I’m a huge fan of offensive-minded face-offs in the defensive zone; especially on the penalty kill! Most teams expect you to play defense in your defensive zone, and when you attack aggressively you can really catch them off guard, particularly on face-offs.
In this clip, Tyler Bozak loses a shorthanded draw against the Montreal Canadiens, then gets out quickly to the opposing defenseman, causing a turnover. From there he’s able to chip the puck through, and win the footrace on the breakaway.
A well-structured face-off set-up should give you offensive options whether your team wins or loses the draw. Give it a go, and start generating some offense from your defensive-zone face-offs!
Serpentine Drill is Great for Youngsters, and Helpful for Older Kids too!
The Serpentine Drill is a great progressional drill if you’ve been working on power turns. This drill develops power turns with the puck, and can incorporate some passing and shooting as well. Here’s the diagram and explanation:
1. Players line up as shown
2. Puck carrier drives deep, power turns around the low cone, and explodes up ice
3. Puck carrier passes to next player in line, then loops around the high cone
4. Next player passes back to the receiver, then skates up to the center line, picks up a puck, and starts the drill over
Team USA is playing some great hockey right now in the 2014 Winter Olympics. A lot of their systems look just like the stuff we’ve laid out in the Coaches’ Training Course, especially their offensive attack structure.
In this play you see a textbook Attack Triangle, with F1 driving wide, and pulling the opposing defenseman deep; F2 driving wide to the far post, pulling his defenseman deep, and F3 filling in the vacated space in the high slot. From there, it’s a drop pass, and a one-time snipe. Beautiful setup, beautiful goal!
One of my goals at Weiss Tech Hockey is to help coaches improve their game through technology. I believe that technology can help coaches communicate more effectively with their players, increase their knowledge base, network with other coaches, and find opportunities to be mentored… the sky is the limit!
Recently, Apple has revamped their iBooks app, which has created a neat platform that is perfect for producing and consuming educational material. The first time I saw what the new platform was capable of, I immediately thought of our playbook! So I set to work reconfiguring the playbook to take advantage of this new platform.
In the iBooks version of the Weiss Tech Playbook, we’ve taken our written playbook, with text and diagrams, and we’ve added all of the explanation videos from the Coaches’ Training Course. So now you can watch the video and read the explanation all in one place. Then we took it a step further, and added many live-action video examples of the plays and set-ups being used in real games. So after you read the explanation, and watch the video explanation, you can take a look at what the play should actually look like in a real game, when performed correctly… ALL IN ONE SPOT!
While reading a book in the new iBooks platform, you can not only consume the content (which can be written, picture, diagram, audio, or even video), but you can more effectively study the content with highlightable text, flash card functionality, and many other cool tools. Highlight text and make notes as you read through the material, and your study cards are automatically generated for you, along with your own notes! When it comes time to quiz yourself, flip over into study card mode, and it’s all right there for you.
I’m really proud of the way this book turned out, and I have no doubt it will be an incredible tool for many coaches. For more info, check it out in the iBooks store!
Have you ever noticed how often Kronwall lines himself up to lay a big hit? Have you ever wondered how he does it? Setting up a big hit takes more skill than many folks realize; it takes skating ability, timing, size, and strength. But in Kronwall’s case, there’s even more to it than that.
Believe it or not, Detroit’s systems are actually playing a huge role in setting up these “Kronwallian” hits, as we call them. In the video above, you’ll notice that Detroit often runs a 1-2-2 forecheck. The way they set it up creates what I call a “kill zone.” I talked a bit about the Kill Zone in my NZ Trap Clarification post. Basically, the first forward in pressures, then the second two forwards angle back in a way that funnels the puck carrier to the boards. They create a “channel” that looks like open ice, but really, they’re just angling him into the area where they know Kronwall will be stepping up to make that big hit.
Since both forwards are already funneling back, it’s 100% safe for Kronwall to make that pinch. Even if he misses, you’ve got the second defenseman, and two forwards already back. In these examples though, usually what happens is the forwards funnel back, Kronwall makes the hit, the puck squirts through, then the back checking forwards pick it up, initiate the regroup, and quickly re-enter the offensive zone.
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