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Video Coach

Attacking Open Ice Using the Bump Pass

By Ian Taylor, OMHA Executive Director, 03/09/18, 3:45PM EST


Video Coach | Presented by Hockey Intelligym

Building on the concept of using indirect passes to create offence, it's important to remember to support the puck carrier while attacking open ice. This creative play, called the Bump Pass, helps with team speed and cross-ice support.

There is video breakdown of two different in-game sequences as well as a great drill that can be incorporated into your practice plans.

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

  • CAN37 retrieves the puck along the boards without pressure as RUS makes a line change
  • CAN87 starts below the puck with speed and immediately skates to support the puck
  • RUS91 comes off the bench and starts to pressure CAN37
  • CAN87 reads the pressure and picks up speed
  • CAN37 & CAN87 have created a mismatch – they have created a 2v1 and the player is moving straight at them with a gap that will be difficult to defend
  • CAN63 reads the mismatch and skates off the far boards to provide additional support
  • CAN37 holds the puck, drawing RUS91 to him
  • CAN87 is now above the puck and jumps with speed into space behind RUS91
  • CAN37 uses an indirect bump pass to beat RUS91
  • This opens up another large gap between CAN87 and the defender RUS9
  • CAN63 slashes across the ice - providing quick and close support - to create another 2v1 mismatch
  • CAN87 enters the zone easily with speed and a large gap
  • He is now able to slow down and read support and pressure
  • CAN63 reads the entry and turns to drive through the middle lane pushing back RUS7 and opening up space behind him
  • CAN37 is now the late man and enters into the zone into open space between RUS77, who remains puck-focused, and RUS42

Watch the video again to see how to support the puck with speed, create mismatches and attack open ice.

In this second game video featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and Arizona Coyotes from earlier this season, the Penguins use a similar bump-pass at the offensive blueline.  Watch how PIT81 slows, getting the defenceman to step-up while PIT43 slashes across with speed and picks up puck off the bump-pass behind the defender.

This play and entry is clearly part of the Penguins team identity and style of play – using speed, moving the puck north as quickly as possible, attacking open ice at every opportunity.

It is also something that as a team, they have incorporated into their practice and preparation. In the drill below, they use two bump-passes in a simple 3v0 warm-up drill to reinforce their style of play and specifically using the bump-pass with team speed and cross-ice support to create mismatches and attack open ice.

PIT 3v0 Double Bump Drill

  • Players in all four corners
  • Player 1 skates across the ice and passes to Player 2 on the far side of the ice.
  • Player 2 accepts the pass and bumps the puck off the boards to Player 1 who has skated all the way across the ice to support the puck with speed
  • Player 3 starts from the opposite end and corner and skates into the neutral zone and slashes across the ice to support Player 1
  • Player 1 bumps the puck to Player 3 who picks up the puck off the boards and reads support
  • Player 2 drives though through the neutral zone and through the middle lane to the net
  • Player 3 is enters the zone as the late man and high option.

This is a simple, high tempo way to start your practice and reinforce the concepts of supporting the puck, creating mismatches and attacking open ice.

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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