Since the majority of the game is played outside the dots, the ability to pick up loose pucks and control the puck along the boards and getting the puck inside the dots to create and offensive threat are important skills for teams and players to control play and drive offensive opportunities. In this clip, we show both. Let’s take a closer look and break it down.
Watch the video again to see how the ability to control the puck on the boards leads to creating offensive opportunities by getting off the boards and inside the dots.
Here is a similar situation from opening night of the 2021 season, PIT87 catches the puck off the cycle behind the net on his backhand and pulls the pull in one motion to his forehand north of the goal line and only for an excellent defensive stick would have resulted in a cross-crease pass and sure goal.
The third clip features Toronto draft pick Rodion Amirov in the KHL. While he does not pick up the puck off a rim, he creates a scoring opportunity and goal controlling the puck behind the net – outside the dots. He does a beautiful job of riding his inside edge while controlling the puck loaded on his forehand.
Both of these drills replicate game-like scenarios. Players will need to effectively pick-up loose pucks off the wall and quickly make reads to keep the puck moving in order to put their teammates in good situations. Players will need to use a combination of controlled skating and puck control skills in order to gain control of the puck and create passing lanes for themselves and their teammates. Players should read off one another to find quiet zones and force defenders to make decisions in order to create scoring opportunities.
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