Every coach and player is always in search of more offence. But where does offence start?
In general terms, offence starts with how you manage the puck in the offensive zone.
The key is having a plan that forces the other team to defend while allowing your team to stay patient and pounce on scoring chances. Step one is possession, which begins with teaching your players how to properly battle for pucks. Once you have it, then you can focus on the strategy that turns possession into offensive opportunities.
“When we talk about puck protection, the first step in a progression for us is battling for inside position” – Jay Woodcroft, Edmonton Oilers Assistant Coach
In this video, Edmonton Oilers Assistant Coach Jay Woodcroft explains how players can gain an advantage when fighting for loose pucks. The clip is part of his presentation on Creating Offence from the Cycle, captured at the 2015 TeamSnap Hockey Coaches Conference.
As you’ll see in the video and the players Woodcroft uses in his demonstrations, these skills are applicable to both minor hockey players and NHL players.
Minor hockey coaches, if you want to see improvements in your team's offensive abilities, watch this video and then start scheduling some practice time each week to focus on the fundamentals of puck retrieval and protections.
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