The team that wins the puck possession and control game in hockey generally wins. Every team is encouraged to have a puck recovery and strong side exit plan as part of their game plan. The keys to winning the puck recovery, control and exit strong side must practice the tactic regularly. You can include individual technical skills and tactics coaching of your players with the drill shared in this blog.
- Get all 5 players hustling back to their spots in the defensive zone strong side corner,
- Get 2 on the puck in the corner to ensure you win the puck recovery battle and gain puck control,
- Teach and coach – know your role,
- Every coach teaches it with their own twist, I don’t mind two D in the strong side corner with F1 down low covering the net zone ready to transition to offence, F2 strong side hash mark on the boards and F3 down low in the low slot zone. Outnumber and play 5-3 and control the play,
- First on the puck battle must play body, stick puck and create separation of the opponent from the puck, second player on the puck with the group ready to exit strong side with passing lanes set,
- Communicate,communicate, communicate. Verbal communications is critical to execution.
In this drill, start with one forechecker and only add a second forechecker once the group of 5 is exiting strong side with ease,
Add the second forechecker and continue to work on skills coaching and teaching points. Progress to 3 forecheckers. Your team should dominate the strong side puck dump in and recovery against top teams. You will catch aggressive teams in the transition game with odd man 3-2 going the other way when this tactic is mastered. Drill: