To get ‘half-iced’ is a bad thing

Updated at 4:07 PM: The Free Press’s David Gauruder spoke with the Red Wings regarding a major flaw in their game which may have cost them the 3-2 decision to Columbus last night:

Trapped in their zone most of the way, the Wings failed to generate many chances through forechecking. Dylan Larkin, who assisted on both goals, was the only forward to squeeze off more than two shots against Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.

Coach Jeff Blashill invented a new word for his team’s predicament.

“It’s the chicken or the egg thing. We call it half-ice,” he said. “If you can half-ice the other team, meaning you forecheck, you stay on top of them, they barely get it out and boom, you jam it right back down their throats, you’re half-icing them. They half-iced us last night.”

A good way to prevent ‘half-icing’ is to win faceoffs, but the Wings were outplayed in that area as well, with Columbus winning 57 percent of them. The Blue Jackets also had twice as many power plays (6-3), in large part because the Wings were scrambling on defense.

“We couldn’t get anything going,” Vanek said. “We struggled on faceoffs, which is a big part because you’re not starting with the puck and then all of a sudden you’re chasing it. You don’t get those puck touches to get (yourself) into the game.”


Update: The Detroit News’s Gregg Krupa also discusses the issue:

“When you don’t break the puck out of your zone and you’ve played d-zone coverage, you can’t have a fore-check because you’re too tired,” coach Jeff Blashill said Friday, after the Red Wings worked out off the ice, and packed for California.

By the time they get the puck, players need to change lines, he said.

“You have one guy up the ice and two guys kind of lag behind because they’ve changed, or they are tired. They’re not able to create any fore-check pressure.”

Blashill called it “half icing” an opponent, when the fore-check creates so much difficulty, teams play mostly on their half of the ice.

On Thursday, the Blue Jackets half-iced the Red Wings. The Wings, especially as a lineup in transition, need that battle to go mostly the other way.

“I think our lack of fore-check last night had much more to do with our inability to get the puck out of our zone than it had anything to do with the fore-check,” Blashill said. “And, when you can’t fore-check, you can’t create as much. When you end up getting zoned to death, you end up not being able to do too much.”

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.