Defensive Zone (DZ) – Defensive Team, blue line to end boards
Offensive Zone (OZ) – Offensive Team, blue line to end boards
Neutral Zone (NZ) – The area from the top of the face-off circles at both ends of the ice surface
*Grit Zone (GZ) – Includes all 3 zones above but ONLY the area outside the face-off dots
The Grit Zone should be added to the list of zones used to identify key areas of the ice surface.
Definition of GRIT
AGrit Zone Player
The following are the essential qualifications of a Grit Zone Player. A Grit Zone Player must be able to demonstrate on a consistent basis, the following skills and abilities in this key area of the ice surface:
Win races to retrieve loose pucks
Angle and play the body to separate a player from the puck
Pressure up individually and as a group to win puck recovery battles
Be strong on the puck and protect the puck (with the body) to retain puck possession & control under check pressure
Execute tight turns to change direction quickly with the puck & control the puck
Separate a player from the puck & regain puck possession
Take the puck to the net from the Grit Zone
Cycle the puck low & high as a unit/group while maintaining control of the puck
Relocate pucks to safe areas for retrieval to retain puck possession
Advance and control the puck as an individual & a unit/group in a crowd
Not take penalties (remain in control of emotions)
Be in control of mind, body and stick in all situations
Maintain control of the puck individually & as a unit/group
Compete for ice to establish offensive & defensive position as required
Hunt, recover, rebound and deflect pucks in tight space
Use the boards to effectively manage and control the puck
Prevent the opponent (individual & group) from carrying or advancing the puck (North-South)
Win one against one player battles
Take away ice of a puck carrier with stops and starts and effective angling technique
Work give and go plays and make short passes to control the puck
DevelopGrit Zone Players
The best hockey players are able to dominate the game inside the dots and outside the dots. The best players have grit, perseverance and the necessary courage to play the game in traffic and to execute the skills and tactics of the game, where the game is most physical and challenging, in the Grit Zone (outside the dots).
Hockey is a Possession Game and that game is generally won outside the dots in battle areas. Player development should focus on the skills required for a player to become a strong Grit Zone Player. You can never have too many strong Grit Zone Players on a team.
Hockey Concepts Have Not Changed – Anatoli Tarasov’s Vision 1975
Retaining puck possession is of key importance
Retreating and rebuilding attacks is encouraged when appropriate
It’s more about the players without the puck than those with it
Interchange positions to create confusion & openings
Attack with speed & counter attack as quickly as possible
Pass the puck and then immediately move to make yourself available fore a return pass option
The puck belongs to your teammates
The purpose of having the puck is to return it to a teammate
In the clip below we examine how the Tampa Bay Lightning’s defensive zone break out structure beats the hard forecheck pressure by the Florida Panthers. It is common practice for teams to defend up ice with an aggressive forecheck in both the offensive zone and the neutral zone. The strategy to defend up ice is about regaining puck possession and scoring as a unit off the puck recovery.
Tampa Bay Lightning bring five players back deep into the defensive zone to outnumber their opponent below the hash marks. Set up a structure (five in the box) to support the puck offensively strong side to exit the zone. In the clip you see TBL players support the puck through the neutral zone on the attack rush as a unit.
Power In Numbers & How They Are Organized
The Rugby Coach is speaking to the use of resources (players) to support the ball/puck as a group and deploying tactics that support regaining possession and scoring off the ball/puck recovery (dual purpose). What we are seeing in hockey is the elite teams pressure the puck in all three zones and deploying tactics to retain puck possession and to recover the puck back as quickly as possible to counter attack and get back on offence.
The best defensive teams in their own zone are excellent at winning races to loose pucks as a five player unit, outnumbering off pressure triggers and regaining possession for the purpose of quickly attacking the opponent.
Breakdown of the Tampa Bay Lightning Goal Against the Florida Panthers
TBL bring five players back deep into the defensive zone to support the puck recovery and exit play.
The low F #19 Goodrow curls inside to set a passing lane for the D and receives a short pass.
F#19 Goodrow runs a give and go with F#37 Gourde whose stationary on the half wall.
TBL run a 3 on 2 (outnumbered) Attack Rush Play with D#81 Cernak part of the 3 player attack.
TBL move puck in the o/s lane and take the puck deep for a play on net.
