Learn from the Pros – Week 3

This week’s Learn from the Pros segment look at one of Alex Ovechkin’s goals against Montreal on April 21st, 2010.  The goal is scored on a power play rush started by Capital’s Norris Trophy finalist Mike Green.  Some subtle plays and a great shot lead to Ovechkin’s first of the night.


[0:21] – Capitals #52 Mike Green begins this power play rush by skating with the puck.  The first thing to notice is he has his head up surveying the ice.  Next, he skates with the puck until he gets pressured by a Montreal forechecker.  Too often on the power play breakout players panic with the puck and move it too quickly instead of having patience.  By waiting for the forechecker to come to him, Green opens opens up a passing lane.

[0:26] – Capitals #19 Nicklas Backstrom takes the outlet pass from Green and enters the zone with his head up. By being able to see the ice, he identifies Ovechkin (#8) and makes a pass slightly behind his body.  By making the pass opposite his body’s momentum Backstrom is able to create space against the Montreal defense.

[0:28] – Ovechkin (#8) receives this pass and does NOT stickhandle at all. Instead, he releases a quick (hard) snap shot across his body – meaning the puck is going the opposite way his body is.  This forces Montreal goalie #31 Carey Price to move laterally.  When a shooter forces a goaltender to move laterally, it creates openings in the goaltender’s stance.  Ovechkin’s hard shot finds a way past Price’s far-side.

Take a look at the Against the Grain drill for ideas on how to work on this type of shot.

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