Power Play: Umbrella




The Umbrella is a solid power play set-up that can be very difficult to defend against if run well

The Umbrella is a very common power play set-up at higher levels of play. The reason for this is that it is extremely effective when run well. Remember to structure your set-up using players that fit each position’s “job description,” including what way they shoot.

The Umbrella works very well when two cross-ice passes occur before the shot (see video for examples). This helps to hang the goalie out to dry, and can really mess up the opposition’s penalty kill.

Enjoy!

Stickhandling: Green Biscuit Review




The Green Biscuit Behaves Like a REAL Puck, Even on Pavement!

My First Experience with the Green Biscuit
I’ve gotta admit, the first time I saw the Green Biscuit online, I didn’t get it. It seemed a little weird, and kinda “gimmicky” to me.

Then, a few months ago I saw one at my local hockey shop. I picked it up off the counter, and asked Darren, the store owner, what he thought of it. He told me it was amazing, and that he’d never seen anything like it. I’ve been friends with Darren for years, so when he tells me “I’ve never seen anything like this,” I usually perk my ears up! Here are his exact words:

“Jeremy, that puck is the damnedest thing… it feels EXACTLY like a real puck, even out there on the parking lot. I’ve never seen anything like it! You’ve gotta get out there and let me show you this!”

So we grabbed a couple of old sticks from the back and went outside to the parking lot. Darren was right! The Green Biscuit did behave just like a real puck. In fact, I’d NEVER seen a puck stay so flat while passing across such a bumpy surface. We messed around in the parking lot for a bit. The more I used the Green Biscuit, the more impressed I became with it… I started passing harder and harder, trying to “test the limits” of the puck. I was thinking at higher passing speeds, it would surely skip up if it hit a rock or something. Nope! It just stayed flat.

After a few minutes of really zinging it back and forth, Darren told me to try throwing some sauce. So of course, I took the invitation… once again, I was amazed. I threw Darren a saucer pass, and the Green Biscuit floated nice and flat through the air, then hit the ground AND STUCK! Before long, Darren and I had spread way out, and were firing saucer passes across the parking lot at each other. Needless to say, I was sold.

Dissecting the Green Biscuit
The reason the Green Biscuit works so well is because of the design. It’s about the same size as a regulation puck, but it’s about an ounce lighter (when friction is factored in, it feels about the same as a regulation puck feels on the ice). Next, the middle is recessed, so contact points with the surface are minimized. In fact, you can see the wear marks on my puck cover about a 2 mm area around the outer edge of the puck.

The most interesting design element is the Green Biscuit’s two-piece, “hinged” assembly. Three metal dowels hold the two halves of the green biscuit loosely together. There are foam cushions in the middle that dampen any bumps. This set-up acts a lot like shock absorbers in a car, with the bottom half of the puck having the flexibility of “adjusting” to the bumps in the surface.

Conclusion
This is a really fun puck to mess around with. If you have the chance, take the Green Biscuit out and give it a whirl. It’s so much fun to use, you might lose track of time once you get passing it around (that’s what happened to me at least!). I had so much fun shooting the footage for this video review, that I took a lot longer to make it than I needed too. It’s a great puck to use for stickhandling on just about any surface, and it’s even more impressive when you start working on passing. I definitely give the Green Biscuit two thumbs up!

Stickhandling: Dryland Flooring Tiles




Dryland Flooring Tiles are one of the Most Versatile Hockey Products on the Market Today

In this post, I wanted to introduce an extremely effective and versatile product, HockeyShot’s Dryland Flooring Tiles. The reason I say this is such a versatile product is that you can literally design your “floor plan” to fit your training objectives. This might mean using six or eight tiles as a shooting pad, or it might mean going wall to wall with them in your basement for a fully functional stickhandling, passing, and shooting facility.

Not only are the flooring tiles versatile in how they can be used, but you also get a lot of flexibility when it comes to timeline. You don’t have to outfit your whole room all at once… These tiles are kind of like legos, you can keep adding to them and expanding your training square footage as you see fit!

Pricing
Many people consider Dryland Flooring Tiles to be an unaffordable “luxury item” rather than a necessity for their Home Hockey Training Center. The truth is, price per square foot on these hockey dryland flooring tiles is right in line with most of the other shooting & skill pad options on the market, and it’s an easy way to build a fantastic, multi-purpose training facility in your own home!

Here’s some quick math if you’re interested:

Now, obviously each of these products fits a certain purpose. But if you’re looking for a semi-permanent, HUGE surface, on which you can stickhandle, shoot, OR pass, the Dryland Flooring Tiles are definitely the best option for you.

Durability
HockeyShot’s Dryland Flooring Tiles are among the most durable hockey flooring tiles on the market. The underside of the tiles has a special ribbing system that keeps them light-weight, but super tough. In fact, these tiles are so durable, you can even park a car on them! I know this comes across as a little “infomercial-ish,” but this is actually a really important feature if you want to set up your training center in your garage, but still need to be able to park there.

Slickness
I’ve had a few questions about the “feel” of these tiles, and how well the pucks slide compared to real ice. Regular black pucks slide pretty well, definitely well enough for shooting practice, and some slower stickhandling but they do pop up a bit when trying to work on quick stickhandling. However, specialty pucks, like the Flypuck or Green Biscuit, that were designed SPECIFICALLY for off-ice stickhandling practice, slide REALLY well, and feel almost exactly like real ice!

Versatility
As I mentioned above, one of the features I like most about these tiles is how many different ways there are to use them. There are literally dozens of different combinations you can set up with other hockey training products. Some of the ones I’ve been messing around with are the Extreme Passer, SweetHands, and the Attack Triangle. With my 48 tile set-up, the square footage is big enough that I can do just about anything I want to do!