So I’m starting a new career on Eastside Hockey Manager: Early Access – I’m not decided on a team to manage yet, but think it’ll be a Swedish League 2 (HockeyAllsvenskan) – possibly Mora IK, team where I’ll try to build my reputation up to try to get a job in the NHL) hopefully with the New York Rangers).
This post is really about getting my philosophy set in my mind and so I’ve got a quick reference to look to rather than having to go back to the manual again and again.
I want to build a team of youngsters (creating a dynasty) so only 2 or 3 players over 30 – most likely a goalie and a top D man as they tend to mature later on in their careers.
The way I want to line up is as follows:
1st line – scoring line – offensive
2nd line – scoring line – slightly more defensive than the 1st line
3rd line – checking line – defensive – play vs the top opponent line
4th line – speed line – dump and chase – give the rest a breather
So as above, I want my 1st line to pretty much be my 2 best offensive players plus another decent forward, they’ll be my top scoring line.
The 2nd line will contain my 3rd best offensive player, (spreading the scoring) – probably a passer, shooter and a grinder.
The 3rd line will be my defensive offense line – it will be made up of my best defensive forwards – I plan to use line matching to get them out against my opponents top line – and will hopefully get my top line out against the opponents weakest line. The centre on this line will be my best faceoff man, as they can’t score if they don’t have the puck.
The 4th line will be used to give a breather to the other lines – ideally I want this line to be quick and hard hitting to allow them to play dump and chase effectively and hopefully cause a few problems in the offensive zone. I’ll also use this line to give some time to prospects / youngsters to allow them to gain some experience of first team hockey.
My D will need to be set in lines so that my best pairing are on the ice with the third line.
I guess I’ll get more into this when I see what my players are like but I intend to go with the following tactics, I’ll also be using unit tactics to get each line to play the way I want them to:
- Mentality – Balanced
- Aggressiveness – I don’t want to be overly aggressive and draw penalties but we need to have some aggression so this will be set to 3 or 4 out of 5 on the scale.
- Backchecking – Hard or Very Hard – I want my players to backcheck as much as possible to prevent scoring opportunities – shift lengths will be short so they shouldn’t get too tired.
- Gap Control – Probably leave this slider in the middle.
- Puck Pressure – again leave this one in the middle.
- Hitting – Middle again, don’t want to be caught out of position going for the big hit, but don’t want to be too soft and be pushed around
- Tempo – Low – I want to keep the puck (4th line will play D&C with a lot of speed so will be set to a high tempo).
- Passing – This will be line specific but will be balanced overall. First line more adventurous 3rd and 4th line will be safe.
- Shooting – again line specific, but first and second line more selective, 4th line will shoot on sight.
- Dumping the puck – 4th line only – I don’t want to give up possession too easily.
The following is what each player attribute means as well as an example of what to look out for. This can also be found in the game user manual.
Players with good physical attributes are more likely to be a better overall hockey player as you’d struggle to be a good player without these skills.
|Acceleration||Scoring wingers in particular, but in general most players who require strong recovery and breakout speed.||How quickly a player can reach his top speed from a standing start. The attribute will correlate with Speed – you’ll rarely find a player with a massive difference (> 5) between the two.|
|Agility||Speedy wingers you’ll expect to impact upon your play, and players with top speed.||How adept a player is at keeping his balance and moving quickly in tricky situations.|
|Balance||Everyone. Players need to be able to skate to be at all competent on the ice, and balance is fairly key to that.||How well he stays upright and on his feet in physical contact and quick turns on skates.|
|Speed||Players with impact speed will always be better against slower players. Speed kills and is a very useful tool in hockey.||The player’s maximum skating speed, regardless of how long it takes him to reach that speed.|
|Stamina||Anyone who needs to play considerable amounts during the game. It’s pointless having a technically gifted player if he can’t spend more than thirty seconds on the ice at any one time.||How long he is able to play effectively before tiring.|
|Strength||Big centers who have the main aim to drive to the net and make life as hard as possible for the goaltender; and defensemen who need to move those big centers.||How physically strong he is|
I’ll be looking for players with high anticipation, bravery, determination, work rate and teamwork. No one player is bigger than the team. The others will depend on the position and situation I want to use the player in.
