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IN OFFENSIVE ZONE CARRY IN
* When attacking the puck carrier should reach over blue line with the puck as Gretzky to prevent off sides if the play is close.
* Gretzky and Kurri would often cross and drop just before the blue line and cause the defense to stand still.
* Read what the defenders are giving up;
* If they stand up at the blue line then go wide with puck, second player go to the net, third player trail, fourth attacker support from weak side
high slot and fifth attacker support from blue line ready for drop or double drop pass.
* If they back in; puck carrier, go to middle, second attacker cross behind, third player go to post, fourth player give weak side support and fifth
strong side point.
* Always stagger on the attack and don't allow a defenseman to stay in between two parallel attackers. (one high one low, one fast one slow principle)
* The defense should always be ready to join the attack when they see the opportunity. i.e. defenders backs are turned, or the forwards either over back
check or don't back check.
PLAYING FORWARD IN THE NEUTRAL ZONE
* Always be ready to counter.
* The closest forward support on the strong side boards,
* The second closest forward give support in the middle lane and the weak side forward can stretch or give width.
* Pass back to the defense and regroup if the defenders outnumber the attackers at the blue line, or shoot in the puck if a forward has speed on
the weak side.
* Have one player in each of the lanes and switch lanes if someone crosses into your lane, the key is the first forward give support on the strong
side boards, he can only leave if the another forward replaces him.
* General rule is to pass wide and skate to the middle with the puck, always try to beat a defender and force him to play you, a supporting forward
should take the ice behind for a drop pass, cross or wide pass.
* Always isolate the widest defender and create a 2-1 situation.
You are right about the traditional way of teaching them to carry the puck at a young age and then expecting them to be able to see the ice and pass effectively later.
I think it is important to always play games where the youngest players must pass to all their team mates, or give so many passes before scoring. This should be part of the program along with individual skill development. So we should focus on the individual skill but introduce the small games where team work is also important.
* Be sure to miss the defensemen.
* Shoot the puck in so it bounces away from the goalie in the corner.
* If shooting on the net keep the puck low so goalie will deflect the puck into corner.
* Time the shoot-in for the best possible chance to recover the puck; e.g.
when a teammate is breaking into zone
* When you regain the puck form a triangle with number one on the puck, number two in front of the net and number three in the mid-slot as the high man. When the puck carrier is pressured pass the puck back to the corner and the closest supporting player get it. Always remember to rotate into the open position and always have a third man who is ready to shoot or backcheck on a turn over.
I think the game in the defensive zone and the neutral zone is turning into a game of moving the puck and not slowing the attack by carrying it.
In the offensive zone quick stickhandling moves that enable you to win a 1 on 1 for half a second are what create space for a good pass or a shot from the slot.
I think the players have to be able to handle the puck very well.
As Juhani Wahlsten will say "When we are very young we only think about our family and ourselves, so instruction should centre around developing individual skills. When we get around 12 our friends are the most important thing to us and now is the ideal time to learn to play together."
Like Juuso, I think the individual and team skill development have to follow the natural way a person grows. It is very difficult to handle passes and find an open team mate until you have good puck control skills.
You are absolutely right about the way the game is developing and puck movement getting more and more important but Sundin, Forsberg, Koivu, Heatley, Lemieux are all great stick handlers and because of their skill can take the extra second to create open lanes to make great passes for the one timer shots.