Love ‘em or not - the Detroit Red Wings play the game right – they are skilled, aggressive - with and without the puck - and play a puck possession style of game.
As a minor hockey coach, I encourage our players to watch video of the Wings or their favourite team or player – not just for the highlight reel plays – but also to watch how they play, what they do in certain situations and so they see what the right play is in a certain situations.
Passing and puck movement is one of the hallmarks of the Red Wings. Check out these three clips from the Red Wings playing earlier this season for three great – but very different – passing situations:
Perhaps the most skilled back-hand passer in the world, Pavel Datsyuk first beats Zdeno Charo through his stick before firing a laser backhand pass to Henrik Zetterberg who finishes with very little room
Johan Franzen drives into the zone with speed and then curls up providing Stephen Weiss with the time to find space for a back-door seam pass.
This clip actually has two great plays – the first play is all about changing and filling lanes leading to a scoring opportunity. The second play shows the importance of the player without the puck getting open and ‘checking in’ to the passer and leads to a goal.
To become a good passer, it is important that you as the player has mastered the basics. Encourage your players to watch ‘game situations’ so they can apply what they learn in practice drills into games!