Wednesday Drill of the Week: Tiger Transition

Tiger Transition

A full ice transition drill.

The drill starts with the three F’s (in black O’s in the neutral zone) attacking the offensive zone 3v0. They attack the blue line, make a play behind the net and then get a shot.

The as the O forwards attack the net, the X players (green lines) step out and simulate a neutral zone regroup (started by the coach). The O defensemen gap up and play a 3v2 rush vs the X forwards with the X D joining.

After the O forwards get a shot on net, they backcheck the play into defensive zone coverage. Now the X’s and the O’s play 5v5 in zone.

The drill creates a transitional sequence offensively (neutral zone play) and defensively (backchecking from a shot on net). It forces the players to play in situations that arise naturally in a hockey game and make the correct reads and decisions.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: 2v2 Net Jump

A small area game this week that encourages transitional play and strong defensive positioning.

2v2 Net Jump.jpg

In this diagram, the O’s are attacking the net on the right, the X’s are attacking the net on the left. The rotation of the game is offense, defense, done. You are introduced into the game with a pass from the defensive players – in this diagram, the defensive O’s pass to the next two players in line who then go on offense.

The rules: you have to cross the center line with the puck (middle of the net) before you can attack the net offensively – it can either be a pass or skate. Defensive players have to backcheck to the crease before they can defend. This gives the offensive team an opportunity to attack quickly and teaches the defensive team to defend from the netfront out.

The game plays 2v2 with the teams keeping the play going – the defensive players pass to their line, the players who were on offense go to defense and two new players step out and attack, crossing the mid line before they try to score.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Bandits Backcheck

Bandits Backcheck.jpg

A backcheck/transition drill this week.

The drill starts with five O players stationary – two F’s below the goal line, one high F3 and two D on the blueline. X starts with the puck on the half wall.

On the whistle, X takes off with the puck. The D play the rush while F3 backpressures the puck carrier (or however you structure your backchecks). Either the D or F3 angle the puck carrier into the wall and force a turnover while the other player retrieves the puck and quickly transitions it up ice to either F. The defensive team then transitions to a 3v0 attack on net (D join the play).

To add another element to the drill, place two defensive D down low with the forwards below the goal line for a 3v2 offensive attack.

I really like this drill as a transition, gap, reattack game scenario for all players involved.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: 2v1 to 4v2

2v1 to 4v2

Another transition drill, this one focuses on the offensive side of the transition game.

The drill starts with X1 and X2 (in black) crossing and attacking one D 2v1. Play out the rush.

On a whistle, X3 takes off with a puck. X1 and X2, as well as the D that played the 2v1 join him to create a 4 man rush. Two new D (in green) gap from the red line and play the rush 4v2. This rush plays out. On the whistle, two new players cross and attack 2v1. X3 provides backpressure on the 2v1 rush. The drill becomes continuous.

Areas of emphasis are quick transition from the 2v1 to 4v2. On the whistle, every player should be looking to quickly jump and attack on the change of direction. The D should activate quickly and look to get up ice to create a four man front.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: 3v2 +1 O/D Transition

3v2 +1 OD Transition

A multiple element transition drill. The drill starts with the three black XF’s and one black X D attacking the two red OD with the one red OF backchecking. On a pass, the three XFs attack 3v2 with a backchecker and X D trying to jump into the play (3v2 +1/1 rush). The rush plays out, then goes into a 3v3 down low (X D is done after rush).

Two new D wait in NZ, two red F’s move into the zone above the circles (they cannot be defended). When the red team gets the puck, they pass to the forwards and active a new 3v2 +1/1 rush (down low F joins, weak D activates and one XF backchecks). It becomes a continuous drill.

The down low forward has a larger workload in this drill – two rushes and one backcheck. It is important that everyone works through the down low segment of the drill. Additionally, you could move the “safe zone” forwards back to the far blue line to create a longer skate for them.

Focus is on the transition elements of the drill, encourage players to be active participants and anticipate getting up ice quickly as the play moves from defense to offense to defense to offense…

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Devils 2v2 Net Front Regroup

Devils 2v2 Net Front Regroup

A multi-faceted drill this week: Devils 2v2 Net Front/Regroup. This rill starts with a pass from down low to the strong side D. D-D pass then a shot or a pass to the high roll F for a shot. Two D step out from next to the net and defend the net front against the high roll F and a second F who battles for a screen. After the shot, a second puck is placed in the neutral zone by a coach. The offensive D retrieve it and regroup with the forwards, while the two net front D gap up and play a 2v2 rush. The drill runs out of opposite ends in an alternating sequence.

This drill works a number of concepts, including offensive zone play with your D, net front battles between D and F, a neutral zone quick counter and 2v2 rush play by the forwards and the D. Due to the number of D involved in the play, you need to have 8 defensemen in order to run this drill. The D always play out of the same end, rotating from offense to defense.

Wednesday Drill of the Week: Finnish Transition

Finnish Transition


This week is a drill that works on play recognition and transition. Two D start at the dot and hash marks on one side, two F start at the dot and hash marks on the other side. On the whistle, the forwards sprint towards the coach standing inside the far blue line while the D quickly gap up. The coach has the option to either give the puck to the F for a 2v2 rush, or give the puck to the D for a counter attack and 4v0 rush.

D should focus on a tight gap and reading the play – if they counter they should surround the puck and quickly transition it to the forwards. If the play is a 2v2 rush, they need to have good sticks, efficient feet and good gap control. Forwards need to focus on quickly getting up ice and then creating rush options. If it is a 2v2: isolate a D and create a 2v1, net drive to create space, cross and drop with a pick, etc. If it is a 4v0: net drive shot far pad, net drive D fills lane, etc.