Originally posted on Nightmare on Helm Street  |  Last updated 11/30/11

Now, I know what you're thinking, but the worst play in hockey isn't simply letting Brett Lebda on the ice.

Everyone always talks about a few killer plays in hockey: bad turnovers, stupid penalties, or a bad pinch.  Yes, these all suck, but usually they involve a screw up or an unintentional mistake. No, the worst play in hockey is one that I see all the time as a goaltender and it almost always comes back to bite the team in the ass.

 Fly past the jump to find out.

This play is as follows:  The decision, when a forward or defenseman has a puck in the zone, usually by the boards, and decides rather than to get the puck out of the zone, to circle back into his zone to find a better play.    Here, I made some excellent paint examples to show you what I mean and my paint skills. 

First, the puck is passed from the defenseman to the winger as most normal breakouts occur. 


Now if the center is covered, the right play here is to get the puck out of the zone, no matter what.  That's the right play 99.9% of the time.   It gets the flow of the puck moving towards the other net, allows your team to regroup, and might even allow your center to get the puck before their D does.  


Now the wrong play is to circle back and "restart the breakout" hoping to get a better opening.   Your entire team is going the other way and they have to stop, turn around and start returning to the zone to try again.  Plus the defense, who've done their job, have to be swearing at you under their breath and are confused at what the hell you are doing.  This allows the defense to continue forchecking and can reverse a lot faster than your team.  


This almost always causes a turnover and often a goal.  During the Great Goal Famine of 2011, a few Wings were often guilty of this.  Specifically three players:  Datsyuk (surprisingly), Ericssion (unsurprisingly), and the worst offender, Todd Bertuzzi.  When he's not on his game, poor decisions almost always follow.  But when he's playing well, "up and out" is his motto.

Now that the ship has been patched and the players are confident again, I haven't seen much of this.  But pay attention to games.  If you notice this happening, bad things almost always follow. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Manfred blames MLBPA for no significant rule changes in 2017

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Report: Clippers intent on keeping both Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Slam dunks and startups: How all-star technology took over the NBA in The Big Easy

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker