TacticsTo achieve good results you cannot underestimate the tactical preparation of the team. On the Tactics page you can find a number of tactical options that you can use to have a direct influence on the outcome of the game.
Game importanceThe importance of the game is a critical tactical option. You have to use it with care, because even though high importance makes your players play with the maximum intensity, it causes their seasonal energy to drop faster. Low importance is not that costly on the energy, but the players do not play with a high intensity. Game importance also influences chemistry and experience gains of players. The higher the importance, the faster the players gain chemistry and experience.
You can change importance between periods based on the score of the game. You just need to set the conditions that must be fulfilled to change the importance. The importance setting has no influence on the overtime. The overtime is played as if both teams had selected the same importance. Since players don't lose any energy in the overtime, there is no reason to save it.
Style of playThe right style of play may also help you achieve a better result. There are two things to remember. First: For every style of play there is an effective counter-tactic. Second: Every team has different strengths and weaknesses and therefore different styles of play may suit different teams. Another important thing is, whether you are the favorite or the underdog coming into the game.
Apart from that, it is essential that your players are able to fulfill their tactical duties. The more you play with the same style of play, the more chemistry you build up and the better your players will perform. On the other hand, if you don't use some style of play, the ability of your players to perform well with this style of play decreases. The ability of players to perform a certain style of play increases faster in competitive games than in friendly games. The information about the current state of chemistry of your team in each style of play can be found as the number in brackets on the Tactics page.
You can change style of play between periods based on the score of the game. You just need to set the conditions that must be fulfilled to change the style of play.
Normal: This is the basic style of play with the players fulfilling their primary tasks. This tactic is best suited for balanced teams with equally good offense and defense.
Defensive: With defensive style of play, your players think defense first. This kind of tactic is useful when you play a stronger opponent or if your defensemen are better than your forwards. This style of play produces fewer shots for both teams and therefore also fewer goals.
Offensive: If the main strength of your team is in offense, then this tactical option will help you get even more out of this strength. It is particularly beneficial when you are the favorite coming into the game. With offensive style of play, both teams have more scoring chances and therefore also score more goals.
Counterattacks: If you select this style of play, your players play a solid defensive game and they are looking for breakaways and odd man rushes. Similarly to the defensive style of play, this is also a style that suits teams with a strong defense, but to a smaller extent.
Breaking up of play: With this tactic, your players are mainly trying to shut down the offensive efforts of your opponent. It is a tactic which is best used in games where you are the underdog. Fewer chances on both ends increase the likelihood of an upset.
Active forechecking: When you employ this tactic, your forwards try to put the opposing players under pressure by a high forecheck in the offensive zone. This tactical option works best for teams with quality forwards. It is recommended mainly in the games with weaker opponents.
In close games it often happens that the result is decided by power plays or penalty kills. The right choice of tactics in these situations may tip the scales in your favor. For every power play scheme, there is an effective defense. Conversely, for every penalty kill tactic, there is a power play variant that can exploit the weak spot in that defense.
Like with style of play, it is essential that your players are able to fulfill their roles on power plays and penalty kills. The more you play with the same tactics, the more chemistry you build up and the better your players will perform. On the other hand, if you don't use some variant, the ability of your players to perform this variant decreases. The information about the current state of chemistry of your team in these tactics can be found as the number in brackets on the Tactics page.
You can change power play and penalty kill tactics between periods based on the score of the game. You just need to set the conditions that must be fulfilled to change the tactics.
Shooting from the point: This power play variant has two players at the blue line and their task is to shoot often with the player in front of the net trying to deflect the shots or pounce on the rebounds.
Umbrella: This power play has only one player on the point who works as the quarterback for the power play. His task is to deal passes to the players at the boards who may then shoot or pass the puck.
Overload: The purpose of this power play is to focus the attention of penalty killers on one side. This opens up room for one player on the weak side who can shoot the puck after it is fed to him.
Diamond: When you play diamond on the penalty kill, your players form a diamond shape. One player guards the area in front of the net and one player is closer to the blue line.
Passive box: Passive box means that penalty killers are keeping relatively close to each other to guard the area in front of the net and in the slot. This gives more room to the power play along the boards.
Active box: This option means that your penalty killers quickly close down on the players with the puck who then have less time to set up a power play combination. The disadvantage is, that this can open up the slot for the opponent.
Time on iceAnother tactical option is the ability to set ice time for each line. If you want to get the most out of your top players, set a higher percentage of ice time for your top lines. You may even decide to roll just three lines and thus use your best players even more. The disadvantage behind this, is that these players will tire more than usual. Not only will it negatively influence their practice improvement on that day, but they will have less energy at the end of the season. On the other hand, the more they play, the more experience they gain and their chemistry goes up faster.
You can change number of lines between periods based on the score of the game. You just need to set the conditions that must be fulfilled to change the number of lines.
The feature that allows you to react to the opponent's withdrawal of the fourth line can be used to counter the opponent's decision to reduce the play to the top three lines in order to gain advantage by withdrawing the obviously less skilled fourth line.
GoaltendersA goalie enters every game with neutral confidence. His confidence may increase or decrease between periods based on his performance in the previous period. If he is doing well, his confidence goes up and he is more difficult to beat. However, if he is performing poorly, his confidence goes down and he can let in a shot that he would normally stop. In that case, it may be a good idea to change him for the backup goalie. You can change goalies between periods based on the score, goals against or save percentage.
If you have the pull the goalie option turned on, your team will take this step, if there are 2 minutes left in regulation and your team is one goal behind. You will thus have an extra attacker on the ice and a bigger chance to score an equalizer.