Outnumbering/Overloading Strong Side

Encourage all competitive minor hockey coaches teach outnumbering/overloading puck side in all three zones. This document link is shared to support understanding the tactic, tlpf – outnumbering or overloading

An excellent example of outnumbering is executing a puck recovery plan. The document link on winning puck battles, puck-battles-on-the-boards


Boston Bruins are Playing Fast

The Boston Bruins made a coaching change one year ago with the hiring of Bruce Cassidy. The team is now in the top 5 in the NHL and best in the Atlantic Conference in goals against. I enjoyed watching the Bruins play against the HABS on January 13th and 17th but I can’t say I liked the outcome, my HABS lost both games.

Teams that win Championships play fast. Playing fast means they are able to successfully accomplish some of the following outcomes on the ice surface against their opponent, such as but not limited to:

1. Exit their defensive zone (DZ) strong side under pressure or weak side using the width & depth of the ice surface.

2. Enter and exit the neutral zone (NZ) with speed and puck control. They make good puck management decisions seldom turning the puck over to their opponent.

3. Play fewer minutes in their DZ defending.

4. Defend the NZ with a pressure (fast) forecheck with tight GAP control by the D pairing to force puck turnovers to counter attack and prevent the attack rush capability of their opponent.

5. Regain puck control in all three zones with good angling and body checking (don’t stick check).

6. Play a strong down low game with their forwards out performing their opponent’s D pair and down low forward to advance the puck on net from many different locations. Work the puck below the hash marks with chips and indirect passing.

7. Win the face-off game in all three zones, seldom being scored against off a face-off loss.

8. Play fast on the PP and PK to improve performance.

9. Create scoring chances with quality passing and shooting lanes from player and puck movement  as a unit.

10. Defend their blue line and entrance into the defensive zone as a unit.


  • Use of the width and depth of the ice,
  • Outnumbering on the puck strong side off pressure triggers (always outnumber, never outnumbered),
  • Angling with speed and physicality forcing puck turnovers,
  • Grit, discipline and determination to win one on one puck battles and challenges,
  • Consistently win group puck battles through sound execution,
  • Players know their role and how to execute.
  • Every player is all-in.

We created the document below and video of the highlights of these two contests if you are interested in the subject of playing fast.

Document link, Bruins Playing Fast:boston bruins playing fast videoposttlpf


We share this document which speaks to the poor defensive play by our SENS after 35 games this season. There has been a lack of consistency in effort to play team defence. The GM and Head Coach must implement changes to get this group committed to playing sound defensive hockey. The SENS have to replace bad habits with good habits. It will be interesting to see if there is enough character in this group to turn things around. It is not going to be easy because it requires a change in culture. This team has to start out working their opponents and paying attention to playing better defensively.

The GF/GA ratio after 35 games is .78 which makes it hard to win hockey games. The document link provides my thoughts after watching the highlights of their 5-1 loss to the Bruins the other night. The review document, click: sensgamevideo news letter01

We will check on the SENS ability to right the ship in coming weeks.

Breakdown by SENS Results in GA

TLPF shares a short clip of the game between the SENS and Kings the other night. The Kings execute a 3-2 to perfection. It is a good example of a 3-2 played fast. The forwards create time and space from F1 the puck carrier taking advantages of the SENS D#67 who makes some mistakes in proper fundamentals.  The Kings F2 #21 takes hold of middle ice to the net forcing coverage by the SENS #19 Brassard. The Kings F3 #70 Pearson control skates in behind F2 #21 into the net zone uncovered to bury the pass from Kings F1 #73.

Offensive Learning:

  • As a puck carrier take advantage of a D-man giving away middle ice and playing outside the dots every time.
  • As a forward take advantage of a D-man allowing you to get inside his stick length when he is backing up. Don’t stick handle, push the puck under the stick or through the D’s legs and use your feet to pick it up on the other side.
  • As F2 on a 3-2 either attack the middle lane or outside lane going to the net to force coverage. This opens up time and space for the third attacking forward F3 should the defensive forwards be coasting back and providing no back pressure support.

Defensive Learning:

  • D should always play inside the dots backing up to protect middle ice. Middle ice is prime real estate and we never give away middle ice defensively, we control middle ice.
  • D never allow a puck carrier inside your stick length before playing the man. It is usually fatal and a no no.
  • On a one against one the D man should have his eyes on the puck carriers sternum not the puck. On a one on one we always play the body first. In this case a skilled forward made the D man pay.
  • D must practice their outside manoeuvre to open up their outside skate, push off the inside skate and in two strides get into the puck carrier and take him to the wall. Body first. You always protect middle ice and force the puck carrier to beat you to the outside with speed.
  • Back checkers, skate hard (full speed) picking up the opponent’s forwards on the defensive side of the puck. Back checkers skate full speed between the dots picking up the opponent’s forwards.
  • Communicate and shout out your coverages to make sure no offensive player is left alone to receive a pass.

The video clip.

Importance of Grit

I share this video from the TED Talks series. Grit: The power of passion and perseverance.

Interesting video about the importance of grit. I believe grit is a character trait (muscle) that can be taught, coached and developed by one on one mentor coaching. Growth mindset in my opinion is developed through coaching. The first step is to set goals and start working a good plan to achieve those goals. Focus on process and not outcomes. Encourage and exercise character traits like discipline, drive, determination and help kids understand the value of hard work.

The coaching process helps kids understand that failure is okay. Examine the reasons for the failure and address the reasons. Either the process wasn’t right, the effort and hard work wasn’t done or possibly the goal was to lofty.

Our youth can develop grit and other character traits with the right coaching process if they are willing to be coached and get out of their comfort zone. Approach each day with fearless confidence. Mistakes are learning opportunities.

Don’t get out worked and let nothing prevent the achievement of your goals.

The link to the video.https://t.co/bEiaZqpJoP


Character is more Important than Talent

Check out the Character page on this site for a twenty minute video of Navy Seal, David Goggins. Many kids today aren’t being pushed by their parents to accept responsibility for their performances in school, sports and life. Many kids today are living in their comfort zone and would benefit from being encouraged to start setting goals and working daily habits to achieve their goals. Let’s be honest, we are all individually responsible for our happiness and the sooner kids learn this the better off they will become.

All too often parents will complain about their child’s sports coach or teacher for poor performances. Parents have a tendency to be over protective. I understand that they love their kid(s) but protecting them from the truth only makes things worse.  Kids need to learn to accept responsibility for themselves. Kids must learn to examine the truth about their poor performances. It is important to examine the “truth” and that requires parents and kids to look at their (process) daily habits. Are these daily habits congruent with the expected outcome(s)? Kids should be engaged in daily habits that support their physical, mental and spiritual growth and achievement of their goals. Kids need to be told that anything less than their best effort isn’t acceptable. None of us can control the outcome but we can control the process.

Goal setting is a useful tool in helping our youth set the bar high and to shoot for the stars. Being average shouldn’t be acceptable. When kids start performing daily habits that support their growth and provide an opportunity to achieve to their potential, good things will happen. David Goggin’s asks the question all the time….”what if I could achieve this goal?”

The video of David’s daily habits may for most be a little extreme but there is an important message. I am a believer in the 20X factor and we should be encouraging our children to set goals and do to their very best every day. If they don’t achieve greatness or all of their dreams and goals I suspect what they do achieve will put them in a much better position in life because of their hard work. Check out the video on the Character page of this website.