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Attacking Off the Rush and Beyond

Attacking Off the Rush and Beyond

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with Mark Carlson, Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL) Head Coach and General Manager; 2005 Clark Cup Champions; 2x USHL Coach of the Year; 2009 U.S. Olympic Committee Development Coach of the Year; over 400 career wins; has coached 24 NHL draft picks

Hockey is about creating odd-man rushes when attacking the offensive zone. As goalies get bigger and more skilled and as coaches craft innovative ways to deny time and space, scoring goals becomes increasingly difficult. In this dynamic presentation, Mark Carlson shares simple strategies to combat defenses, maximize puck possession and ultimately create more scoring opportunities by engaging defensemen into the attack to create numerical advantages in the offensive zone.

Cutbacks - Coach Carlson shares several drills for using the cutback turn in the offensive rush. These drills create better shot opportunities by pulling defensive players outside and allowing more open ice on the inside. Using these turns increase puck possession, which allows teammates to get-up in the rush while the puck carrier creates additional time and space.

Defensemen in the Rush - There's no question that defensemen are increasingly expected to jump into the offensive rush. Having four- and five-man rushes facilitates more layers of attackers and a greater number of passing options, making defensive coverage more difficult than covering a traditional three-man rush. Coach Carlson gives several drills for properly filling lanes and timing the attack.

Quick Transition Attacks - Some of Coach Carlson's drills emphasize transition or getting from defense to offensive attack as quickly as possible. These drills focus on defensemen retrieving pucks and making quick passes to forwards who have provided balanced support options. Teams that transition quickly are particularly dangerous offensively because the opponents are forced to defend before they've moved into the ideal defensive position.

Screen the Goalie - The two drills in this section, which focus on screening the goalie, emphasize the ability to move with the puck in order to completely block the goalie's vision. More rebounds and goals will result if the goalie has to change his position to see the puck around a screening attacker. These are simple but effective drills for getting players comfortable with screening the goalie and working the front of the net when in the offensive zone.

Utilizing the High Forward - Utilizing the high forward is a seldom-taught skill. Typically, the high forward, or F3, is considered a safety player for the forecheck, whose job is to prevent odd-man rushes if the forecheck fails. Coach Carlson demonstrates several drills that train the high forward to work with defensemen to create new lanes to attack with little pressure from a defensive player. Utilizing the high forward disrupts the defensive team's coverage and leads to quality scoring chances for the offense.

In all, Coach Carlson shares 12 drills to help generate offense utilizing the defensemen as a fourth attacking player option. He explains how these drills transfer to real-game situations and how they create odd-man rushes against opponents. Easily implemented into any practice plan, these 12 drills provide a new way of generating offense for your team. All coaches will benefit greatly from using these drills and implementing these concepts. 37 minutes. 2014.