|Aggression||The majority of players. Aggression is a big part of hockey, and without it some players will be lost on the ice, but an overly high aggression may cause problems on the ice||How aggressively he behaves towards other players.|
|Anticipation||Top six forwards/top four dmen. If these key players anticipate situations quickly they can make plays happen.||How well he anticipates what is about to happen on the ice, i.e. reading the play.|
|Bravery||That player you want out there when the going gets tough.||How brave he is when playing, as indicated by things like his willingness to go into the corners after the puck despite the risk of being hit or his willingness to block shots with his body.|
|Creativity||Forwards in general, but mostly centers; offensive defensemen.||How good he is at recognizing teammates in potentially good scoring position and make things happen for his team.|
|Determination||Everyone. A team united to reach the same common goal will be more likely to reach it if they’re all committed to the cause.||How determined he is to win|
|Flair||Your franchise player. Each team would love to have a player with so much flair it’s frightening. It’s generally a case of finding/developing one to build your team around||How likely the player is to show off and try the unexpected – how exciting he is, essentially.|
|Influence||The player who will lead the team and wear the captain’s ‘C’ on his jersey, and players who would be potential ‘A’ or future ‘C’ wearers.||How well a player leads by example, and how much they affect the team in a positive way|
|Teamwork||A majority of players if you want your team to play as a cohesive unit, and not like certain collections of highly paid individuals||How good he is at playing for the team rather than for himself.|
|Work Rate||Everyone. It pays off to have everybody work for the cause every shift they take.||How hard he works during a game, as evidenced by how much he regularly does during a shift.|
These attributes are how skilled the player is at certain things.
|Checking||Your checking line, should you choose to have one||How good a player is at shadowing the opponents and preventing them from finishing offensive plays.|
|Deflections||Players in the slot looking to get a piece of the puck from longrange shots.||How good a player is at deflecting long-range shots on goal.|
|Deking||Wingers generally, but any player who can take get past an opponent with skill is handy.||How good a player is at deking opponents using body moves rather than stickhandling.|
|Faceoffs||Since your centers will be taking the faceoffs, them||How good he is at winning faceoffs.|
|Hitting||Big defensemen, and tough forwards. A big hit leads by example and gives the whole team a boost.||How good he is at bodychecking opponents.|
|Off The Puck||Offensively minded players.||How good he is at moving into good attacking positions, i.e. finding holes in the defense to move through|
|Passing||How accurately the player can complete a pass. Also reflects how easily a pass from this player is received.||Anyone who wants to remain in your plans. Someone who can’t pass is someone who puts your team in danger.|
|Pokecheck||Defensemen. They need to break up the offensive rush as quickly as possible.||How well a player can poke the puck away from an opponent using his stick.|
|Positioning||Anyone with defensive responsibilities, and especially if a team plays a zonal defensive system||How good he is at staying in a good defensive position.|
|Slapshot||Players who play the point on powerplays. A top slapshot can be worth its weight in goals.||How good his slapshot is, taking into account release, strength and accuracy.|
|Stickhandling||Any player who’ll be moving the puck up-ice frequently.||How good a player is at moving and controlling the puck while skating|
|Wristshot||Offensive talents with an eye for scoring||How good his wristshot is, taking into account release, strength and accuracy.|
|Blocker||All goalies||How good he is at saving shots with his blocker|
|Glove||All goalies||How good he is at saving shots with his glove hand, and how well he holds onto the puck with it.|
|Passing||Goalies playing in teams who stress a passing/puck possession game. A goalie acting as a sixth skater with sound passing is an asset.||How well he passes to teammates.|
|Pokecheck||Goalies on teams who may be prone to giving up breakaway situations often.||How adept he is at making pokecheck saves.|
|Positioning||All goalies||How positionally sound he is.|
|Rebound Control||Goalies on teams who have defensemen who may be less than adequate at clearing the slot.||How often he is likely to offer up rebounds – a higher number will result in less rebounds and better control of them when they happen.|
|Recovery||All goalies||How well he recovers from one/multiple saves or tricky situations.|
|Reflexes||All goalies||How likely he is to make spectacular saves and react as quickly as possible to all situations.|
|Stickhandling||Goalies playing in teams where the coach allows them to play the puck outside of their crease.||How well he handles the puck when attempting to play it.|