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Video Coach

Watch The Leafs Use Two Indirect Passes to Create Offence

By Ian Taylor, OMHA Executive Director, 02/02/18, 4:15PM EST


Video Coach | Presented by Hockey Intelligym

It can be tough to find open space against a tough defence but these two creative little plays we show you below can help lead to more scoring chances.

‘Puck possession’ and ‘Managing the puck’ are two common concepts used by coaches in today’s game. In the clip below, we look at how the Toronto Maple Leafs use two different indirect passes to maintain possession, create time and space, and drive an offensive opportunity.

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

  • TOR29 lifts the stick of COL37, retrieves the puck and immediately accelerates up ice and attacks open space in front of him
  • COL17 steps forward to check TOR29 and reduce this time and space
  • TOR29 skates at COL17 creating a  ‘false gap’ and uses a weight shift to turn his feet
  • TOR29 then moves the puck to open space by passing off the boards
  • COL17 is now caught flat-footed – TOR29 moved the puck before he could check him and uses his speed to drive past him
  • TOR29 is essentially ‘passing to himself’ - but he is actually putting the puck into an area where he can retrieve the puck and maintain possession
  • TOR 34 & TOR11 move to support the puck
  • TOR29 enters the zone wide and with speed
  • TOR11 slashes across the blueline to support the puck and on entry looks to drive through the middle lane
  • TOR34 is wide and becomes the late option
  • COL has numbers back and below the puck however defenceman COL12 is middle of the ice and has already turned his feet towards his net
  • COL37, who lost the puck, has worked hard to backcheck through the dotline and create back pressure
  • TOR29 slows, widens his stance to absorb the check from COL37 and protects the puck outside his body
  • TOR11 drives the middle lane to the near post and through defenceman COL54
  • COL12 has pivoted back to backwards and looks to block any pass to net-front
  • Here is a better look at the body position of TOR29 – protecting the puck outside his body, wide, balanced position with head-up reading support and options
  • COL37 has backchecked the length of the ice, gets inside and attempts to get stick on puck
  • TOR11 is engaged with COL54 and COL12 goes to ice to take away passing lane
  • TOR29 uses another indirect pass by shooting hard and low off the right pad of the COL goaltender
  • TOR34 has beat his check into the zone and drives to back post
  • TOR34 retrieves the shot/pass and one-times the puck into the net
  • Closer look at the body position by TOR34 to gain inside positioning on COL57
  • He drives the net with speed, his stick is on the ice and he is strong on his stick so he cannot be lifted from behind

Watch the video again to see how to maintain possession and create time and space by putting the puck into areas where you can retrieve the puck first.

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 last year's OMHA Minor Midget champions - to improve individual players' points total, heighten spatial awareness, and foster better anticipation of the play. Recent 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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