TBL #37 Gourde has time to arrive late (Arrive on Time) skates by a defender to the net to bury the rebound.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, last years Stanley Cup Champions, get it. The have mastered the concepts referenced above and support the puck extremely well offensively and defensively. The five players on the ice are interchangeable, they defend up ice, win their share of puck battles and will bring four players down to the net zone to score a goal as demonstrated in the video.
The common problem defenders have defending the Attack Rush is they are too puck focused. As defenders you must always have your head on a swivel and expect the attacking team to have their D pairing fully engaged in the offensive game plan. Often the offensive team will take the puck deep into the offensive zone on the Attack Rush, turn back or run a delay and move the puck to players arriving late (on time) to support the puck offensively above the puck. The TBL goal scorer is F#37 who was stationary in his defensive zone to work the give & go with F#19 Goodrow. Defenders can’t allow offensive players who arrive late in the zone to skate by them uncovered for a play on net.
Being in a position of balance and in control of your body is essential to being able to execute every technical skill a player performs in their sport. As a hockey player, whether you are shooting or passing a puck, checking, skating or stick handling your ability to execute the skills correctly requires that you be in full control of your body.
The same holds true for baseball players, football players, rugby players, soccer players, golfers, basketball players and players in all sports, the skills of the game must be executed in a position of balance and control of the body and this cannot be over emphasized.
The Hockey Position
In the photo above a coach is demonstrating for the players the hockey position. Knees flexed, chest over his thighs, head up, feet slightly outside shoulder width apart, weight on his inside edges, backside out (butt), with forward flexion at the waist (correct spine angle) that allows for the chest to be over the thighs. The hockey position assures the correct athletic posture of the player so that they are in a position of balance and control of their body.
Correct Posture = Position of Balance and Control
When a player is learning a skill it is important to make sure they are in a good hockey position. As the player demonstrates the ability to execute the skill in a position of balance and control the speed or pace the skill is being performed can be increased. Nothing is done at the expense of balance and control of the body. Being in a strong hockey position is a good habit. The more a good habit is emphasized and reinforced with players the better, it soon will be automatic and something the player does all the time without thinking (Unconscious Competence).
NHL Player Examples
The best players in today’s game are always in a strong hockey position . You see it when they perform the skills of the game skating, shooting, passing, stick handling and checking. These 3 highly skilled players demonstrate the importance of being in a strong hockey position at all times:
Watch the videos below to see how being in a strong hockey position (position of balance & control) helps these players in the execution of their technical hockey skills. Being in a strong athletic posture supports the player’s ability to perform.
Being in a strong hockey position is necessary to learn and develop technical hockey skills but it is also important for a player’s safety. The game of hockey at higher levels is played with speed and physicality. Being in a position of balance and control of the body is important for a player’s safety.
The LEAFS lost a tough one last night to the Calgary Flames 4-3. One would expect a Daryl Sutter coached team would show up and try to establish the pace of the game. One would expect a Daryl Sutter coach team would be physical and establish the forecheck in the offensive zone and try to create offence by being first to loose pucks in the offensive zone and forcing puck turnovers. The Flames worked the puck low-high often in the o-zone, set screens and established a strong net presence.
The LEAFS have made significant improvements in their defensive game this season by playing with structure to support the puck better defensively and offensively. The LEAFS defensive zone exit play has improved as the result of bringing five guys back deep in the zone to support puck recovery and exit play. Any time you are getting beat to loose pucks in your defensive zone, struggling to regain puck possession and struggling to make quality passes to exit the zone you know its going to be a tough night. Last night the LEAFS were not as sharp as they usually are in the defensive zone and it cost them the game.
The LEAFS had shown a commitment as a group to play a 200′ game this season. Last night, the group needed to be better in their defensive zone for sure and as a result they gave up four goals. Your goalie has to see pucks on net, you have to box out and defend the net/slot zones between the dots. You have to win races to loose pucks in your defensive zone to regain possession and shut down your opponent’s offensive game and time of possession in your zone.
Below are a few clips that reveal how the FLAMES generated their four goals against a LEAF team that has seldom given up more than 2.5 goals a game against this season.
The LEAFS have demonstrated the ability to improve defensively this season as evidenced by the GA/GP metric. The game last night showed there is room for improvement in the consistency of their defensive game. The LEAFS have to pay attention to details in their execution. In the stretch to the playoffs they will be tested by teams physically and they will have to be a lot better boxing out in the defensive zone (net/slot zones), protecting middle ice, winning races to loose pucks, forcing turnovers and exiting their defensive zone. The LEAFS have a lot of offensively talented players but the key to a playoff run will be whether there’s enough grit and character in the dressing room to get the job done defensively and consistently play a 200′ game. Time will tell.
