Coaches are great at teaching their players how to get the puck back.
But are we good at teaching them what to do once they have it?
Every hockey player playing junior or college hockey in North America has been taught the meat and potatoes of a good forecheck. Stick on puck, reading the defensemen, and supporting F1, F2, and so on. We work on drills to put pucks into space where they can be retrieved, and then we tell our players their skill will take over and we sit back and watch the goals pile up.
Seems easy, right? Well, for Glenn Carnegie, skills instructor with the Vancouver Canucks, offensive principles don’t stop at puck retrieval.
“One constant message throughout the organization. Even our goalie coach talks about attacking the net.”
Creating offense from below the dots is the lifeblood of every hockey team desperate to create offense. Makes sense, right? It’s not rocket science – if we can shake defensemen in the offensive zone and create chances around the net, then we’re going to increase our chances of burying the puck.
Jay Woodcroft of the Edmonton Oilers talked about creating offense off the cycle by playing inside the equipment of the opponent last year – Glenn Carnegie is preaching similar tactics in his own style. As a skills instructor at the highest level of hockey on the planet, Glenn understands that there’s value in teaching players how to evade, how to escape, and how to create offense.
That’s a system we can all get behind, right?
Here’s a quick drill to help you practice your offensive zone play: 2on1 down low
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- Keen Hockey – Offensive Principles Small Area Games
- Jay Woodcroft: Creating Offense From the Cycle
- Hockey Share Drill of the Week: 2 on 1 Down Low