3 innovative ways for hockey coaches to create offence

Gus Katsaros

Gus Katsaros is the Director of Analytics with the Owen Sound Attack and NHL Analyst with McKeen's Hockey and NBC Rotoworld. He also contributes to the popular Toronto Maple Leafs blog post, Mapleleafshotstove.com.

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Here are some unconventional tactics.

The ability to score goals is often seen as a matter of talent — you either have it or you don’t. But of course, coaching tactics can help a team’s ability to generate offence.

We’re going to explore three random, unconventional tactics, primarily in the offensive zone that can have an impact on goal-scoring.

These examples highlight the value of creating offence through innovation, with the hope that coaches find value and customize these concepts to their team’s needs and ability.

1. Curl high on the power play

A two-man advantage power play setup is usually fairly regimented, where rigidity erodes effectiveness. Teams circle the penalty killing triangle and try to create seams or pick corners.

Fluidity begins when the penalty killers dislodge control of the puck from the power play team, forcing the power play structure to collapse until they retrieve the puck.

In this clip, while the Toronto Maple Leafs are reloading with the puck up at the top of the zone during a 5v3, Auston Matthews skates up the boards instead of falling back down low in formation, curling at the top and skating down the pipe.

I found it odd to see a player curling up that high in the zone in this situation. This took him out of the play.

The focus down low to take advantage of the coverage mismatch seemed to be the right play. However, there’s merit to this.

Here are some unconventional tactics . . .



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