Coach Nielsen's Ice Hockey Drills

www.IceHockeyDrills.info

Offensive Tactics with Chris Campanale

Recently my team was having some trouble consistently creating offense. We have a lot of talented players but they were getting lazy and falling back on old bad habits. Sometimes a coach needs to bring in a new voice to speak to the team about some of the concepts he is trying to teach. Chris Campanale is a local professional player who lives in our area and works out at the facility in our rink. I asked Chris if he would be interested in coming out to practice once a week and working with my team on offensive tactics. Chris was very willing to step up and help the younger players develop their offensive skills.

Chris worked with our players once a week for the past three weeks. In the four games before I invited Chris out to skate with us we scored nine goals and went 2-1-1. In the four games since Chris started working with the players we scored 25 goals and went 3-0-1. Now, that is a major turn around and multiple factors played a roll, but Chris’ fundamental tactics were instrumental in the surge in scoring.

Some of the key points.

  • Shoot  the puck from good areas of the ice
  • Shoot from inside the dots (especially the D)
  • Play in the dirty area in front of the net
  • Talk, Talk, Talk on the ice

Here are some of the drills Chris ran with the team to work on these fundamentals.

1 on 1 Four Times

3 on 2 Down Low

4 Shot Net Front Battle

Dump In 2 on 1

Three Quarter Ice 3 on 2

In addition to the above drills that Chris worked on here are two others from Coach Cronin former Northeastern University head coach and current assistant in Toronto, that develop similar skills.

Creating Offense

Three Rush Concepts

Also don’t forget about teaching cycling concepts in the offensive zone. Here is something I put together last season for the progression of cycling drills.

Cycle Progression Drills

Teaching offense is always a difficult task for a coach. So many factors play a role in a successful offensive attack, but if you work on fundamental skills and tactics the players can begin to incorporate those ideas into their general knowledge and start making better and smarter plays in the offensive zone. The offensive game isn’t black and white, it’s mostly gray and centered around the fundamental idea of read and react. Try working on drills that teach specific parts of offensive zone play and I think you will begin to see an improvement in your teams ability to create offense.

Unfortunately for us Chris leaves this weekend to start training camp with the Bloomington Thunder and won’t be around to continue helping us out. We all wish him the greatest success and look forward to working with him again in the future.

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Filed under: coaching, Cycling, Defensemen, Drills, Forwards, Offense, Shooting

Neutral Zone Regroup Drills

Every coach has their own style of play through the neutral zone along with how they want their team to work a regroup. Below are a few drills that you can use to work on your teams NZ play along with a simple document on how to run two styles of NZ regroup. Hope these drills can be helpful.

NZ Regroup Philosophy
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Hinge Drill
Hinge with Regroup Passing
D Shot with Hinge
2 on 1 with Pressure
3 Shot Quick-Up
Post-Up 2×0
Quick Up Shooting
St Johns Shooting
Tactical Shooting

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Filed under: coaching, Defense, Drills, Offense, Systems

Coach Pooley of Notre Dame Offers Offensive Drills

Paul Pooley is the former head coach at Division I Providence college and now associate head coach at Notre Dame University. Coach Pooley offers us a few drills on building offensive attack options as you enter the zone to maximize scoring chances. These drills work on attack options that can be created when your players are skating hard and thinking about proper positioning entering the zone. Each drill is designed to work on different parts of the offensive attack. Hope you find these helpful.

3 on 0 Loose / Tight Gap
Tight Area 2 on 1
3 Quarter Ice 3 on 2
3 on 1 Transition To 4 on 2
3 on 1 Transition To 4 on 3

 

Keys to Scoring

 

  1. Player without the puck makes the play work as much as the player with the puck.
  2. You may not score on the first shot so attack the net and look for rebounds.
  3. Hit the net with your shots to increase your chances of scoring.
  4. Shoot for a rebound if a shot to score is unavailable.
  5. Scoring goals is hard work so be ready to work hard.

 

 

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Filed under: coaching, Offense, Systems

Cycling the Puck for Offensive Success

We all know the importance of “cycling” the puck in today’s game. One of the issues with coaching is trying to get your players to understand the concept and effectively incorporate it into the action. One of the problems with players who aren’t adept at cycling the puck is that once they start to learn its proper use they forget to attack the net, instead theyjust continue to cycle the puck!

