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Defensemen “Hinge” Play – Video

Feb
15
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Instructional Video
Tags: , , ,

The defensive “hinge” play is a technique used to open up the weak-side of the ice.  In order for a hinge play to work properly, the defensive partner must provide good support to the puck carrier.  In this week’s video, we discuss the keys to proper defensive support and how to execute the “hinge” play.

Here’s an example from the NHL:



 

Defensemen Puck Movement Agility Drill (Video)

Feb
8
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Instructional Video
Tags: , ,

Today’s defensemen are constantly forced to improve their lateral mobility and playmaking abilities.  In this week’s video, we show you a quick drill to work on puck movement and mobility with your D.


 

Defenseman Agility Drill – Video

Feb
2
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Instructional Video
Tags: , , , ,

Simple drills can be extremely effective in developing skills in players if you key on very specific movements and techniques.  This week’s video shows a “simple” agility skating drill to develop transition footwork for defensemen.  Despite the “simple” pattern, the actual execution of the drill is fairly difficult – especially while handling a puck.  The closer the cones are together, the more compact the transition areas become.  The drill forces players to prepare their transitions even though it may not be comfortable to execute.


 

Shooting from a D to D Pass

Dec
15
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Instructional Video
Tags: , , ,

This week’s video covers the technique behind quickly shooting at the point off of a “d to d” pass.

Teaching Points:

  • Quick release is key
  • Make sure the shot gets through (look, find the lane)
  • Eliminate un-necessary stickhandles
  • Quickly open your body to the net, moving around the puck
  • Puck should be under your body when you shoot
  • Common mistake: Having puck too far ahead of body, causing high or weak shots
Here’s an example from the NHL:

 

Defensive Zone Pickup (Video)

Oct
20
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Instructional Video
Tags: , , ,

A good breakout pass can be the difference between creating an offensive scoring opportunity, or finding the puck in the back of your own net. Last week we covered passing options for neutral zone regroups – in this week’s video, we’ll take a look at options for picking up a loose puck in the defensive zone.

Teaching Key Points:

  • Prior to picking the puck up:
    • Look over your shoulder prior to picking the puck up
    • Angle in when approaching the puck (don’t skate straight at it)
  • Strong-side pass option (wing or center):
    • Move the puck quickly
    • Eliminate unnecessary stickhandles
    • Avoid rimming the puck around the wall if at all possible
    • Identify which pass option is available prior to picking up the puck
  • D to D pass:
    • Move the puck quickly
    • Eliminate unnecessary stickhandles
    • Know if your partner is right or left-handed
    • Don’t jam your partner up by putting the puck to close to the wall
    • Don’t rim the puck around the wall
  • Escape turn:
    • Use the net for protection initially
    • Turn toward the boards, protecting the puck
    • Move the puck quickly
    • Accelerate out of the turn

 

Neutral Zone Transition Options for Defensemen

Oct
13
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Instructional Video
Tags: , , ,

Quickly chasing down a loose puck in the neutral zone and getting the play moving up ice creates a strong offensive threat. Often times defensemen are the first to recover loose pucks in neutral ice – this video covers three basic options for D to transition the puck up ice effectively.

Option 1 – D to D Pass :: Key Points

  • Protect the puck while passing
  • Weak-side d should be staggered back 1-2 stick lengths from the puck to create a better passing angle (see diagram below)
  • Don’t hesitate when making the pass – the longer you hold it, the more forecheckers will have time to pressure you
  • Communicate with your D partner
  • After passing to your partner, provide a support option for him/her
Defense Support Position for D to D Pass in Neutral Zone

Defense Support Position for D to D Pass in Neutral Zone

Option 2 – Open Up :: Key Points

  • This is an option to be used when you have a bit more time
  • Open up (pivot backward) and quickly scan the ice
  • Keep the puck close to the body, and initiate passes from close to your skates in order to generate maximum power

Option 3 – Cross-Body Pass :: Key Points

  • Protect the puck with your body
  • Look prior to passing and arriving at puck
  • Make a hard pass – you’ll have to attempt to pass extra hard to compensate for your body moving away from the pass
  • If you are on your backhand, use a turning motion back up ice to help propel the puck

 

Defenseman – Walk to the Middle (Video)

Oct
5
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Instructional Video
Tags: , , , , ,

A defenseman’s ability to quickly move laterally to the middle of the ice at the point while maintaining control of the puck and properly reading options is a skill often overlooked.  In this 7-minute video we cover the techniques, teaching points, and visual references for defenseman to improve their blue-line mobility.

Forehand Side Key Points

  • 2 Main Options
  • Backward quick start
    • explosive first steps – cover distance quickly
    • move toward the blue line to create additional space between yourself and the attacker
    •  head up as you move so you can see your options
    • feet can go outside the blue line
  • Forward quick start
    • explosive first steps – cover distance quickly
    • head up
    • when you’re ready to move the puck, bring the puck under your body so you can use your stick’s flex to put a hard shot on net (or hard pass to an option)
Backhand Key Points
  • 2 Main Options
  • Backward quick start
    • explosive first steps – cover distance quickly
    • move toward the blue line to create additional space between yourself and the attacker
    •  head up as you move so you can see your options
    • bring the across your body to your forehand side quickly to increase your strength with the puck and improve your shooting angle
    • feet can go outside the blue line
  • Forward quick start
  • explosive first steps – cover distance quickly
  • head up
  • bring the across your body to your forehand side quickly to increase your strength with the puck and improve your shooting angle
  • protect the puck with your body
Reading the Shooting Lane Key Points
  • Read your lane from the “eyes of the puck” – players often see the lane (openings in coverage) based on their body position rather than from where the puck is traveling.
  • If the opponents body is in the pucks lane to the net, look for a short-side, back door, or safe (corner) option.
  • If the opponents body is coming toward your body, you typically have a lane to move the puck directly to the net.

 

Related Video :: Backward Quick Starts


 

Defense Recovery – Video

May
6
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Instructional Video
Tags: , ,

This quick video covers defensive recovery when getting beat on a rush.


 

Net Protection for Breakouts

Mar
2
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Instructional Video
Tags: , , ,

This week’s video covers a very useful tip for defensemen to utilize on breakouts.  Many young defensemen inadvertently give the forechecking pressure a lane to close them off or take the body instead of using the net as added protection to gain the advantage.  This video covers how to properly use the  net to your advantage.

Click to continue…


 

5 Drills for Defensemen

May
12
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Hockey Drills
Tags: ,

Developing defensemen can be a difficult task. The skill sets required to be a solid defenseman are unique and require years of practice.  One of the biggest things to work on with defenders is lateral movement.  Here are some drills I like to use to improve my defensemen’s footwork:

Click to continue…


 

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