In this article, I will analyze pushing the pace with your forwards to create time and space with the puck. I will share some basic fundamentals with the assistance of video and on-ice drills that can aid in the process of player and team development.
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Ultimately we can then transfer these strategies from the classroom, to practice, and into your games.
Defensive zone face-off
It starts with face-off fundamentals:
- #17 blue gets inside body position and bumps #85 white to allow his D retrieving the puck time to make a play
- #17 has now shoulder checked to scan possession of his defenceman
- #17 blue can push the pace into the neutral zone and retrieve the area pass by #90
- #90 blue shows tape and faces the puck for his defenceman
- Staying off the boards allows #90 to protect the puck from the pinching defenceman and chip the puck to an area for his winger (#17)
The centreman (#10) makes a read: all three Jets forwards forecheck below the hashmarks leaving no F3 to cover for a pinching D. This results in the C supporting the wide ice for #17 blue.