David Sr. Cunniff

The GM and head coach of the ECHL’s Worcester Railers, David Cunniff also has 18 years of pro coaching experience in the AHL.
A native of South Boston, Massachusetts, David played five seasons of pro hockey, including 120 games in the AHL and 148 games in the ECHL, with stops in Jacksonville, Raleigh, Albany, Louisiana, and Richmond.
David worked in the San Jose Sharks organization for 12 years, as an assistant or associate head coach of their AHL affiliates, first in Cleveland, then in Worcester. He then moved on to coach with the Albany Devils for one season, before spending four years with the Iowa Wild, which included 26 games as the team’s head coach, and part of a season with the Hartford Wolf Pack.

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What do we tell players to help them score?
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Are we doing a good enough job teaching scoring?

That’s a question that David Cunniff, the GM and head coach of the ECHL’s Worcester Railers asked at our Global Skills Showcase.

Cunniff ran the numbers and found that 74% of goals scored in the NHL came from inside the home plate area. When he boxed that home plate area to increase its size, he found that 83% of goals came from that area in front of the net.

Knowing this, what can we do about it?

“What do we tell guys to help them score? We tell them to go to the front of the net, we tell them to get into the slot area,” said Cunniff. “But I don’t know if we do a good enough job telling people what to do once they get there.”

Cunniff used a golf analogy to explain what he meant. Golfers carry a bag with 14 different clubs, and practice different types of shots. Hockey players should practice different shots too, he says.

Check out the presentation with a membership to The Coaches Site.

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