Benjamin Franklin said it best: “By failing to plan, you are preparing to fail.”
Kim Weiss, Assistant Coach with the Maryland Black Bears of the North American Hockey League, presented during TCS Live 2022 on Developing a Strategy for OT and Shootouts. Most coaches would admit to being slightly lax with their overtime plans and even more might not have a strategy for shootouts at all.
Weiss’ 15-minute presentation equips coaches with all the knowledge needed to make the most of overtime and shootouts, two unavoidable situations every team faces every hockey season. Points are precious in the standings and a playoff team might look back on OT and shootout success as the difference maker.
Weiss’ Black Bears missed the playoffs during the 2021-22 season by one point. They were comfortably in the final playoff spot, with the team behind them five points back, with three games to play. They won all three (the third in overtime) and voila, no playoffs for Maryland.
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The Black Bears had a top three regulation win percentage in their division, meaning they were difficult to beat in 60 minutes. Going past that, however, and Maryland suffered a league-high six overtime losses and six shootout losses, also a league worst.
Weiss’ squad played in overtime 16 times, roughly once every four games. Winning only four of those 16 games, then missing the playoffs by a single point, led to Weiss doing a deep dive on how to improve their play in extra time.
Weiss’ presentation includes a look at the correlation between 3rd period play and lack of overtime success, puck possession details, how many completed passes led to dangerous shots, shot totals in regulation versus overtime and shot volume overall. She was able to draw some conclusions that will no doubt help your team moving forward.
“Winning teams outshoot their opponents in dangerous areas. Just shot volume, by itself, is an indicator to winning or losing in overtime.”
Don’t prepare to fail by failing to plan how to play in overtime. As Weiss demonstrates, those points are vital to making the playoffs.
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