Strategy Guide
How to Counter the Slap Pass Online in NHL 08

If you have played NHL 08 online much this season you will have come to the realization that it is one of the most enjoyable games to play online in recent memory. You will also come to the realization that, like most games in this genre, it has plays that people can manipulate so they can cheese you to death.

Today we are speaking in particular about the “slap pass”. If you have played any of the top ranked players you will have most likely encountered a slap passer. Basically what they do is come down near the goal line and pulls back on the shoot stick, indicating a slap shot, and then pass the puck to a guy across the crease. What makes this so hard to defend is the fact that the pass is usually sent with such speed and accuracy there is no time to react. Also combine the fact that it is totally cheese worthy, it can ruin your day and your ranking really quick.

While there is no sure fire way to stop this play 100% of the time, other than to not give up the situation it stems from, there are ways to prevent it sometimes. To give you a fighting chance against it, we will discuss a few of these maneuvers.

First off, positioning. When a player attacks with the puck wide and has shown that he is capable or willing to slap pass, he usually waits for someone on his team to get in position to send the pass to. This is your cue to decide how you want to play him. Do you want to attack the shooter, the pass or the passer?

If you decide to take the passer you must be quick. This is the highest risk of defending this play. You have to realize that the computer A.I. is not capable of breaking up this pass once it is made. Thus leaving the guy in front of the net virtually unchallenged. So it is all up to you.

One of the best things you can do with this situation is to try to stop him from making the pass. By attempting a poke check while he is slowing down, or starting his windup, hopefully you can knock the puck loose before he gets everything how he wants it. It is tough, as he has most likely practiced the maneuver many times over, and the game gives the offense benefit of the doubt in these situations.

The other thing that you can do is try to hit him. This is even more risky, as you have further to travel in a short time, and this pass takes only a second to complete.

The worst thing you can do is leave your feet. Don’t dive with this defender at the puck carrier. You just give him time to and space to change his strategy or move to a better position to complete the pass. It takes longer to dive and get up and get back into the play than to go straight at the puck carrier too. So keep that in mind.

Now if you decide to play the pass, diving is definitely a viable option. Be sure to dive so that your body is facing long wise, head to toe goal line to blue line. This takes up the most space, and limits the area a pass can make it through to its desired location. The best place to lie is towards the front of the crease, on the side of the net with the puck carrier.

Also, you can hold the buttons that make you lay down longer so that he is forced to move and so that the rest of your defense can get into better position.

Finally, playing the shooter, or play finisher. Your final option is to hang back and take out the intended target for the pass. EA didn’t give many options to help you though. Tying the man up is very hard thing to do and not a good thing to try in this case. Instead try to bump him before or while the pass is coming. It takes timing, and often results in a penalty, but it may just save a sure goal.

Be aware, however, that if you do that successfully that the next time the situation arises the other player may walk in and make a move while you are off guarding his teammate on the doorstep. So be ready to counter that and inch your way back into the play if this occurs.

Unfortunately all these tips are very hard to pull off, unless you are already pretty good at the game. However, they are the best ways to stop the dreaded slap pass, outside of not playing jerks that do it. And sometimes even if you do everything right, it still works out for the cheeser sometimes, but such is life I suppose.

Hopefully these tips give you some kind of defense in the war on cheese. Sometimes all you have to do is stifle a play once or twice before someone gives up on it. Doing that can be the difference between winning and losing.