What Is A Breakout In Hockey?

Ice Hockey Breakout

A hockey breakout is when one team gains control of the puck in their defensive end and skates out of this area to begin an attack. In order for a breakout to be successful, the teammates will have to work together to execute it.

A breakout begins once a defender gets possession of the puck and skates away from the opposing team's players. This could mean skating behind the net in order to get away from the opponent. During this time the wings and center will head towards the defender to hopefully receive the puck in a pass. The other defender will protect the goal in case the opponent gets control of the puck again.

The strong-side wing is the side with the puck on it and this player skates along the boards to receive the pass. The weak-side wing either skates up the ice to receive a future pass or they will go to the corner if it looks like the defender can't pass to the strong-side wing. The center will skate towards their net to receive a pass most likely from one of the wings.


What are common mistakes made in a breakout?

It's important for forwards to skate towards the puck rather than away in order to receive a pass. Another mistake made is if a pass is made in front of the face of the goal. This gives the opponent the opportunity to score a goal or the puck could get deflected and score a goal as well. Lastly, defenders have to skate further into their defensive zone to make the first pass despite being used to getting the puck away from this area.

What is a rim pass?

Rim passes are used when a player with the puck is under a lot of pressure. In a breakout, this happens when the opposing team is surrounding the defender and the player needs to make a quick pass. In this case, the defender will make a rimmed pass by passing the puck along the corner boards to a wing. Usually the weak-side wing receives a rimmed pass.

What are some different breakout plays?

There are a few different ways to execute a breakout. One is called up and this is used when the opponent is near the goal. The defender will move the puck up the side to the strong-wing. Another is called the wheel and this is used when there isn't a lot of pressure near the goal. The defender will go behind the goal and get to the other side to pass to a wing.

What happens after the defender passes to a wing?

Usually after the pass has been made the winger will have opponents surrounding them. The winger and the teammates must act quickly. The winger can possibly skate up and pass through an opening. Sometimes the defender will need to take action and try and get one of the opponents off the winger so they can pass the puck to the center of the ice. No matter what, all players must work together and react quickly during a breakout.