I really wanted to show this Brian Campbell zone entry pass, but he also makes two other noticeable plays in this sequence.
Let’s start with the first play, which is the pass through the air to Tyler Motte for an offensive zone entry. Since Campbell is playing on his left side, he is able to make a nice forehand flip pass to Motte.
Think of it like a football pass. When the wide receiver is streaking down the field, the quarterback doesn’t throw to where the receiver is, but rather to where the receiver is going to be. The QB has to aim in front of the receiver to hit them in stride. The quarterback also has to put the football in a spot where the defenders can’t get it.
Brian Campbell was like a quarterback on this play. He sends a pass in front of a streaking Tyler Motte to a place where only Motte could get the puck. The result of this play was an offensive zone entry and a sharp angle shot for Tyler Motte.
To score goals, a team must somehow enter the offensive zone. I enjoy watching Brian Campbell play for his creative offensive zone entries. His ability to move the puck really helps Chicago generate offense by gaining the zone with ease.
The second play Campbell makes is when he receives the puck at the point from Tyler Motte. Campbell has a Canuck barreling down on him, but he recognizes that Rasmussen is not yet in position near the boards to receive a pass. Campbell patiently waits for Rasmussen to get in position before sending a pass back down the boards, keeping the play alive.
The third play Campbell makes is a pinch in. Marcus Kruger has the puck and is skating along the boards, and out towards the point. Inversely, Campbell travels in from the point and receives a drop off pass from Marcus Kruger. Campbell then continues down the boards and skates behind the net, until he is here:
Notice the positioning of the five Vancouver players. Campbell taking the puck down low causes the Vancouver skaters to collapse towards the net. Look at the eyes of the players in blue. Most of them are fixated on Campbell. Now imagine if Brent Seabrook was playing as the right defensemen, and he followed the red arrow in and received a one timer feed from Brian Campbell. That would be a really good scoring chance.
Now that didn’t happen. Seabrook wasn’t on the ice and no player moved in for a one-timer. I simply wanted to show the possibilities of this play. The benefit of having the puck behind the net is the opposing skaters have their backs turned to the point. This allows a Chicago player on the point to sneak in for a shot.
In the actual play, Campbell tries to send a pass to the slot through traffic, but the pass was blocked.
This was a 39 second video in which Campbell made three positive offensive plays. Hopefully this helps illustrate how Brian Campbell can be a great possession player that generates offense by getting the puck in and keeping it in the offensive zone.