Defensive Concept – Defending Middle Ice (Between the Dots) The concept of defending the area between the face-off dots (middle ice) in all three zones of the ice surface has been a well established defensive concept in the game of hockey. The concept should be taught to players early in their development so good defensive habits can be ingrained in the player’s game from an early age. You want good habits to be part of every player’s game so they don’t have to think about what to do in different situations, they will know what to do.
Defending Middle Ice
Net and Slot Zone (Prime Scoring Areas) – Key areas of the ice where defenders are taught to not allow offensive players to get in behind them or get in between them and their goalie/net. Defenders are taught to box out the offensive players and keep themselves between the offensive players and their net and not allow any stick on puck rebound or deflection opportunities.
Angling – Checking with a purpose to force a puck carrier outside the dots to the boards (wall). Defenders are taught to exercise inside out control, take an approach angle that protects middle ice, and force the puck carrier wide to the outside of the ice to either force a puck turnover or make the puck carrier make a play with the puck from the perimeter of the ice surface.
Back Checking – Providing back pressure support for the defensive pairing when defending against an Attack Rush Play by the opponent. Players back checking are taught to come back between the dots (the shortest route to their net) and not allow any player without the puck to skate to the net uncovered. The concept of a Swivel Head is taught to defenders so they make shoulder checks to identify their coverage assignment between the dots when back checking. Back checkers are taught to get on their opponent’s inside shoulder (box out) and take the offensive player to the net while defending the stick and preventing any stick on puck rebound or deflection opportunity.
Pervasive Problem in Today’s Game
A common problem in today’s game is the tendency of players defending to over defend the puck carrier. It is a significant problem when players back checking become too focused on the puck carrier. Back checking players must come back between the face-off dots to provide back pressure support for the defensive pairing. What happens all too frequently is multiple defenders defend the puck carrier and allow offensive players without the puck to skate by them uncovered to their net to receive a pass or make a play on net for a deflection or rebound opportunity. No offensive player without the puck should be allowed to skate to the net uncovered when you are defending against the Attack Rush Play as a defensive player back checking.
Players should be taught the concept of defending middle ice (between the face-off dots) in all three zones. No back checker should allow an offensive player without the puck joining the Attack Rush Play to skate to the net uncovered between the dots. When young players learn key concepts of the game they will develop good habits which will allow them to read and react without having to think what to do, they will know what to do. How to defend middle ice is an important defensive concept which players must learn at an early stage in their development.
The purpose of deploying a forechecking system is to regain puck possession. Hockey is a Possession Game and that fact should never be lost on players. Whether you’re forechecking in the offensive zone or the neutral zone, the objective is to regain puck possession. Regardless of the defensive structure or system deployed the objective never changes, regain puck possession.There are lots of different structures and systems in the game to forecheck but what matters the most is making sure players understand the style of game you want to play and that the players adhere to the guiding principles of play. Keep it simple. Hockey sense makes sense.
Key Principlesof the Forecheck
Speed and Physicality – Defenders must be able to match the speed of their opponent. Defenders must be able to separate the Puck Carrier from the puck and be able to win puck recovery battles on the wall.
Protect Middle Ice (Between the Dots) – Defenders must protect middle ice (between the dots) and exercise inside out control checking. The puck must be forced outside the dots to the wall. The shortest distance to your net is between the dots so defend middle ice. Forwards and Defensemen must utilize proper angling fundamentals when forcing the play outside the dots to the wall.
Pressure the Puck – Defenders must apply pressure on the puck at all times. The objective is to regain puck possession so as a group apply pressure on the puck at all times to eliminate the opponent’s time & space with the puck.
Spacing – Critical to defending is the ability to “Arrive On Time” to support the puck defensively and apply pressure on the puck, wherever the puck goes on the ice surface. The spacing between players defending is important to be able to support the ability to defend. Defensemen and forwards must control their gaps so that they can arrive on time individually and as a group to defend.
Defend in Layers – Defenders must support each other as a group to achieve the task at hand. The offensive team will be forced to relocate (move) the puck so it’s imperative the defending group spaces themselves to eliminate their opponent’s ability to support the puck offensively. Should the Puck Carrier escape a defender there must be 2nd and 3rd levels of defensive puck support to pressure the puck and defend.