I’ve put together a progression of drills with the help of many coaches to help you work on the teaching points of cycling the puck. The bottom line is that cycling is used to create scoring chances by confusing the defensive team and causing them to open seams in their defense that your team can exploit for scoring chances. Make sure your players understand that the ultimate goal of cycling the puck is to get scoring chances……..not to look good moving the puck through the corners. Teach them to “read” the defensive positioning and take advantage of the opening that a good cycle will create.

These drills work off the idea of a “dead zone” in the corners of the offensive zone where the defensive team is normally not covering. It also uses the idea of “net presence” with the secondary forward to make sure you have players in good position to execute the cycle as well as create traffic in front of the goaltender.

A good cycle is important to your overall offensive zone philosophy, but doesn’t have to be a play that is executed every time you are in the offensive zone. Once you teach your players how to cycle the puck you should begin to see them incorporate it at different times throughout games. Cycling is a concept that needs to be reinforced throughout the season so the players can first understand the concept and then begin to incorporate it into their offensive zone play. Keep in mind that being a good coach means getting your players ready to advance to higher levels of play and being properly prepared.

Good luck and we hope these drills enable you to teach your players the art of cycling the puck in the offensive zone.

Cycle Progression Drills

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under: coaching, Cycling, Offense

New Stuff – Plays and Systems Website

I thought it might be helpful to some of the coaches who visit our site if they had access to my team playbook. After last season I did this and it was a big success, so this year I took it a bit further. I’ve created a site for Ice Hockey Plays and Systems that you may have interest in using with your teams next season. Basically it’s a series of videos describing different plays and systems that I either use with my current teams or know enough about to share with my readers.

I have a section on off ice training that can help you get your team in shape during the summer months. The training drills need only a simple parking lot or open area along with some chalk and maybe a few cones. I’ve used this training regimen with my teams for the past three seasons and it has been well received by the players and shown success at the beginning of each season when my teams have started strong.

I have a section under “Printed Material” where all the plays are documented in DrillDraw format and can be printed out.

Currently I’ve loaded faceoff plays and breakouts as well as defensive zone coverage and penalty kill videos. I will continue to add content throughout the spring and summer so that by the time next season starts you will have a place you can send your players to if you want them to learn any of the plays or just use it yourself to help teach your team some of the information. I hope it’s something you’re interested in and it helps you with your team in some small way.

To visit the site go to

www.IceHockeyPlaysAndSystems.info

or just go to the normal drills site and click on the link on the right side of the page.

As always, thanks to all of you for your support and I will do my best to keep both sites loaded with useful and FREE content.

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Filed under: coaching, Defense, Forecheck, Offense, Power Play, Systems

Team Concepts – Puck Support

Let’s discuss one of the most important skills you can perform early in the season to quickly (and consistently) help put your team on top. It’s called puck support.

Puck support is your team’s ability to maintain control of the puck while moving it into a scoring opportunity. Puck support has both individual and team components. From a team perspective, it requires a collective effort to move the puck into your offensive zone and into a scoring position. From an individual perspective, it requires each non-puck-carrying player (supporting) to provide options for the puck carrier.

To be effective in this support role, players must anticipate the puck carrier’s intentions, read the defensive pressure being applied on the puck carrier, and adjust his or her position in relation to the puck carrier. Positioning of support players with respect to the puck carrier is important because movement by all players creates an attack that is always more difficult for the opposition to cover.

Three options that each supporting player needs to work on include getting open for a pass, clearing an area to allow space for the puck carrier to skate, and supporting a shot on net. These three options require supporting players to be able to read, react, and anticipate quickly, both individually and as a team.

For a Pass

When one player has the puck, it is generally the responsibility of at least one defenseman and one forward, as supporting players, to get open for a pass. Supporting players should maneuver themselves into an open position to create options for the puck carrier, and should base their movements on the puck carrier, the defenders, and the open playing surface available. An example of poor support by a puck carrier’s teammates is shown in Figure 1 while good puck support is shown in Figure 2.

Figure #1

Figure #2

Figure 2

Notice in Figure 1 that all offensive support players (circled) are covered, while in Figure 2, LD and RW have moved enough to become passing options for LW and can provide the offensive team time and space to maintain puck control until a scoring opportunity is created. In tight quarters, a give-and-go play works well, providing the puck carrier has an opportunity to quickly get past a defender.

Clear the Way

The second way  support players can help the puck carrier (and the team) is to maneuver so that the puck carrier has room to skate with the puck. This involves players spreading out and away from the puck carrier, creating space for that player.

