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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


 

Basic Neutral Zone Regroup Options

Sep
22
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Hockey Systems
Tags: , ,

The ability for a team to properly execute a neutral zone regroup can mean the difference between generating a scoring opportunity and giving up a scoring opportunity.  In this video, we cover four basic neutral zone regroup tactics to help your team transition from the neutral zone to the offensive zone.

View the Drill Page for these Neutral Zone Regroup Options

Option #1: Post Up – Wings post up just inside the blue line along the wall for quick outlet options. Center curls strong-side for a secondary pass.  This is a good option for less experienced teams, or teams with defensemen who don’t have strong puck-movement skills and ice vision.

Option #2: Double Curl – The strong-side wing curls to the middle of the ice while the center curls toward the strong-side wall. The weak-side winger can post up for a tertiary outlet option.  This option creates more offensive movement through the neutral zone, so defensemen need to have solid passing abilities, as they’re attempting to hit a cutting player instead of one at a stand-still.

Option #3: Weak-Side Stretch – The strong-side wing posts-up, center curls strong-side. The weak-side wing starts up ice, then cuts back across the far blue line looking for a stretch pass outlet.  This option requires defensemen with strong ice vision and passing abilities.

Option #4: Strong-Side Stretch – The weak-side wing posts-up, center curls strong-side.  The strong-side wing starts up ice, then cuts back across the far blue line looking for a stretch pass outlet.  This option requires defensemen with strong ice vision and passing abilities.


 

6 Neutral Zone Regroup Drills

Jun
4
Posted by Kevin - Filed under: Hockey Drills
Tags: , ,

The neutral zone is often an over-looked zone by many hockey coaches.  It’s easy to focus on scoring goals or improving team defense.  I’ve put together a few of my favorite drills to work on neutral zone regrouping.  Hopefully some of you find the drills useful.

As always, modify the drills to suit the age/talent level you’re working with.  Be sure players understand the fundamentals of your regroup system so you can have them execute the drills using your system.

If you have modifications or other neutral zone regroup drills you’d like to share – email them over to me at kevin [at] hockeyshare [dot] com

Download Neutral Zone Regroup Drills PDF


 

 

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