Protecting the puck
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08-01-2010, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Originally Posted by
See this is where I think the problem with your post is. BTW, I'm glad you didn't take it as me slamming you.
Nope! After 30 plus years of coaching it doesn't bother me any more. One of the things that I learned about coaching is that everyone feels that their way of coaching is the right way. That's what coaching is all about. Do I know everything...nope! All the stuff you mentioned I knew. But, for me, (IMHO) hockey as you know is not a "me" game...it's a "we" game. I'm not telling you something new. In fact, the way I look at it is there are three seperate teams on one line. A forward team, a defensive pair (team) and a goalie (self team) Each team have seperate things or parts too do into order for the line to be sucessful.
But, I'm not here to tell you how to coach. Generally what I do is offer you and other, a different perspective on on what I feel works for me. Some stuff might be good...and some stuff you might feel is crap. Which is fine, that's what makes coaching fun. If everyone coached the same way, it would kind of be...a snoozer.
So here's some more stuff that you can take with you...or not. Generally, I like my right wing guy (during the defensive zone break-out) to over load the zone toward the neutral zone break-out. Example: Look at this picture below.
Here you will see the defenseman moving the puck over from the strong side to the weak side. As you know, the strong side is where the puck is. They call it the strong side because everyone in the free world is on that side where the puck is.
So, I teach my guy never to come up the defensive zone on the strong...too many legs to pass through. Plus, I also teach them never to carry the puck out of the zone, they must pass it out of the zone.
Yes, I know this is going off the main subject, but it will all fall into place in just a few minutes.
Now, as you probably also do, I teach my center to watch which corner the puck goes into. This way, he knows at he will be circling towards the weak side to support the "D to D" pass.
Then, I have my winger on that side cross in front of the center guy who's passing below. This is going to give the Defenseman a choice on who to pass to. If you just use the defensemen to pass to the board side, it kind of limits your breakout choices.
Yes, never pass up center ice, it leads to problems. But to eliminate some of the problems, I have my right winger over load the zone to the strong side, just in front of the defense men that should be on his side. Why?
Once he passes in front of the defenseman, it's going to force that defenseman off the blueline. This will help in the breakout. If you have the player go straight up the ice on his wing, the pass becomes too long (sometimes) and it can be intercepted...always remember puck support.
But by overloading the zone, it gives the breakout winger and the breakout center on that strong side the ability to pass out of the zone between the two defensemen. If the pass doesn't hit his stick, at least it out of the zone. This is what is know as a pattern play. Yes, I know you know this. But someone might not.
Now, once the puck hit the over loading winger, he is now on his off wing ready to enter the attacking zone. But, I also teach my players to make that puck protection turn just as they cross the blue line.
Making that quick stop turn will allow the puck carrier to change skating lanes again. Plus, as you know, if one player with the puck crosses over from his skating lane into someone else's skating lane, that the player without the puck crosses over behind the puck carrier (rule: so they don't hit each other) to the lane the puck carrier just left.
Once that puck carrier crosses the blueline, I teach my other non-carrying puck forwards to crash the net. If, that one defenseman on the side of the puck entry, moves toward the puck carrier, the crashing forward is open for the pass.
If the defenseman move to cover the crashing winger, this give a little time for the puck carrier to get a better shot of in the slot, then on the sides.
Now, that whole breakout thing has to be practiced all the time. It have everything to do with timing. The timing had to be perfect! Well, just like all pattern plays need to be timed as well.
The crossing the blueline is also a pattern play and can be used on both side. That's, just two pattern plays that I have given you. Are there more....yes! But maybe it should go under a different thread. I think I have already taken this train off this track a bit.
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