Zone time, zone time, zone time.
The longer we spend in the offensive zone, the better our chances our of creating offense, which is a fancy way to say score more goals. The hockey coaching fraternity spent the better part of the 21st century finding ways to stifle offense, because that’s what we could control. Also, the skill in the late 90’s wasn’t on the level it is today, so the big stay at home defenseman was a trusty way to win games and championships. These days players are too skilled to have a designated defender clutch and grab his or her way to victory. So if we find ways to keep the puck in the offensive zone, we:
- Give the skilled players extra chances to make that skill pay off
- Grind down defenders and hope their exhaustion leads to defensive mistakes
- Develop confidence in offensive zone strategies such as high cycles, rounding the puck down, and soft spot goals
- Have more fun!
It’s important to continue working on the fundamentals no matter what level you’re coaching.
- Paul McFarland at the 2018 Coaches Conference
Paul McFarland’s presentation last summer in Toronto was all about the benefits of utilizing the fundamental aspects of the game to increase zone time. It was a big hit, because who’d rather play in the defensive zone over the offensive zone?
Maybe Hal Gill, Grant Ledyard, and anybody else who played defense for Ken Hitchcock’s Dallas Stars in the late 90’s.
As an assistant coach with the NHL’s Florida Panthers, Paul is part of a group tasked with bringing exciting, innovative hockey to south Florida. The fans want to watch intriguing hockey, and the best part of it all is that this is the hockey coaches want to coach, too.
Check out the trailer below for Paul’s presentation or watch the full premium video with your TCS membership.