Speed Through the Neutral Zone
09/08/2013, 12:30pm EDT
By Ontario Minor Hockey Association
Why the Middle Lane Drive is Important in Today's Game
Speed through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone is crucial in today’s hockey especially without the ability to hold players up and obstruct players.
With wide entry into the offensive zone, the player in the middle lane drives to the net with speed - from here a number of things can happen:
- The puck carrier can shoot the puck on net – with a player driving the net with speed, the goaltender feels the pressure of the incoming player which may force the goaltender to stay deeper in their net – in addition, the pressure to make a save and control the rebound is more imposing
- The puck carrier slides the puck to the player driving the middle lane with speed creating a 2-on-1 with 3rd attacking player
- The puck carrier passes to 3rd player entering the zone who is skating off the back of the middle lane player
- The last possible outcome here is for the net drive player to be able to pick up any loose pucks off the rush and initiate the cycle since he is already down low, skating with speed and driving to the corner from inside to outside.
Simple play, various options, always creates havoc.