If an opponent is close to the puck carrier, a supporting teammate can cross in the path of a defender (employing a legal screen or pick). This will give the puck carrier an added second or two to skate toward an open area and be able to set up a scoring opportunity. Figure 3 shows an example of a pick, set by LW on the opponent’s center (XC). This creates some open space for the offensive center (C) to skate with the puck to the outside of the defenseman and into the offensive zone.

Figure 3

Figure 3

Support the Shot

Supporting the puck carrier can turn into supporting a shot, if the puck carrier decides to shoot. When in the offensive zone, support players have to be prepared for a shot (and a rebound) at any time. Two important factors are positioning and quickness. Proper positioning for a shot means getting into a location near the slot for a screen, deflection or rebound.

If a defenseman is shooting (as shown in Figure 4), then the three forwards can position themselves to get a rebound, whether it comes out to the center or off to one of the forwards. Timing, quickness, and strength to move into position in the slot are essential factors in obtaining rebounds.

Figure 4

Figure 4

By providing the puck carrier with various levels of support (passing, skating, shooting) you can individually contribute for a successful team effort.

Filed under: coaching, General, Offense, Systems

Team Play Principles

Offensive Zone Play

The objective of offensive team play is to move the puck as quickly as possible toward the opponents net to attempt to score a goal.  Hockey Canada outlines 4 basic principles to achieve this objective:

Principle # 1 Pressure
Principle # 2 Puck Control
Principle # 3 Support
Principle # 4 Transition

Principle # 1 Pressure

The principle of pressure means that all offensive team play is based on quick player or puck movement that forces the defender to react more quickly than they would like.  It creates TIME & SPACE for the attacker.

Pressure is accomplished by:

a) Speed: a quickness to attack that will limit the reaction time of the defender and force defensive error.

b) Concentration of Attack: any action or movement in a confined area which creates an offensive numerical advantage.

Principle # 2 Puck Control

A team which is able to maintain possesion of the puck will be able to create scoring opportunities.

Puck Protection is accomplished by:

a) Puck Protection: any action or movement that keeps the puck from the defender through the use of one’s body. (Example, driving to the net)

b) Individual Skills: the individual who develops quick skating strides, acceleration with the puck, drive skating, sculling, crossing over to cut in, and cutting to the net, will contribute to a teams ability to execute puck control.

Principle # 3 Support

Players away from the puck must involve themselves as a passing option and as part of the attack.  This requires that players are able to read the checking intentions and anticipate the movements of the puck carrier in order to react accordingly.

Support is accomplished by:

a) Triangulation: any offensive formation which creates offensive triangles, thus providing the puck carrier with two passing optionsand enabling the offensive team to create width and depth in the attack

b) Mid Lane: this applies to the offensive attack through the neutral zone which by passing to a teammate in the midlane or by carrying the puck from an outside lane to the midlane, the puck carrier is in position to initiate a play to either side.  In the offensive zone, teh attackers will also attempt to penetrate the slot (midlane) for a good scoring opportunity.

c) Numerical Advantage : good support can contribute to the pressure applied on the defense by creating numerical advantage and outnumbering the defenders in a confined area.

d) Movement: players away from the puck must be active in order to be involved in the attack.

e) Balance: although it is desirable to outnumber the opponent in the area of the puck, it is equally desirable to have balance in your attack by filling all three lanes.  This will assist in stretching the defense which increases the space and time available to the attacking team.

Principle # 4 Transition

This is defined as the ability of a team to quickly move from defense to offense and vice versa.

Transition is accomplished by the Counter Attack: this can be done quickly by a fast break (pressure) or in a controlled manner with puck control.

Defensive Team Play

Defense is the basic phase of the game during which your team does not have possession of the puck.  The purpose is to recover possession of the puck and/or prevent the opposition from scoring.  In order for any team to be successful, they need play well defensively.  Defensive team play has two basic objectives :

1.  Deny or restrict the use of time and space by the offensive team
2.  Regain possession of the puck or atleast limit puck possession by the opponent

Hockey Canada outlines 4 basic principles to achieve this objective:

Principle # 1 Pressure
Principle # 2 Stall/Contain
Principle # 3 Support
Principle # 4 Transition

Principle # 1 Pressure

Pressure reduces time and space.  Pressure is accomplished by:

a) Speed – quickness to defend – limit offensive options – force errors
b) Pursuit – involves immediate and correct angling to limit opponent’s options
c) Concentration – grouping of defensive players to restrict space
d) Commit – determines whether the defensive player commits or contain the offensive player with the puck

Principle # 2 Stall/Contain

Force the opponent to stop or slow down the speed of the attack.  Allow time for better defensive coverage.  The defensive player pressures directly or steers the opponent to the outside lane.  This is accomplished by holding the ice (as ub a two on one), keeping defensive side positioning, and forcing to the outside.

