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Video Coach | Attacking off the Wall and the Royal Road

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 12/03/16, 2:00PM EST


Breaking down game action video to identify skills, tactics and strategy

By Ian Taylor - Director, Hockey Development

Game Date: May 22, 2016

Welcome to our new feature called OMHA Video Coach! In this segment we will review a video clip from game action and then break down the sequence into frames identifying key skills, individual and team tactics, strategy and hockey IQ. Video is a great teaching tool that can be used by both players and coaches.

When on the attack, the puck carrier must always be a threat to take the puck to the net. This forces defenders to move and creates confusion in the defensive zone. The net drive is the foundation for other attack options as you will see in the following clip…

Now, let’s take a closer look and break it down…

  • TBL90 is quick in support along the boards, picks up the loose puck and quickly identifies open ice in front of him and lane to the net
  • PIT81 is giving back pressure but in late to get inside position on TBL90
  • PIT8 and PIT5 both step forward to tighten the gap with TBL90
  • TBL90 attacks the open lane to the net
  • PIT62 has done a great job of backchecking and getting inside his check
  • PIT have good numbers back but they are collapsing and puck-focused
  • PIT81, PIT8 and PIT58 are all focused on the puck carrier as he has entered the ‘house’ or the prime scoring area
  • TBL86 arrives as the second wave of attack in line with the far post
  • Having successfully drawn in all four PIT players along with the goaltender, TBL90 passes the puck across the Royal Road* to TBL86
  • PIT58 is caught in ‘no-man’s land’ between net front and TBL86 who arrives late with speed

(*The Royal Road is an imaginary line that goes directly through the middle of the ice from one net to the other. It separates the ice into two equal parts. Pucks that cross this line immediately preceding a shot increases a shooter's scoring opportunity by over 10 times.)

  • From this angle, you can see how much space TBL90 has to drive the net
  • TBL86 arrives late and with loads of space to attack as well
  • PIT58 is holding net front in case TBL90 continues to the net
  • TBL90’s quick drive off the wall has forced three PIT defenders to collapse on him
  • TBL90 passes laterally across the Royal Road to TBL86
  • PIT58 is now trapped and cannot defend against the lateral pass
  • PIT29 (goaltender) who has to respect the shooting threat of TBL90 cannot get across the net in time to stop the shot from TBL86

Watch the video again to see how the speed off the wall forces defenders into making decisions - pressure or contain - and how the attacking forward draws in the defenders and uses puck movement across the Royal Road and engage the second wave of attack.

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