Ah, the days of the quick release of a shot coming down the side boards into the opposition’s end zone seems to be in a decline with the younger players coming up through the junior ranks. I stopped a coach one day and asked him why we are seeing this and he told me a few things that caught me by surprise.
He mentioned that the youngsters don’t have the confidence to do that shot as much as they did before and they haven’t been taught to do the shot properly. The kids these days have watched the pros come down the side get over the blueline and about 4 to 5 feet inside stop or do a small turn and look for the trailer coming down the middle. Nice play if your name is Gretzky, who perfected this move over his time and could see the ice better then anyone in the game. But we all aren’t Gretzky’s are we?
So I asked the coach what can the players in todays game do to help them master that shot? His answer was to work on both on ice and off ice techniques. Get stronger in the core and legs so you can take the quick shot on the fly and take a hit after the shot. You see this in the OHL and NHL now, that the players will come along the boards hard take a shot which is going to the goalies far side so the rebound pops out to the player coming hard to the net (that’s another topic for later).
A couple of good articles I was reading recently explained how to improve this shot, one was for the off ice training and the other was for on ice shooting. Check them both out when you have a minute.
Ah yes the days of the great Bobby Hull or even alittle closer to our times, Wendal Clark who both shot rockets coming down their wings. One the almighty slap shot and with Clark’s patented wicked wrist shot had goalies wishing they had taken up different professions. But if you have your players work on the proper techniques then we will start seeing these shots coming back more and more.
By Warren Nye, UltimateHockeySource.com
October 1st, 2011