Defensive Zone Pickup (Video)

A good breakout pass can be the difference between creating an offensive scoring opportunity, or finding the puck in the back of your own net. Last week we covered passing options for neutral zone regroups – in this week’s video, we’ll take a look at options for picking up a loose puck in the defensive zone.


Teaching Key Points:

  • Prior to picking the puck up:
    • Look over your shoulder prior to picking the puck up
    • Angle in when approaching the puck (don’t skate straight at it)
  • Strong-side pass option (wing or center):
    • Move the puck quickly
    • Eliminate unnecessary stickhandles
    • Avoid rimming the puck around the wall if at all possible
    • Identify which pass option is available prior to picking up the puck
  • D to D pass:
    • Move the puck quickly
    • Eliminate unnecessary stickhandles
    • Know if your partner is right or left-handed
    • Don’t jam your partner up by putting the puck to close to the wall
    • Don’t rim the puck around the wall
  • Escape turn:
    • Use the net for protection initially
    • Turn toward the boards, protecting the puck
    • Move the puck quickly
    • Accelerate out of the turn

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