In this post we’re dissecting Pavel Datsyuk’s end-to-end goal against Nashville. As great as the individual effort was, there are quite a few team details that really made this play possible.
It starts with Datsyuk providing proper support for his defenseman in the defensive zone. He picks up the puck and initiates the breakout to the right winger. After making the breakout pass, he follows up the play, providing mid-lane support on the breakout. As the breakout is happening, the weak-side winger blows out of the zone, pushing the opposing defenseman back, which opens up space for Datsyuk to wheel. The play finishes with the opposing defenseman reaching for the puck, and Datsyuk eats him alive.
Great individual effort, made possible by well-structured positional play.
The Pylon Plus can be a Great Way to Add Diversity to your Drills
I recently had a chance to check out the Pylon Plus. It’s a great little product, and gives you an easy way to add some diversity to your drills!
What you get
The Pylon Plus comes with the following items:
8 weighted pylons
8 plug inserts
6 extendable hurdles
1 durable carry bag
Instructional booklet with sample drills
Benefits of the Pylon Plus:
Kit extends up to 17 feet (over 5 m)
Can be used on or off ice
Collapsible for easy transportation
I used the Pylon Plus for the first time during a camp I was running. I hadn’t messed with it before, and didn’t set it up properly. This made for a very sub-par experience. However, I realized afterward that I hadn’t pushed the insert plugs in far enough, which made it so the slightest bump would blow the whole unit appart.
After proper assembly, the Pylon Plus is actually quite durable, and can withstand a pretty good jolt without falling appart. So make sure you get those insert plugs set properly, and you’ll have a great time using this one!
We talk a lot about positional play on this blog. Positional play is extremely important, but it’s only part of the equation! There are tactical elements that must be executed in any given scenario for the positioning to be worth anything. In other words, it’s great to be in the right place at the right time… but if you are doing the WRONG thing while you’re there, it’s useless!
Controlling the Stick
There are many instances in games where positional and tactical must be executed together. In this video you see situation where the Team Canada has a positional mix-up, and a forward ends up playing defense. He does a good job covering for the defenseman positionally, but tactically he makes the mistake of not controlling the Slovakian player’s stick, and it results in a goal against.
Use the Bongo Board to Improve your Hockey Balance While Away from the Rink!
I recently had the chance to test out a number of new products from HockeyShot’s balance line. I’m a big believer that developing balance and coordination off the ice can lead to improved performance on the ice. The first product I tested out was the 20″ Wobble Board. The next product I checked out was the Bongo Board, which is shown in the video above.
At first glance, the Bongo Board looks like a skate board without wheels. It’s made of solid maple plywood, and has a non-slip surface on the top. The underside of the Bongo Board has the track, with the bungee cord, which fits with the double ball bearing wheel system. The construction is durable, and able to withstand the rigors of regular usage.
The Bongo Board will take some practice before you’ll be able to use it effectively. Although once you’ve figured it out, it’s a lot of fun (and a great workout too!). Athletes with a skateboarding background will likely pick it up faster than I did.
Once you’ve got the hang of it, there’s a lot of stuff you can do:
Obviously… for hockey, you’re going to want to “Bongo” while stickhandling!
The benefits of using the Bongo Board are pretty obvious for hockey:
Improved Balance & Control
More Strength in Calves and Ankles
Variety of Power Exercises that Executed
Great way to develop “independent” Hands & Feet (hands and feet are active together, working on different things)
Seems like I’m doing a lot of Q&A work these days! There have been quite a few questions on the Neutral Zone Trap I diagrammed up a few years ago. So I decided to make a quick clarification video to resolve some of these questions. Before we jump straight in, let me just state again that there are many ways of structuring systems. Sometimes these differences are adjustments to what the other team is doing, sometimes they’re just the coach’s personal preference. Either way, use this info if it makes sense for your situation. If not, don’t use it! Here are a few key points to remember:
Neutral Zone Trap
1. The trap is a CONCEPT: make it look like the board-side breakout is open, then systematically shut it down
2. There is more than one way this can be done
3. Adjustments should be made depending on how high the opposing team’s wingers are, and where the breakout is initiating from
4. Ability to angle will make or break the trap – funnel the breakout into the “kill zone”
5. Try to shut down the other team’s breakout BEFORE the red line (to eliminate the option for a dump in)
6. Generate offense with quick NZ transitions after the turnover!