Eliminate the Carry Option – The Puck Carrier must be forced to pass the puck. As a group eliminate the opponent’s ability to carry the puck North-South – it isn’t an option. Key to forcing a puck turnover is not allowing the opponent the ability to carry the puck while removing passing lane options.
Contract & Expand the Ice Surface as a Group – Collapse and expand the ice as a group to force a puck turnover and recover the puck. The group should outnumber defensively to support the puck & create the player advantage when possible.
Read off Each Other and the Opponent – Support the puck defensively you must read & react to the situation. The defending group’s structure changes based on the situation. Focus efforts on creating a puck turnover and chance to regain puck possession.
Take Away Time & Space – Defenders must take away the opponent’s ice and time in possession of the puck to make a good play with the puck.
Take Away Puck Support – Defenders must take away passing lanes; sticks and bodies must obstruct passing lanes.
Be Tough to Play Against – Hunt the puck and be strong on pucks to regain possession.
Counter attack as a Group – On recovery of the puck counter attack quickly before the opponent is in position to defend.
Video Clip – BRUINS Neutral Zone 2-1-2 Forecheck Principles
Pressure the puck,
Take away puck support by blocking passing lanes,
Protect middle ice and force the puck to the wall,
Defend in layers and close gaps,
Counter attack quickly on regaining possession.
Keep it Simple We forecheck to regain puck possession. Defenders should use defensive principles to guide them in getting the puck back.
The Triangle Offence has been a strategy used in sports like basketball, soccer and hockey for many years. The Triangle accomplishes a number of useful purposes as an offensive strategy:
It gets everyone involved.
It emphasizes spacing and creates passing and shooting lanes.
It allows offensive players to isolate on defenders to create mismatches and outnumbered advantages in space.
It provides structured puck/ball support in a framework that allows offensive players read options to make plays.
It provides a framework or structure that is flexible to contract or expand in zone to support possession and control of the puck/ball.
It provides continuity and there is always a way out or another option.
The triangle offence in hockey is used in all three zones of the rink in the following tactics and systems play:
DZ Exit Play,
Attack Rush Play (3 on 2, 4 on 2(3) etc),
OZ Constant Player & Puck Movement Play – above and below the hash marks,
Power Play (1-3-1 and other structures).
Video of the Pittsburgh Penguins Power Play 1-3-1
A review of the PENS in zone PP play reveals how the Triangle Offence is used to support the puck to retain possession and control and advance the puck on net to create scoring chances.
Triangle Offence Soccer – TW from TLPF_Hockey
The Triangle Offence is a big part of the strategy and tactics used in hockey. It is important that young players understand how this geometric shape can be used to support the puck offensively to create scoring chances, retain puck possession and control and advance the puck in all three zones of the rink. The strategy allows players to use their creativity to make reads and create plays in all three zones.
Constant player and puck movement in the offensive zone is something that is catching on in the NHL and other professional leagues around the world. The video clip below is a highlight goal scored from a recent Pittsburgh Penguins game against the Washington Capitals which provides a break down of the principles for the movement of the puck and the players in zone. There are good reasons for deploying this tactic in zone. The movements of the players and the puck are timed and executed based on key principles.
Reasons for Constant Player & Puck Movement in Zone
Support the offensive team’s ability to retain puck possession and control in zone.
Create chaos in zone for defenders and make defending more challenging.
Increase the defenders work rate in zone to defend.
Exploit zone and man coverage schemes.
Take advantage of the ice surface in zone (width & depth) to create time and space to make plays.
Support the puck offensively so the puck carrier always has at least two passing options in zone.
Advance the puck on net to create quality scoring chances.
Outnumber defenders in space to work 2 on 1’s, 3 on 2’s, Give & Goes, and other outnumbered advantages.
Create quality passing and shooting lanes in zone.
Take advantage of what defenders give the offensive players in zone as a result of the movement.
Puck recovery down low behind the net – PENS outnumber on the puck 2 against 1 to gain possession & control.
Crosby F2 moves the puck low to high – outnumbered defensively and no play option for F3 in the slot.
PENS F1 establishes net zone presence with puck moved up top to the D.
PENS move the puck up top D to D.
Crosby and Rust move low – high to outnumber with their D pairing above the hash marks on both sides of the ice.
Crosby and SSD work a Give & Go Play strong side – Crosby remains up top to cover for D dropping down.
PENS Rust drives the middle lane to support the puck (PENS D#5) & receives a pass to score on the play.
