Winnipeg Jets Power Play Dissection from the Illegal Curve show on TSN Radio 1290 in Winnipeg
This past Saturday I had the opportunity to be a guest again on the Illegal Curve show on TSN Radio 1290 in Winnipeg. If you haven’t listened to the show before, and you’re a Jets fan, check it out here: http://illegalcurve.com/
The topic I covered on Saturday will be useful to any coach, whether you’re a Jets fan or not. I also made a video dissection of the Jets power play after the fact, illustrating a few of the things I mentioned on the show. So, Check out my segment in the audio below, then watch the vid!
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Here are the key points as discussed on the show:
Not getting a lot of power plays in the first place (especially last week)
Only two against Boston
Only one against Buffalo
Against the Rangers and Devils they started using their speed, and Drew more penalties those game
Puck movement is pretty good once they actually get the set-up
Problems with breakout and moving through the neutral zone
Forcing passes to covered players in NZ (in my opinion, it’s ok for the defenseman to carry it all the way on a PP if the other team lets him walk)
Against Rangers and Devils, they improved on this a lot – and were able to get the puck deep and set up
Not driving deep enough
Problems with the initial attack
taking the shot before getting the set up (I usually say don’t shoot on the initial attack on a PP unless you have a 2 on 1 or better, because if you miss, you’re not in position to rebound and the other team can ice it and waste time)
Forcing passes – the whole idea of the PP is to isolate a man, then beat him with a pass. If you pass too soon, or force a pass, you’re not going to open up opportunities
They never really got the set-up in last week’s games… this week was better on that front.
Against the Rangers & Devils they started fixing these problems
Used speed more to draw penalties
Didn’t force passes in the neutral zone (defenseman started walking it more)
Drove the puck deep then looked for the set up, or sometimes dumped it in to the open man
Great puck movement within the zone
Still not pulling the trigger enough, and getting sticks on rebounds
MY SUGGESTIONS: Assuming they continue to improve on the breakout and puck movement through the NZ, and assuming their puck movement on the set-up stays solid like it was this past week, my main observation would be that the men in front might be a little too low. There are two approaches to screening a goalie, both have pros and cons:
Right on top of him – better screen, more annoying, but tips don’t have as much room to change the trajectory of the shot, and rebounds usually bounce past you (which happens a lot to the Jets)
Further out (7 or 8 feet in front of the goalie) – not as good for screens, not as annoying/distracting for the goalie, but much more effective for tips, and way better for jumping on rebounds
Half Ice Hockey Drills to Add to Your Drill Library
With the cost of ice time going up, many teams are sharing practice sessions, especially at the younger age groups. The need for half ice hockey drills continues to grow, and has been a highly requested topic from our readers. So, instead of just doing a video or two, I put together 9 of my favorite half ice hockey drills spanning across all levels of play… beginner to advanced. I’ve also included a printable PDF version as well as the Importable DrillDraw files, if you want to bring all this stuff to the rink with you. You’ll find the links at the bottom of this page.
Here we go!!
1. Quad Passing:
1. Players 1 and 2 execute five passes between themselves (soft hands!)
2. After the fifth pass, player 1 does a touch-pass give and go with player 3, then another touch pass to player 4.
3. All players rotate as shown.
2. Cycle Give and Go:
1. Player from line 1 leaves with the puck and walks up the boards, then cycles back to player from line 2.
2. Player from line 1 drives through the seam for a give and go pass, receives the pass from player 2, then one-touches to player 3 or 2 for a one-timer.
3. Figure 8 Shooting & Deflection:
1. Forwards line up in corner with pucks.
2. Three defensemen across the blue line. Two have pucks, one doesn’t.
3. First forward passes to the defenseman without a puck then skates around the top of the circle and drives the net.
4. Far defenseman times it and fires a low, hard shot that arrives just as the forward gets to the net.
5. Forward deflects the puck then continues down around the other circle.
6. Forward continues up around the top of the circle then drives the net again.
7. Defenseman who received the initial pass times it and fires a low, hard shot that arrives just as the forward gets to the net.
8. Forward deflects the puck then stops in front of the net to screen the goalie and get ready for the third shot.
9. Middle defenseman fires a low, hard shot. Forward deflects it then drives in any rebound.
4. Perpetual Cycle:
1. Coach dumps a puck in – first player goes into corner and picks up the puck, and cycles it back.
2. A second player follows him in to pick up the cycle.
3. After cycling it back the first player cuts across the top of the circle and drives the net – second player passes out for a one-time shot.
