Working on Bad Angle Shots – Summer Skills Series

Jeremy Rupke is back with another Summer Skills Session! This is another off-season sniping drill for sharp angle shots where players can improve on speed and accuracy. Players like John Tavares and Phil Kessel don’t just wake up and snipe from impossible angles in game-time situations. They practice those situations constantly because they know that the only way to get those past the goaltender is by visualizing those open spaces at high tempo. There is no better way to do this than situational drills like this one. Jeremy provides a tweak in this bad angle shooting drill that will save the shooter from moving constantly and let’s them see realistic game-time angles that are challenging. He also shows two key sniper tips to improve on add that much more accuracy to your shot. Like Jeremy explains, players will quickly understand that the center area of the slot is often protected so the shooters must improvise. Tight-angled shots are something players have to get used to if they want to see the puck in the back of the net more often than seeing it rimmed around the boards and out the zone. Here, Jeremy explains how this drill works and why it will help your accuracy:



In the video, Jeremy (who shoots right) shows how tight-angle shots are possible with practice and if you want to pad your goal tally, tough angle shots are a must. From the left side, Jeremy starts with the right top corner, which is natural as he shoots right. Start with what you’re comfortable with, and then move on to more challenging angles (like the left corner for a right-handed shooter) afterwards. When Jeremy moves to the right side, it gets tougher for him because of his right hand shot. One easy tip that helps with the flow and accuracy of the shot is to toe the puck (control with the toe of your stick) and squaring your blade before the release. Dragging it closer to you adds accuracy and allows you to look at the target before the quick release. Jeremy also tweaked his speed of his release on the second round to add more speed to his shot. Putting more speed on the squared-release shot will add that much more accuracy to where you’re aiming. On your strong side tough-angled shots are more difficult so try this tip out!

Jeremy ends the video by explaining the importance of drill equipment. Unless you own a hockey rink, players are often at the mercy of paved driveways and garage doors, which usually doesn’t end well with the parents. Jeremy loves HockeyShot’s Products because they are in line with what coaches need for training – simple, adjustable, and high quality. If you’re looking for long lasting and innovative hockey accessories, then have a look at HockeyShot.com for products that are guaranteed to give you the edge in off and on ice training!

Scientific Method of Shooting Pucks – Summer Skills Series

Welcome to Summer Skills Sessions! Jeremy Rupke (How to Hockey) is here with HockeyShot and True Hockey every Saturday to drop a new video on offseason drills, tips and challenges for all players! Rupke wants you, fellow snipers, to join him in some awesome summer off-ice drills that players can use in their own training. In this first edition, Jeremy shows us a simple yet efficient drill for all shooters to implement in their training to improve shot accuracy and add more goals to the stat sheet. Just like in a game, this drill puts the shooter in realistic locations that with practice, a shooter can improve on accuracy and strength. In the video, Jeremy explains not only the drill and why it helps, but also the science of how our brains calculate accuracy and why it is important to vary distances. Let’s watch and listen Jeremy’s hockey instructions:



As you can see, Rupke explains through scientific case studies how improved accuracy does not necessarily mean focusing on the exact distance you’re targeting to improve. Instead, research in sports science suggests shooting closer and further away from the actual target is more impactful than shooting at the direct target location over and over again. For example, if you’re target distance is 10 feet, Rupke suggests shooting from 5 and 15 feet away, to force your brain to adapt to the varying distances instead of just one “perfect” spot (i.e. the slot). In a sport as fast as hockey, you’re chances of getting constant slot opportunities will dissipate with age and level of skill. That’s why it is essential to train your brain and adapt to real game-time situations. Here Jeremy is using the above dimensions to practice his accuracy. He uses roughly 5-9 pucks in each location and fires them at various locations, not just one. A shooter should never resort to only one go-to!

In Jeremy’s case, he was solid in close but he could work on his accuracy for 15-foot shots. To improve on that, Jeremy knows his target distances should be even further (20-25 feet) so it forces his mind and muscles to adapt to the variety of possible game-time scenarios. Varying your shot type with wrist shots as well as slap shots will also add to the difficulty. If you’re looking to turn that shot into a snipe, then try this simple trick that is guaranteed to improve on your shot’s accuracy and power!

Jeremy also had an array of very helpful products from HockeyShot. HockeyShot’s Shooter Tutor is perfect for this drill as it provides the shooter with 11 realistic scoring options. It also has a tough elastic material that provides realistic rebounds! For an even more authentic feel, HockeyShot’s Dryland Flooring Tiles give the player an improved surface that adds to the challenge. And let’s face it; we all can’t be snipers overnight and as a result you’re going to be chasing after those biscuits more than shooting them. To avoid that, HockeyShot’s Goal and Backstop is the perfect net to protect your home, garage, cars and even neighbours. The net is extremely easy to install and the backdrop provides great protection. Last but not least, picking up all those pucks can get tiring if you’re firing on all cylinders. To solve that problem Jeremy uses the handy HockeyShot Sauce Catcher that can act as a puck bag (easily holds up to 40) when you’re not using it for saucer passes!

Using Grip Strength to Develop Your Shot

The funny thing about a shot is that there is no guaranteed way you can look at a player and know right away if he has a hard shot or not.

Sure, if he looks pretty muscular you can start to think he might have a howitzer.

On the other hand, if a player is super skinny you can get the idea that he/she is unlikely to have a hard shot.

