Wednesday Drill of the Week: Half Ice Down Low Play

Half Ice Down Low Play

A half-ice situational practice drill. Can be done out of both ends or just one side, depending on numbers and teaching situations.

The drill starts with two Fs (XF) facing the boards in the corner – two D (OD) are about 3 feet off of their backs. The remaining players (1 XF, 2 XD and 3 OF) are in defensive position in the zone. Coach rims a puck around the wall, the forwards have to stop it and then play 2v2 down low, attempting to attack the net and score. On a whistle, coach will pass the puck to the other XF waiting in the opposite corner – the defensive team has to quickly adjust and reset their coverage to this new situation/second puck. Now all players in zone are live and it is played out 5v5.

This is a great situational drill to work on either dzone or ozone team play. Offensive players can work on puck protection, attacking the net, creating time and space through cause and effect, etc. Defensive players work on their ability to contain, using their sticks to influence the play, positional discipline, quickly changing sides, etc.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Tech 2v2

Tech 2v2

A simple full ice 2v2 rush drill with a re-gap element.

The drill starts with a dump and a 4v0 breakout. Two D start at the red line and establish their gap while the group breaks out. The two F’s who broke out then attack the two gapping D in a full ice 2v2. On a whistle, coach leaves a puck in the neutral zone for two F’s to retrieve and play live – the D have to retake ice and re-establish their gap. The drill then plays out 2v2.

The coach doesn’t have to always blow a whistle – the players have to attack until they hear a whistle. The second puck can be left wherever, the goal is to create a situation where the D have to retake ice and establish their gap quickly. This drill can be done in one direction only, or can alternate ends.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Bulldog 2v2

Bulldog 2v2

A progression from last weeks Yale 1v1, only 2v2.

The same thing is going on in both ends. The puck starts in the corner with two F’s. 2 D man the points. Puck goes from the corner to the point, then D to D for a shot. The two F’s go to the slot for a screen presence, then cycle a second puck out of the corner – again D to D for a shot. After the second shot, the two F’s get a puck from their line while the 2 D regap and take back ice. The two F’s then attack down the other end of the ice (top) while the D play a 2v2 rush coming from the other end (bottom).

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Yale 1v1

Yale 1v1

A good drill with two shooting elements (point shot w/screen and quick pop in mid slot) as well as a full ice 1v1 rush. It runsĀ out of both ends at the same time. The play starts with a puck in the corner with the F’s. F passes to the D who walks the line and takes a shot. The F skates to the net front for a moving screen, then goes into the corner to pick up a second puck. The D who shot the puck then skates across the blue line and down the wall, executing a scissor drop pass with the F. The D then passes to the F for a quick shot in the mid slot.

After the second shot, the D then turns and quickly takes back ice to gain a gap on the attacking forward coming from the other end (green). The F who shot the puck then receives a pass from their line and attacks down the other end of the ice (blue) vs a D who is gapping. This results in a full ice 1v1.

Tony Robbins TED Talk

A great 20 minute talk looking at why we do what we do – well worth the time.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: 2v1 Series

2v1 Series

A simple quick-hitter 2v1 series this week. There are two variations (top and bottom). The bottom sequence starts with a D on the dot, a forward on the half wall and one at the top of the circle. Coach is in the middle of the F’s with pucks. The drill starts with the coach passes a puck to the F on the wall – the 2 F’s then attack the D 2v1 to the net.

The top variation is similar. One F starts on the wall (facing the boards) down low. The other F starts on the circle. Coach is on the half wall with pucks. The drill starts with the coach rimming the puck to the forward down low. The F turns on it and then attacks the net 2v1 on the D.

F Keys – movement away from the puck, quick attack, shoot for rebound, stop at the net, read the defenseman and attack their weakness

D Keys – stick position, stick on puck, swivel head, long body when appropriate, judging speed, playing off the center axis

Elite NHL Defensemen

Kevin Shattenkirk, former BU player and current defenseman for the St Louis Blues did a nice two part series on Elite Defensemen in the NHL and the premier skill that each player possesses that sets him apart. I highly recommend you take ten minutes and check it out

I thought I’d summarize the high level skills that these players have – all parts of the whole that make up a complete defenseman.

Drew Doughty: Confidence, skating ability, anticipation to jump into the play

Shea Weber: Shot, o zone IQ/sense, positioning, physicality/little things

Ryan Suter: Overall IQ, stamina, on/off switch, first pass ability

Duncan Keith: Lateral skating, smarts, poise, defensive stick

P.K. Subban: Swagger/gets under opponents skin, edgework

Erik Karlsson: Shots through traffic, elusive

Kris Letang: Strong skater, poise with the puck, playing with head up, hand-eye on pucks

Alex Pietrangelo: Escapability (winning loose pucks), shot-blocking, jumping into the play


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