4. After the pass is made, the first player from the other line dumps it in his corner.
5. The player who just made the pass continues up around the top of the circle, then drives into the corner to pick up the dump, and start the cycle from the other corner.
6. Drill continues perpetually.
5. Stop & Start Shooting:
Great drill for younger players. Simple, but effective!
1. Players execute starts and stops with a puck, as shown.
2. After the stops and starts, players execute a power turn, then take a shot.
3. Make sure players face the same way with each stop.
6. Give & Go Shooting:
1. First player passes out to point man – then attacks
2. Point man bank passes back to next player in line
3. Receiver executes a give and go with point man
4. Point man shoots
5. Player who attacked becomes new point man
7. Center Line Boundary 2 on 1:
1. Set up a 2 on 1 in each side.
2. Nobody can cross the center line.
3. When the defender gets the puck back, he/she must pass across the line to the forwards on the other side.
4. Start with 2 on 1, work up to 3 on 2.
8. Figure 8 Angling:
1. Players start facing each other on dot
2. ‘F’ picks up a puck and drives wide
3. ‘D’ skates around cones as shown, then angles
4. ‘F’ has to drive around lower cone before cutting to the net
Variations: (a) take out the cone at hashmarks (b) allow forward to cut inside earlier
9. Larsen Give and Go:
1. First player leaves hash mark, turns the corner and receives a pass from the next player in line.
2. He then carries the puck around the next cone, and does a give and go with the passer (P) at the red line.
3. After receiving the pass back from ‘P’, he does another give and go with the ‘P’ in the corner, then fires a one-timer on net.
TIP: have your players use the inside mohawk to round the turns!
There you have it! Hopefully these come in handy for you.
Timing in hockey is a skill that requires not only physical ability, but mental ability as well. It is not uncommon to see young players buzzing around in practices or games – they appear to only have one speed: FULL SPEED. Since they’re working hard, they think they’re doing a good job… In reality, it is the player who arrives in the right spot, at the right time, with speed that will be the most effective.
Teach your players to pass to designated receiving areas, not necessarily to players. The responsibility lies with the receiver to make the play work. The receiver must select the proper route to the receiving zone so that he or she arrives on time, with speed. He or she must be ready to receive the puck when the passer is ready to move the puck, that’s timing! Here’s the diagram:
Center Lag Timing Drill
1. Players line up in opposite corners
2. On whistle, 2 players leave from each line
3. First player from each line leaves without puck, skates up to the blue line and cuts across (staying on side)
4. Second player from each line leaves with puck, skates up and hits the first player of the opposite line in receiving zone
5. Receiver takes puck wide
6. Passer drives the net
7. After driving wide, first player passes across to the second player for the one-timer
– Have second player trail as the lag man for a drop pass instead of driving the net
– Add a third player as a defenseman to play a 1 on 1, or as a forward for a 3 on 0
– Utilize other attack options such as a misdirection in the zone followed by a cycle to the second player supporting
– Be creative!
Speed is one of the most important attributes a hockey player can possess. True hockey speed is comprised of two elements: Skating Power (see our video on skating power) and Foot Speed (which includes agility). A player will not reach his full skating potential until he has achieved both.
The good news is that there are many hockey drills that can help young players to improve on both their skating power, as well as their foot speed and agility. Here is one of my favorite on-ice agility drills. I like it because it develops quick feet while skating forward, backward, as well as side-to-side. Here’s the diagram for the Circle Agility Drill:
Circle Agility Drill
1. Player starts on the face off dot.
2. On the whistle he explodes to the edge of the circle, pivots and skates backward along the LEFT side of the circle to about the middle of the circle, and stops.
3. Player then skates forward along the same edge of the circle until he comes back to the top of the circle again, then pivots and skates backward to the dot, and stops.
4. Player executes side-step-crossovers to the left edge of the circle, stops, side-step-crossovers all the way back across to the far right edge of the circls, stops, then side-step-crossovers back to the dot, and stops.
5. Player again explodes to the top of the circle, pivots and skates backward along the RIGHT side of the circle to about the middle of the circle, and stops.
6. Player then skates forward along the same edge of the circle until he comes back to the top of the circle again, then pivots and skates backward all the way to the bottom edge of the circle.
Notes: Try putting 3-4 players per circle, and rotate through until each player has completed the drill 3 times. As players’ skating skills improve, add a puck.