Having a net-front presence is crucial, even in 2020.
Sometimes in hockey, we overthink things and forget about the fundamentals. Remember, it’s hard to stop something that you can’t see. It allows the offensive team to create more scoring chances.
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Like Team Canada head coach Andre Tourigny said during his presentation at our Hockey Coaches Conference in 2019: “It’s not net presence, but goalie presence. We need to be in front of the goalie, not the net. The net is big, it’s easy for a player to stand around the net.”
From here, I wanted to take a look at the 2020 NHL playoffs and see how effective players were at being a “goalie presence.”
1. Power play
Most teams play a typical 1-3-1 power play with a player stationed in front of the goalie. I’ve focused on these clips because of the goalie presence of the net-front player and the impact they have on the goal, without even touching the puck.
Take a look on how they “blind” the goalie, when the shot comes from the point or the flank.
2. Offensive zone