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Video Coach

How Nylander Uses Quick Strides to Get By Defenders

By Ian Taylor, OMHA Executive Director, 12/22/19, 8:00AM EST


Video Coach | Presented by Hockey Intelligym


This is a term that are currently getting a lot of play in the hockey world at all levels. Without a doubt, the game is faster than ever before and player’s speed, skating ability and agility are incredible.

But what does ‘playing fast’ really mean?  Are players expected to skate a full speed all the time? Does this make sense? Is this efficient?

Decision-making and the ability to read the play continue to be crucial skills for players, So, when we talk about playing fast, is this possible with 10 players skating all over the ice at top speed?

Maybe fast isn’t the right word. Perhaps we should be taking about quickness and explosiveness…this is the focus of this edition of Video Coach.

Using Quick Strides to Get Ahead of Defenders

Game Date: November 13, 2019

  • TML88 receives the puck and in the middle of the ice and kicks it out wide.
  • He immediately executes two linear cross-overs
    • Linear crossovers generate straight line speed with two pushes – first with inside edge and then crossing-under with the outside edge
  • NYI29 is goal-side and has eye-contact on both the puck carrier and TML88
  • TML88 executes another linear crossover and attacks outside
  • NYI29 is still in good position on goal-side however the gap between him and his check is decreasing

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  • TML88 identifies the space he wants to attack using three quick strides
  • NYI29 becomes puck focused for just a moment and TML88 drives past him attacking the ice on the other side of the defender

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  • TML88 gains space in front of NYI29 and takes a wide stance to shield NYI29
  • He extends his blade, offering a target away from the defender and re-directs the pass on net


Watch the video clip again to see how playing fast happens through reading the play, identifying space to attack and ultimately using 3-5 explosive strides to create a scoring opportunity and goal.

Video Coach is a series of articles which reviews a video clip from game action and then breaks 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.

The Hockey IntelliGym is a breakthrough cognitive training technology that hones hockey sense and has been scientifically proven to improve player safety. IntelliGym has been used by thousands of players - from OHL teams to USA Hockey to OMHA Minor Midget champions - to improve individual players' points total, heighten spatial awareness, and foster better anticipation of the play. Research from the University of Delaware suggests training with IntelliGym is a great way to reduce concussions and other on ice injuries. The software, which can be used on any computer, can be purchased here.

"What I'm noticing with IntelliGym is that it compliments my use of area games or situational pressure drills in practice. My players are recognizing and executing their options faster than they have in the past. This improvement has translated to games. They are moving to open areas to support their teammate with the puck."

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Ian Taylor is the Executive Director of the OMHA and former Director of Hockey Development. A proud hockey dad of two, Ian has over 25 years of instructional and coaching experience.

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