Use of the Width & Depth of the Ice Surface in the Offensive Zone
We have all heard that hockey is a game of time and space. Strong offensive teams deploy tactics that create time and space while strong defensive teams deploy tactics to take away an opponent’s time and space.
Using the width and depth of the Offensive Zone is an offensive tactic to achieve the following key objectives:
- Maintain puck possession and control in the zone,
- Create time and space for the player with the puck and players without the puck,
- Require defenders to move their feet and increase their work rate defending,
- Open up seams and lanes to the net,
- Create passing and shooting lanes,
- Use your teams speed and skills in the zone to create scoring chances,
- Engage the D pairing in the offensive zone to support the puck.
The short video clip below is from a recent game between the Bruins and the Devils. The Bruins demonstrate their ability to achieve some of the above objectives by using the width and depth of the offensive zone that results in them scoring a nice goal.
Offensively you want to create time and space with the puck to take advantage of the ice surface and your players skills and abilities. Encourage young players (forwards and defensemen) to move their feet and avoid being stationary in the offensive zone.