PENS Give & Go Play with Rust driving the net creates a 3 on 2 below the hash marks to create the advantage.
Principles of Constant Player & Puck Movement in the Offensive Zone
Offensive Puck Support – players without the puck must support the puck carrier and provide a minimum of two passing options at all times so the offensive team can retain puck possession & control and advance the puck on net.
Outnumbering – an offensive and defensive tactic deployed to provide a player advantage in space.
Use of the Ice Surface (width & depth) – to create offence you need time and space to make plays.
Player and Puck Movement – the timing of player and puck movement to advance the puck and create time and space to make plays.
Structured Puck Support – triangulating to support the puck in moving and static situations.
Constant player and puck movement in the offensive zone is part of the strategy and tactics of the game. The players have to understand the thinking behind the tactic to properly execute. The tactic requires players to have strong technical hockey skills and the ability to read and react and be creative to take advantage of what defenders give them.
Every coach has the opportunity to create a high performance culture, one that supports the development of players and coaches. Today’s elite players ask lots of questions and want to be told the truth every day. It is important to create an environment that supports teaching and the learning of the necessary skills, tactics and systems to be successful as a team. Every coach should want to create his or her team’s identity and that is only accomplished when the team plays with a purpose in all three zones of the rink. For players to play with a clear sense of purpose they must understand the key concepts and principles of how the game should be played at the elite level to support the puck and win the Possession Game.
Players should be encouraged to ask questions and coaches should want to provide players with answers as part of the learning and development process. The what, why and how questions are important to creating an identity for individual players and the team. Providing the right answers to the many questions that need to be asked is key to creating the right learning environment for the team.
The what, why and how questions below are samples of the questions that need to be asked to create a high performance culture. The answers to these important questions position individual players and the team for success. If a coach has to intimidate players or bench players to change their behaviours then he or she should examine their processes. Using discipline to change behaviours should always be a last resort. Players and coaches have a vested interest in becoming high performers and reaching level 4 in the hierarchy of learning (skilled or unconscious competence stage) in skills, tactics and systems play. Players need to be engaged in the learning process so they should be encouraged to ask questions and to become self-reliant in their development process. The coach has the opportunity to create a CORE set of values and beliefs that should be used to make all team decisions.
What type of team do we want to create?
What style of hockey do we want to play in all three zones?
What hockey skills do we need players to learn to play our style of game?
What other skills do we need players to learn to develop into elite performers?
What tactics (individual & group) do our players need to learn to support our style of game?
What systems do our players need to learn to play our style of game in all three zones of the rink?
What are the best teaching methods to deploy to steepen the learning curve of players?
What good habits do our players and coaches need to demonstrate every day to get better?
What skills and knowledge do our coaches need to possess to support player development and our goals?
What skills, knowledge and tools do our scouts need to evaluate players for our program?
There are many what questions that need to be asked if you are interested in creating and developing elite players and a high performing team. The what questions above are examples of important questions that need to be asked and answered if you want to create a team with an identity and one that plays with purpose in all three zones of the ice surface.
Why do we want to create this type of team?
Why do we want to play this style of game in all three zones of the rink?
Why do players need to possess these skills and knowledge to play our style of game?
Why are these skills, tactics and systems being deployed?
Why do we support the puck offensively and defensively in all three zones?
Why do we use the ice surface to support the puck?
Why do we always need two or more passing options at all times?
Why is neutral zone GAP control important to our style of play?
Why is maximum effort required at all times by players and coaches when we enter the building?
Why do we do things as a team that are aligned with our CORE Values & Beliefs as a team?
Why can we never have too many Leaders on the team?
There are many why questions that need to be asked and there are no stupid or bad questions. Developing players and people requires a learning environment where asking questions is encouraged. Knowledge is power so a learning environment that fosters engagement of learners (players & coaches) is important to the process.
There are reasons we do things the way we do them on a high performing team. There are key concepts and principles athletes have to learn to play the game at a high level.
How do we teach the skills, tactics and systems to facilitate learning of key fundamentals, concepts and principles?
How do we teach character skills?
How do we teach the top 10 emotional intelligence competences of high performing people to our players?
How do we create a high performance culture?
How we teach support the puck offensively and defensively in all three zones of the rink to win the Possession Game?
How do we create more Leaders amongst our group?
How do we build confidence in our players and coaches?
How do we reduce our goals against/games played record?
How do we increase our PK and PP efficiency ratings?
How do we defend with structure?
