Puck Protection Stations
Finders Keepers (Teams) - Passing and Puck Control Drill
Isolated Bump & Go
2 vs 2 Corner Battle Tag Up
Puck Race to 1 v 1
Royal Road Drill
Ramsay 3 V 3 Race
Additional Puck Protection Resources
Please Note: The Practice of the Week is usually designed to be utilized across multiple age levels. With that being said, we highly encourage you to adjust the drills based on your team's age and skill levels. IHS should always be used as a starting point and you can add/remove constraints to fit your team.
Practice Theme: This practice plan is focused on puck protection skills for players' to develop confidence in their ability to possess pucks under pressure. This is a "position-less" practice where players should play both offensive and defensive roles in every situation.
Key Coaching Points
Puck protection is a skill that should be utilized to create more time and space to make a play
Offensively, players are working to understand how they can use their positioning, puck skills, edgework and awareness to protect and possess pucks in various areas of the ice.
Defensively, players are working to separate the puck carrier from the puck and regain possession as quickly as possible.
The 3 key fundamentals of puck protection:
- Be aware and recognize where pressure is coming from
- Use your body position to shield the puck from pressure
- Keep your head up to see your teammates and the opposition to make a play after protecting the puck
This is a fun game to start practice with before breaking into stations. You can break the team up however you see fit, can always do 4 teams (2 in each end) at the same time and then have the winners play each other.
We have a number of puck protection resources for you to access on IHS. Feel free to browse these and swap in and out drills based on your age/skill level. Remember you can save this practice into your own library and edit it from there. Just select the Save To My Practice Library Button on the top of the page.
103 Drills with Puck Protection Elements
Barzal Uses Cutbacks to Create Time and Space vs Bruins
In this clip Matt Barzal of the New York Islanders creates time and space by using cutbacks and puck protection skills to make a great play. There are some great skills involved that can be worked on in skill development sessions with edge work and combining it puck skills.
What to Watch
- He uses the outside edge of his inside skate to create the sharp cutback.
- Coming out of the cutback he moves his feet to gain separation.
- He maintains a wide base as he leans into the defender to give him stability and create distance between the puck and defender.
- When he cuts back to his forehand side his top hand remains off his hip, not folded under across his body, so he is ready to make a play coming out of the cutback.
Laughton Protects the Puck While Driving to the Net
When you see this goal you see a player in Scott Laughton who flat out won't be denied. This is a 50/50 that he wanted more. Add to that awesome puck protection skills (knee out taking Subban's hands away, low, hands extended, little self pass) and this is a great teaching clip.
What to Watch
- Laughton pushes the puck one handed in a straight line towards the net to take away the defender's angle as much as possible.
- As he feels the pressure from the defender he uses his reach to extend the puck away from the defender.
- He uses his body and knee to block the defenders stick from going stick on puck.
- His determination is the deciding factor, he determined to get this puck to the net.