Principle # 3 Support

Support means that the defensive player must be active away from the puck by reducing the passing options and reading and reacting to the movement of the offensive players.  This is usually accomplished by man to man or zone coverage.  It also requires that the defensive team is not outnumbered in the defensive zone.

Principle # 4 Transition

The defensive team must be alert to change quickly from defense to offense when possession of the puck is gained from your opponent’s.

Basic Hockey Guidelines

Defensive Zone
–  Think defense first and offense only when in full control of the puck
–  Keep your head up and take the man first and then the puck.  Take the offensive man out after he has passed the puck to eliminate a return pass.
–  Cover the slot at all times.  Move to a man coming from behind the net only when he is a direct threat to score.
–  One defenseman should always be in front of the net and control any player in the low slot area.  The defenseman should face up ice and be aware of players in front of the net.  To watch the play in the corner, the defenseman should turn his head but keep his body squared up ice.  The defenseman should not turn his back from the slot area unless a player is coming from behind the net and is a direct threat to score.
–  When the defenseman has the puck just inside the blue line and is being pressured, he should dump the puck out over the blue line on the board side.
–  When experiencing difficulty in moving th epuck out under pressure, freeze or ice the puck to get a face-off.
–  Never pass the puck rink wide or through the center in your own end.
–  Never pass the puck without looking in your own zone.  The man must be there.
–  Don’t shoot the puck arounds the boards unless a man is in position to receive it
–  Never go backward in your own zone unless you are on a Power Play or there is no forechecking pressure.
–  Never allow your team to be putnumbered in the defensive zone (ex. forwards are too high)

Neutral Zone – Offense
– If teammates are covered, dump the puck in or turn back and pass it to the defense, and then regroup and attack again.
–  Never try to stickhandle past the opposition when teammates are with you
–  The forwards without the puck should move to open ice with their stick on the ice, preparing to take a pass.
–  Never go offside, straddle the blue line or cut in front of or behind the puck carrier.

Neutral Zone – Defense
–  Backcheck by picking up the offside forward.  Take the man to the net if he stays outside the defenseman.  If the player cuts to the middle in front of the defense, stay in the lane.  The backchecker should be on the inside of the offensive man, and slightly ahead of him.
–  If the backchecker is trailing the play, pick up the high slot area.

Offensive Zone
–  One man always drives to the net (drive for the rebounds, you must want to score, release the puck quickly)
–  Shoot the puck when in a key scoring area (slot).  Extra passes can end up in misses opportunities.
–  The defenseman should shoot the puck quickly from the point.  If you are pressured from the point, dump it in the corner.

Filed under: coaching, Defense, Offense, Systems

Line Chemistry

Certain great hockey players are remembered as much for the lines they played on as for their own individual accomplishments. The French Connection. The Triple Crown. The Kid Line. Even the Red Army’s famed KLM line is etched as a unit in our hockey memories.

Sometimes, when the chemistry is right among three players, it seems like there’s no stopping them. And before you know it, they’re tagged with a nickname that links them together forever.

Ron Mason, the winningest coach in U.S. college hockey, has put together many line combinations over the years. The Michigan State Spartans former head coach has learned from experience that finding the right line combinations helps improve both team chemistry and individual performance.

Balance your lines

Every team should have checking lines and offensive lines. Within the line itself, you like to have personalities that mesh and can play together. The fact is, some kids just relate to and interact with each other better than others. This is important not only in games, but also in practice where they can work together on a regular basis.

“I like to have a playmaker, a checker, and a scorer on one line, to give it balance,” Mason explains. “The checker gets the puck to the playmaker and then he gets it to the scorer. This is a balanced offensive line. But,” he adds, “you won’t be able to have all your lines like this.”

Therefore, the key to assembling successful line combinations is to make the best possible use of the talents and chemistry you have on your team.

You might want to put together a line strictly for defensive purposes. You will want three checkers on your defensive line, and will use them in specific situations. “You will want this line against (the opposition’s) best line when the games are close,” says Mason.

Combinations aren’t just for forwards either. You should pair your line combinations up front with specific defenseman, as well. Offensive defensemen tend to work better with an offensive forward line. “If you have a defensive defenseman there to start your play up ice, he will never get the puck to the offense,” offers Mason.

