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3 Offensive Zone Principles to Score More Goals | NHL Video Breakdown by Topher Scott

Brought to you by former Cornell standout and assistant coach Topher Scott of the Hockey Think Tank.

One of the hardest things to do in hockey and one of the most discussed…


In this post, we are going to go over 3 principles on how to create scoring chances in the offensive zone to score more goals.

3 Offensive Zone Principles to Score More Goals

1. Using the back of the net

When talking about how to score goals, I think it’s always good to think about offense in the lens of “what’s difficult to defend.” And if you ask any goalie, one of the hardest saves to make is one that goes from behind the net into the slot.


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The goalie (and the defenders) have to read what is going on in front of them, and behind them. They have to be constantly shoulder-checking and checking to see how the play is unfolding in both areas, something that is very difficult to do.

Scoring at the highest levels only requires a split-second mistake or play made, and that could be the difference when scanning multiple places on the ice you need to be aware of in defending.

2. Changing Sides

Again going back to how teams like to defend – today many teams are playing aggressively trying to take away time and space and get the puck back quickly. With that, they are sending multiple players at the puck carrier in the corner in an attempt to out-number and create a turnover right away.

An antidote?

Get the puck quickly to the other side of the ice. Whether that’s by quickly skating the puck, passing it, or even rimming it all the way around behind the net, you’re seeing more and more coaches talk about “changing sides” to create more time and space for their players with the puck.

3. Finding Soft Areas

The best scorers in the world have an incredible ability to find open pockets of the ice in the slot. They can read the pattern of a play, slip between two defenders, and be ready to shoot to score on a moment’s notice.

Many times, this soft pocket opens up while the puck is being moved from side to side, or from low to high. When this happens the defense gets spread out more, creating more of those pockets on the ice for the goal scorers to find.

It’s tough to score in today’s game. Especially at the higher levels, teams are just so good and fundamentally sound defensively. But using some of these principles while playing in the offensive zone can help you and your team to create more opportunities to put it in the back of the net!

Find more great hockey coaching, tips, and insight from Topher Scott at the Hockey Think Tank website, Podcast, YouTube, and Facebook.

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