Yesterday at practice we focused on some beginning coverage in the defensive zone. A very positive start but it is an area that we can never be too good at.
One of the basic things I wanted to reiterate to the dmen is how important it is to be strong on your stick and how you have to play the game a certain way today. With the emphasis on speed and skating, the days of grabbing, clutching and playing with a hand off your stick are gone. You will simply take too many penalties playing with a ‘loose’ hand off your stick.
I want you to take a look at a few videos of probably the best dman of all times in terms of dzone coverage.
The amazing thing about Nick Lidstrom is that he wasn’t an overly physical guy and hardly EVER took penalties. Really incredible how good he was. He seemed to always be in control in the Dzone.
He is our example of how we want to play.
When you watch these videos look at the amount of time he plays with two hands on his stick and really only reached out with one when it absolutely called for it. Two hands on stick=control. One hand=out of control.
For the second and third videos it is more important to focus on what the commentators say about Nick.
Please let me know your thoughts.