How do we get better every day/week and benefit from the aggregate of marginal gains?
How do we replace bad habits with good habits with our group?
How do we create a healthy workplace culture where team members are best positioned to learn and develop new skills and abilities?
How do we use technology to steepen the learning curve of our team?
How do we measure performance?
The what, why and how questions are important to individuals who live their life with a purpose every day. The what we do, why we do it and how we do it are important to creating your identity as a person, player and as a team. When you live and play with a purpose you establish your own identity.
The saying “take a look under the hood” is one used by coach Urben Meyer. I like the saying because it requires coaches and players to take an honest look at individual and team performance to diagnosis performance issues for the purpose of making improvements. The best tool for diagnosing problems in individual and group performance is studying game video in all three zones of the rink. There is no better way than using slow motion video analysis of game performance paying attention to the details of the game in the execution of skills, tactics and systems.
Performance metrics are essential to measuring performance but more important is the ability to analyze performance with your best analytic tool, your “eyes”. Video analysis provides the opportunity to identify the causes of poor performance so you can make corrections and see better results in the win/loss columns and improved performance metrics. Players and coaches need feedback to be able to teach and video is the best tool to provide feedback. Video break downs focus players and coaches on the details of the game.
Replace Bad Habits with Good Habits
The sooner a player or team replaces bad habits with good habits the better. The longer a bad habit is ingrained in a player or a team, the more challenging it becomes to change behaviour(s). Every player and team should be focused on getting better every day, every week, even if the gains are marginal. If you are not recognizing and correcting bad habits in individual players and the group on an ongoing basis you’re not focused on getting better. Great teams and great players want the truth and they want the truth every day.
Game Highlights of the LA Kings 5-2 Loss to the Vegas Golden Knights
Any time your team has a negative goals against (GA) record or negative goals for/goals against ratio it is important to “take a look under the hood” to diagnosis the causes. You will undoubtedly identify bad habits of individual players and the groupings (D pairs, lines and special teams) that need to be replaced with good habits in all three zones of the rink.
Let’s examine four goals against the Kings to see if we can identify bad habits that need to be replaced by good habits. When a team has five goals scored against them in a game there are likely some bad habits that need to be replaced with good habits in their defensive game.
Bad Habits – Clip 01 Kings VS Knights
Coming off the ice in the neutral zone when the opponent has puck possession and control in the zone.
Over skating the puck in the neutral zone & getting caught above the puck unable to support the puck defensively by providing back pressure support.
Finishing a check late after the puck has been moved and being out of position to be able to support the puck defensively.
Not picking up your checking assignment (late arrivals) in the offensive zone as a forward backing checking from the blue line to your net.
Bad Habits – Clip 02 LA Kings VS Golden Knights
Getting out of position to defend below your opponent’s net on an Attack Rush Play and not hustling to get back to puck level or above to be in position to defend on a change of possession.
Getting caught as a forward line with 3 players below puck level in the offensive zone.
Pinching as a D down low in the offensive zone without a legitimate chance to recover the puck or move the puck to a safe area with 3 players below the puck in zone.
Back checking giving away inside position (between the dots) instead of angling with inside out control and boxing out your opponent to protect middle ice, especially as F3.
Bad Habits – Clip 03 LA Kings VS Golden Knights
Coming off the ice when your opponent is attacking in the neutral zone with full puck possession and control.
Not numbering up into man coverage on a 3 on 3 attack rush, allowing one of the attackers to score on the net zone loose puck. Trust your teammates to do their job.
Bad Habits – Clip 04 LA Kings VS Golden Knights
Coming off the ice in the neutral zone with the opponent in possession of the puck entering and exiting the neutral zone with speed and puck control to attack your net.
Getting caught as a forward line (all 3 players) below the puck in the neutral zone in a counter attack situation.
Strong side D caught flat footed (stationary) unable to match the speed of the Puck Carrier at his blue line unable to defend. The D is not in position to defend.
Take a Look Under the Hood – Conclusions
Players and coaches at the professional level got there because they are talented individuals. The only way players and coaches improve is when they take responsibility for getting better every day, every week and are committed to the process of getting better. There is no easy solution, it’s hard work, perseverance, attention to details and takes the character of the group to make the sacrifices to do the hard work to clean up bad habits and replace them with good habits.
Often, you will see bad habits repeat themselves from game to game until they are corrected and replaced with good habits. Take a look under the hood as players and coaches, diagnose the bad habits and replace them with good habits.