Blueline pairs, too

To go along with your line combinations up front, you’ll want effectively paired defenders. Usually that means a strong defensive-minded defenseman paired with one who is offensive-minded. “I don’t like to have two offensive-minded defensemen playing together. I would rather split them up,” says Mason. “You are more likely to give something up defensively with two offensive-minded defensemen.” But by pairing one with the other you can often achieve a nice balance of offensive punch and defensive security.

Mason notes that being able to find two or three lines that are compatible and successful is a real blessing. If you are that lucky, then only slight adjustments will probably need to be made to your lines during the season. But if the trios you’ve put together aren’t gelling, Mason suggests changing line combos until you feel they are working well. “The year we won the National Championship, we changed our lines on a regular basis,” says Mason.

Youth coaches also need to know what position kids should play. While most parents probably want their kids to play forward (and score all the goals!), Mason disagrees. He feels it is an advantage for kids to play defense at a young age because players will be forced into doing more things on the ice.

The defenseman has to skate backwards, pivot, react, and handle the puck in his own end. Plus, defenders usually get more ice time than forwards. Think about rotating youngsters on defense. You’ll often find that an offensively skilled player can develop even more while playing defense.

Youth players should start to think more about what position they should play on a permanent basis when they reach the Pee Wee age level. However, it is not uncommon to change positions at a later age. Mason recalls moving one of his advanced players to forward from defense, and that player went on to play in the NHL for 10 years.

While picking or assigning a position isn’t an irrevocable decision, it is something that must be done in order for players to fit together as a team. In order to find the right blend. The right balance. And hopefully in the end, the right chemistry.

Filed under: coaching, Forwards, Offense

Golden Rules for Forwards

The Golden Rules are the key items players should strive to master as they progress up through the ranks to high school and college. The best players at the highest levels of hockey follow most of the Golden Rules most often.

Players of average skills and speed will do very well if these rules are mastered. While the rules are basic and seem obvious, it may take many years of concentrated effort for most players to automatically perform them properly.

This automatic reaction is what coaches should be teaching and what players should be working toward.

1. Know what your job is — in all three zones — and do it each time. Don’t try to do a teammate’s job or you will fail at your own. Ask questions in practice if you are unsure about any situations during play of face-offs. Intelligent hockey is what wins games.

2. Backcheck at full speed until you have someone covered when coming back to your zone. Backchecking at full speed is simply the complement of attacking at full speed. Don’t be a one-direction hockey player.

3. When backchecking, pick up the most open man without the puck. If the puck is in your area, it may well be appropriate to go after the puck carrier. However, the player without the puck is often the most dangerous. Often it is most effective to let the defenseman take the puck carrier and to take away passes by covering the other open forward.

4. Put out a full and honest effort on each shift, then get off the ice. Maximum effort and short shifts have proven to be the most desirable at all levels of hockey.

5. Push the puck in the offensive zone or get a whistle when you or anyone on your line is tired. A tired line is most vulnerable — it is seldom productive to play tired. It’s always desirable to take a whistle in the defensive zone then to defend it without legs.

6. Always attack with the puck. Don’t make it easy for the other team to catch you from behind. A pressured attack is much harder for a defenseman to cover and results in more 2-on-1 and 3-on-1 situations.

7. Move the puck up ice with passes to linemates ahead that are open, then move quickly to join the rush. Don’t force passes to covered linemates ahead. Skating the puck up the ice is the slowest alternative.

8. Get into the habit of shooting when in the slot area unless an obvious pass is available. It is seldom productive to stickhandle further once in the slot unless to gain a better angle on the goaltender or let linemates move in for rebounding. Extra passes look good but often take away scoring chances. The key offensive strategy of hockey is to get shots from the slot. When they are available, they should be taken.

9. Always use a wrist or snap shot when shooting from the slot. Slap shots provide neither quickness nor accuracy from the slot.

10. Move away from the net when a teammate has the puck behind the opposition goal line or wide and deep on the boards and move toward the net when your defense or high forward has the puck in a shooting position. It is easier to remember to “move out when the puck is inside and move in
when the puck is outside.” The tendency is to move up close to the net when a teammate has the puck in the corner or behind the net. However, up close is where most of the congestion and close coverage is. A high slot position will result in more opportunities for clear shots. When a defenseman is in shooting position, on the other hand, moving to the net creates the best screening of the goaltender and also puts players around the net for rebounds. There are some details to be worked out by individual coaches, but the basic concept is important.

