The Slot in Ice Hockey
In ice hockey, the slot is the area where the puck stands the best chance of scoring without deflection. This position provides an ideal straight-on view of the net and allows for better accuracy and puck placement. It also allows for the wrist shot, which is a great option for smaller wingers. While the slot has many benefits, it is also a contested area for defenders.
In ice hockey, slot receivers are lined up inside of a boundary cornerback
The slot is a rectangular area on the ice that extends towards the blue line and is used for many offensive plays. The term is related to the Greek verb sleutana, which means “to line up” and is cognate to the German word schloss. Players often line up in the slot to get deflected shots or rebound pucks. They are also the target of goaltenders, who must react lightning fast to any puck that lands inside the slot.
The slot receivers line up on either side of the field, and there can be as many as three on the field at one time. They can be mixed between the left and right sides, and are often called Inside Slot and Outside Slot. The slot cornerback is also known as a nickel cornerback, because a nickel equals 5 cents.
They are smaller, quicker, and more nimble
Slot receivers are smaller, faster, and more nimble than wide receivers. They run quick routes in the middle of the field and look to create mismatches with linebackers. They are often more expensive than their wide counterparts, but are worth the price.
They can stretch the defense vertically off pure speed
Slot receivers give the offense an extra weapon in the passing game. They typically start by running flat routes, then break up into post and corner routes to attack the defense from all angles. A slot’s speed gives him a distinct advantage in spreading the defense. Unlike wideouts, who often line up next to the sideline, a slot is lined up behind the line of scrimmage.
Slot receivers can stretch the defense vertically off pure acceleration, but they must also have patience, deception, and coverage recognition to exploit a defense’s lack of speed. One of the best examples of a slot receiver using a post route is James Washington of Oklahoma State, who runs post routes against isolated cornerbacks.
They can be difficult for defenses to cover
While wide receivers are relatively easy to cover, slot receivers have a difficult time being covered. Slot receivers are typically paired with a DB playing off coverage, which makes them difficult to cover against a secondary. The slot receiver’s option route will often provide the QB with the most favorable look. Without a slot receiver, the QB will have trouble gaining traction against a DB playing off coverage.
When used correctly, the slot can be a dangerous weapon. Sammy can create coverage mismatches when he runs inside. He can also get open outside when a defense plays zone. Using a slot receiver can also help a team score points on third downs.