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Walk the Line

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 11/06/14, 5:45PM EST

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In today’s game, defensemen are crucial to initiating the attack and generating offence.

Walk the Line – Drag & Shoot is a game situation where the defensemen moves the puck off the boards to the middle of the ice along the offensive blue line to create a better shooting angle and scoring opportunity. This sequence includes a number of skills including skating backwards, puck control off the boards and pulling the puck without over handling and shooting. Coaches must emphasize Defensemen keeping their head up to read pressure, if shooting lanes are clogged as well reading the motion of Forwards going to the net looking for screens and tips.


When receiving the puck along boards, pivots backwards skating along the blueline in a low, balanced skating position. 

Drag the puck using the toe of the blade while the head is up to gauge pressure from opposing team and allow teammates to drive to the net front to screen or deflect shot. It’s important not to over-handle the puck here; this reduces the chance of losing the puck while moving backwards across the blueline and makes it easier to keep the head up.

During the backswing, bend over the puck and transfer weight from the back leg, to the stick, to the front leg. Make sure to lock the wrists as the stick comes into contact with the ice, slightly behind the puck - ½” to 1”and snap the wrists on contact with puck. The follow-through dictates the height and accuracy of the shot.

Elevate the puck control skills of your defensemen and create offensive threats from the point!

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