Jay Woodcroft: Creating Offense From the Cycle

Edmonton Oilers Hockey Coach

Hockey Coaches Conference

You can’t coach offense, right?

Not the case, according to Jay Woodcroft of the Edmonton Oilers. The video excerpt below was captured just after Woodcroft and head coach Todd McLellan moved on from the offensive firepower of the San Jose Sharks to a hard-luck story in Alberta’s northern capital that would gift them some kid named Connor. Surely these days Woodcroft just has to call 97’s number and the offense takes care of itself, right?

Well, that would be true if it were the 80’s and hockey was still played like the defensive zone contained an infectious disease.

Nowadays, with the premium placed on protecting the defensive zone, a premium demanded by every successful coach in the game today, it’s harder than ever to score. So coaches work on scoring off the rush, which is rare. Coaches work on getting shots through from the point and then attacking the spray, which is less rare.

For Jay Woodcroft, creating offense from the cycle is an under-rated component of the game, that, with the right players, can pay huge dividends in your team’s game. The key to finding that offense for the coaching staff in Edmonton is establishing inside body position.

“In Edmonton we call it playing inside the equipment.”

In the excerpt below, you can see Woodcroft teaching a simple drill that helps players learn the value of body position to get the inside track on the race for the puck. Because if you want to score goals, you need to get the puck first.

The drill below is step one in a progression Woodcroft uses for the Edmonton Oilers. You can watch the entire video for free (for 30 days) when you sign up in our member’s section. Plus, we’ll also email you a brand new video each week.

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