to the corner with Cammalleri; Radulov switches and covers Cammalleri’s position. The AI is very smart in that sense and it’s what makes cycling so effective. When you move into an AI’s position, they will always look to cover whatever other position is open.
Pulling Defenders Out of Position
Once I get the cycle going you can see the human controlled player, Helm(RW), is following the puck going way down low and then way up high – this causes a problem because now the AI isn’t sure what to do. For a moment Helm is in their position so one of them has to cover Helm’s but then Helm is back up top so yeah you get the point. Ultimately, this leaves me with a ton of space on the left boards.
Recognizing Your AI’s Positioning
While cycling, regularly check on that right side AI’s positioning, or left side if you are cycling on the right. As the puck moves up and down the boards they will move up and down in the slot – once you see an opening… pass, goal.
Here are a couple similar attempts where I was receiving more pressure and they didn’t end quite as successfully but still good examples of getting a scoring opportunity with Overload:
You can see how even when attempting to do the same play it can change slightly depending on the amount of pressure you are receiving and the defender positions. All in all though, the idea is still the same in all clips so far.
Use Your Defense
Even though the play usually ends with your forwards, defense are a critical cog and not just for the cycling along the boards.
If that slot pass never opens up then you need a plan B. When it isn’t opening up it often means your opponent is collapsing their defenders and that should result in your own defensemen being wide open. Pass to your defense and get shots on net! You never know what will happen with so many bodies in front.
Left or Right Boards Cycling
Another alternative if you can’t generate any scoring opportunities is to wrap the puck around to the opposite boards and start cycling that side. The migration over might help pull defenders out of their positions.
You can either wrap it around the boards behind the net or pass it back to your Defense and start the cycle from up there.
Handedness of Your Players
Last but not least, pay attention to the handedness of the players on your lines. I prefer to cycle on the left side as you can see in the videos above. No particular reason, just a preference.
If you are cycling on the left side then the most important positions to pay attention to are the LD and RW.
- LD – you want to make sure is left handed so the puck can’t slide past them along the boards.
- RW – I prefer to be left handed for the cross crease one-timer.
- RD – you may want to be left handed as well if you frequently do one-timers from the point. Keep in mind you can always switch sides with the D man if you skate to the RD’s side with the LD then the AI RD will naturally switch over to the LD’s position.
- C and LW – having at least one of the LW or C right handed can be beneficial if you want to cut into the slot during the Overload cycle. I always have the LW as a lefty though for the same reason as LD.
If you prefer to cycle on the right side then of course just do the opposite of the above.
Go Get Some Goals!
That’s it! You may have noticed that there isn’t really any NHL 17 “scoring” tutorials/guides on the site yet. The reason for that is there are a ton out there already – just search “NHL 17 scoring tips” or some variation of that. Those videos/tutorials are great but what if you have trouble getting into those scoring positions? When you play highly skilled players you won’t often be able to just skate into the slot for an easy snipe. That’s what I’m hoping this post will help with – adding some new tools to your offensive toolbox.
See ya along the boards!