Welcome to the Danger Zone!
This one on one drill focuses on an area of the ice where a lot of turnovers occur. Being able to transition quickly will help generate scoring chances. This drill sets players up in a situation where the sole purpose is to have them keep moving their feet as they enter the zone, fighting through the check if they have to.
- This can be set up as a full ice (as shown in the video), or half ice on both sides, or as a station drill.
- The drill is set up with the pucks and coaches in the middle of the ice at about the edge of the center face-off circle with pucks. The extra players are inside the center circle out of the way. The forward starts on the blue line along the wall and the defense start on the blue line just inside the dots.
- On the whistle, both players skate up to the red line and stop. The forward calls to receive a pass from the coach (or another player) and the defense transitions backwards... then the danger zone starts! If you want to get fired up and hear the Danger Zone song from Top Gun, click here to listen to it on YouTube.
- Variation: If the defense is getting beat too often, you can have them stop or pivot backwards in between the blue line & center line, which will give them a bit of a head start on the forwards.
- Outside Option: The first is to use their speed and gain the zone to the outside. If the defense is able to play them at the blue line then they can give themselves a soft chip inside the zone and keep their feet moving through the check.
- Middle of Ice Option: If the defense does not do a good job at the blue line and allows the forward to enter the zone with space then the forward can cut to the middle of the ice. It is important that the forwards get the puck down deep into the zone in this situation.
- Get Creative! Anything goes! Change up your skating speed and tempo, use deceptive moves with your body and puck control to get the defenceman off balance, etc. Have fun and work to survive the danger zone!
Defense Coaching Points
- Try and match the speed of the attacker and keep stick on ice.
- Keep your eyes focused on the chest, not the puck so you can play and angle the body.
- The defense should take away as much space as possible and pressure the forward at or before the blue line.
- Do not get stuck by crossing over to many times. If you cross over too many times and start to move lateral, it gives the forward an option to get you off balance and skate the other way. Watch the video demo below "Backwards Crossover Start" for tips to immediately gain speed and not lose your balance.
- Try to go blade on the blade while finishing with your body.
This 1 on 1 drill is for a very specific part of the ice. More 1 on 1 situational drills can be viewed on our 1 on 1 hockey drills page.