FF Telestrator: Jokinen's Read Saves The Day
This telestrator is about the game winner for the Pittsburgh Penguins last night and the heads up play that Jussi Jokinen made to win the game for Pittsburgh.
We’ve spent a lot of time on this site discussing how the Penguins play in the offensive zone, specific to what they do when they’re chasing pucks down after dumping it in.
The Penguins play a very forward and aggressive style of hockey once they’ve dumped the puck in and start to establish a forcheck.
The goal for the Penguins is simple: hit the opposition’s defense and take the easy play along the wall away. The Penguins want to make the opposing team’s defensemen make smart, center ice passes under duress.
If you take a look at the diagram above, the black X represents a Bruins defenseman attempting to corral the puck. The yellow X’s represent the Penguins clogging up the wall and forcing a play up the middle of the ice.
It’s not easy to turn and make a play with the puck when a guy like Chris Kunitz is bearing down on you.
Last night, Jussi Jokinen was going about his business when he noticed a trend in the Boston Bruins breakout.
Johnny Boychuk was beating the Penguins. He was finding a way to avoid the wall and throw the puck up the middle of the ice.
So Jokinen made one adjustment to his game to counteract this. The result was a beautiful snipe of a goal that gave the Penguins a necessary two-goal cushion late in the game.
Jussi Jokinen is along the wall here. Joe Vitale is chasing down Johnny Boychuk.
Jokinen’s job, in the midst of a line change, is to allow Vitale to do his thing down low and seal off the easy play for Boychuk.
But as we mentioned previously, Jokinen has noticed a trend. He’s aware of a developing situation. He described it perfectly post-game.
“Our guys were playing the boards, and Johnny Boychuk had the puck and he was hitting their centermen all night. I was kind of reading that he was going to hit their centerman and I was able to get the puck there.”
Jokinen peels off, reads the pass, and steals the puck from Jordan Caron.
Caron, like Boychuk, is expecting a pretty easy outlet pass here. Jokinen takes the initiative, steals the puck and catches Johnny Boychuk (yellow circle) admiring his pass a little bit.
Jokinen steals the puck with ease. Boychuk is out to lunch. The other Bruins defenseman is screening his own goaltender.
Jokinen snipes Rask and the Penguins get the goal they need to win.
This might seem small, but if Jokinen doesn’t pinch on Caron here, the Penguins are going to overtime courtesy of Jarome Iginla’s fantastic effort.
This was a heads up play by Jokinen, quick read that garnered the best result possible for the Pittsburgh Penguins.