11. Take specific care not to go offside when attacking in advantage situations (i.e., 2-on-1, 3-on-2). While it is seldom good to be offside, it is critical to complete a 2-on-1 or 3-on-2 situation as many times as possible each game. It is best to be conservative going over the blueline in these situations.

12. When throwing the puck into the zone, shoot it to the opposite corner or off the end board where it will come out at a difficult angle for both the goaltender and defenseman to handle. Shooting the puck at the goaltender or around the boards gives control to the opposing goaltender who can easily feed a defenseman or wing.

13. Don’t tie up with an opposing player when your team is shorthanded. The odds of scoring get better as fewer players are involved in a power-play situation (i.e., 4-on-3 is better that 5-on-4).

14. Don’t retaliate from checks or infractions, whether legal or not. Part of the forward’s job is to take checks and keep playing. Retaliation often results in a penalty, and referees often miss the initial infraction.

15. Communicate with your linemates and other teammates. It is one of the most important parts of teamwork. Don’t ever communicate with opposing players — it seldom is of value and exposes your emotions.

16. Constantly practice your weakest skills. Get away from the habit of just shooting when you have free time in practice. Other skills are more important. If you do shoot, practice while moving.

17. Learn to be a good all around player — defensively as well as offensively.

Courtesy of John Russo

Filed under: coaching, Forwards, Offense

Building Puck Support Concepts

Let’s discuss one of the most important skills you can perform early in the season to quickly
(and consistently) help put your team on top. It’s called puck support.

Puck support is your team’s ability to maintain control of the puck while
moving it into a scoring opportunity. Puck support has both individual and team
components. From a team perspective, it requires a collective effort to move
the puck into your offensive zone and into a scoring position. From an individual
perspective, it requires each non-puck-carrying player (supporting) to provide
options for the puck carrier.

To be effective in this support role, players must anticipate the puck carrier’s
intentions, read the defensive pressure being applied on the puck carrier, and
adjust his or her position in relation to the puck carrier. Positioning of support
players with respect to the puck carrier is important because movement by all
players creates an attack that is always more difficult for the opposition to
cover.

Three options that each supporting player needs to work on include getting
open for a pass, clearing an area to allow space for the puck carrier to skate,
and supporting a shot on net. These three options require supporting players
to be able to read, react, and anticipate quickly, both individually and as
a team.

For a Pass
When one of your teammates has the puck, it is generally the responsibility
of at least one defenseman and one forward, as supporting players, to get open
for a pass. Supporting players should maneuver themselves into an open position
to create options for the puck carrier, and should base their movements on the
puck carrier, the defenders, and the open playing surface available. An example
of poor support by a puck carrier’s teammates is shown in Figure 1 while good
puck support is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 1 & 2

Notice in Figure 1 that all offensive support players (circled) are covered,
while in Figure 2, LD and RF have moved enough to become passing options for
LF and can provide the offensive team time and space to maintain puck control
until a scoring opportunity is created. In tight quarters, a give-and-go play
works well, providing the puck carrier an opportunity to quickly get past a
defender.

Figure 3

Clear the Way


The second way support players can help the puck carrier (and the team) is to
maneuver so that the puck carrier has room to skate with the puck. This involves
players spreading out and away from the puck carrier, creating space for that
player.

If an opponent is close to the puck carrier, a supporting teammate can cross
in the path of a defender (employing a legal screen or pick). This will give
the puck carrier an added second or two to skate toward an open area and be
able to set up a scoring opportunity. Figure 3 shows an example of a pick, set
by LF on the opponent’s center (XC). This creates some open space for the offensive
center (C) to skate with the puck to the outside of the defenseman and into
the offensive zone.

Figure 4

Support the Shot


Supporting the puck carrier can turn into supporting a shot, if the puck carrier
decides to shoot. When in the offensive zone, support players have to be prepared
for a shot (and a rebound) at any time. Two important factors are positioning
and quickness. Proper positioning for a shot means getting into a location near
the slot for a screen, deflection or rebound.

If a defenseman is shooting (as shown in Figure 4), then the three forwards
can position themselves to get a rebound, whether it comes out to the center
or off to one of the forwards. Timing, quickness, and strength to move into
position in the slot are essential factors in obtaining rebounds.

By providing the puck carrier with various levels of support (passing, skating,
shooting) you can individually contribute for a successful team effort.

Filed under: coaching, Offense, Systems, , , ,

History

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