Team Defense: Take Away Space, Pressure the Puck

Playing defense is about getting the puck back. The best teams are attacking without the puck in order gain possession as quickly as possible.

In defensive possession moments such as defensive zone coverage, many forecheck situations, and faceoff losses, the goal is to eliminate space and isolate the puck carrier from their options.

In defensive transition moments, its important to pressure the puck quickly to slow the opposing team’s attack and give time for your team’s recovery effort to establish defensive posture.

In both possession and transition moments, the skill of angling is very useful. Efficient angling takes away the middle ice and allows you to keep speed toward your end of the rink. Use of the stick should be to influence direction, take away passing lanes, and to disrupt the puck.

The drills in the video above are examples of recurring game-like situations that are terrific opportunities to practice. If you have players that are confident in these situations you will be difficult to play against.

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