But the thing is, you just don’t know. Sometimes those big guys have pretty standard shots, and there are plenty of smaller guys out there on the ice that have an absolute rocket of a shot. I’m sure a few are already coming to mind for you right now.

hockey shot training area

A lot of this comes down to technique (of course), and hand grip strength.

Those guys who appear small but have an excellent shot normally have crushing grip strength. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a strength coach and nutrition specialist and have worked with a lot of professional athletes in my career. Last summer, I was running a crew of both NFL and NHL players through some offseason training in California and was blown away by one player’s grip strength.

This guy is a well-known name in the hockey world and from a “gym strength” perspective, you could say he was pretty average. Average on the bench, squat, deadlifts, row, etc. Keep in mind average for a pro-athlete is a different definition of average, but, what blew me away was two things:

  1. How hard his shot was
  2. How his grip strength far exceeded every other hockey player there, and even every single one of the NFL players there who were 250lbs+

That was incredible. I have already written extensively about the mechanics of grip strength and how that can improve your hockey shot power in several blog posts, spoken about it in some YouTube videos, and even made a full hockey specific program around strengthening your grip to create massive increases in shot power. One summer, we had a player contact us that he improved his shot power 10mph by the end of his offseason.

But, even with all the work I had done in this area this was the craziest example that I had seen of it. Studying something and seeing it work are two dramatically different areas for sports development. A geek in a lab can tell you a lot about muscle, but a well experienced coach knows what really works and what really doesn’t.

Today, I want to give you a free hand grip workout that is going to translate into you having a harder shot. It will be run in two different complexes:

  • Complex 1 will be for your hand specific strength.
  • Complex 2 will be for your forearm specific strength.

Complex 1

  • A1: Plate pinchers x 20secs
  • A2: Hex DB holds x 20secs
  • A3: BB hold x 20secs
  • Rest 2mins, repeat circuit 3 times.

Complex 2

  • B1: EZ bar levering x 6-8 reps per hand
  • B2: Behind the back BB wrist curls x 6-8
  • B3: Pronated grip seated BB wrist curls x 6-8
  • Rest 2mins, repeat circuit 3 times.

You can perform this workout 2-3 days per week, I recommend performing it at the end of your workouts as a “finisher” due to the fact that having a burnt-out grip would affect all your other lifts if you did it first. You might have to get your daughter to help you open jars the day after this one.

shooting pad

But, any good coach and any good player knows that performance feedback is a must to make sure you know that what you are doing is having a positive impact on your performance, which is why I recommend picking up the HockeyShot Professional Shooting Pad and the HockeyShot Extreme Hockey Radar to both practice and measure your shooting power this offseason. Without data you’re just hoping your training is working, with these tools you can take the guesswork out of your offseason and become a better hockey player for it.

One-Timer – Off-Ice Skills Series

One-Timer

The one-timer can be a fun and exciting shot in hockey. However, it takes a lot of practice to perfect and execute correctly. Basically, the one-timer is a quick release shot, where your teammate passes you the puck and instead of receiving the pass, you position yourself to execute a slap-shot, without stopping or cradling the puck for control. Essentially, you are receiving and shooting the puck all in one fluid motion.

seguin taking a shot

The one-timer can prove to be a quick and effective shot, leaving little time for a goaltender to set-up and position him/ herself to make the save. First and foremost, it requires a great deal of skill to complete a one-timer. But, with a lot of practice and determination, you can turn a lot of heads by blasting that game-winning goal past the goalie. The key to a good one-timer is, you need to have a good slap-shot as foundation. Once your slap-shot is established, it’s important that you can consistently execute the slap-shot and have good timing. One thing to keep in mind when taking a one-timer, is that you need to have a short wind-up. If your wind-up is too big, chances are you will not have enough time to catch up to the puck, having the puck slip right past you. That being said, your wind-up should be short, where your stick stays below your waist. As you become more comfortable with one-timers, you will be able to time passes better, leading you to have bigger wind-ups, leading to quicker and harder shots.



Another thing to consider when practicing one-timers, is to practice receiving passes from different angles. Not all passes are going to result in you winding up to take a slap-shot. Some passes will come across your body and will force you to quickly cradle the puck and fire off a wrist-shot, all in one motion. Remember, it’s imperative that you are aware of the direction of your target, and that you lead your skate in the direction that you want to shoot. By having a strong push-off with your back foot, this will lead to a quicker and harder shot. And as always, practice makes perfect. HockeyShot provides a lot of off-ice training aids that will help improve your game.

crosby shooting

To improve on your one-timers, consider training aids like the HS Passing Kits or Dryland Flooring Tiles. Both products will give you a smooth surface and can help you time passes, ultimately leading you to have that one-timer that is feared by every goaltender in the league!

Quick Release – Off-Ice Skills Series

Quick Release

The major difference between an average goal scorer and an elite goal scorer, like Patrick Kane or Tyler Seguin, is their ability to get the shot off quick. By having a quick release, this will allow you to have a step up on the goaltender, preventing him or her from getting set-up in the net to make the stop. When it comes to having a quick and effective release, it’s important to consider the following:

kane making a move before shooting

First, to have a quick release, you need to shorten your wind-up. Like a one-timer, if you have a big wind-up, you are giving the goaltender time to move into position for your shot. All that you need to do is to drag your stick back to the back heel of your skate and release the puck using the push/ pull motion. The push/ pull motion is probably the component that makes the quick release so effective. Essentially, the “push” refers to a hockey player pushing or extending his/ her arms out from the body. Next comes the “pull” effect, which is the notion that a hockey player pulls his/ her top hand back, while pushing forward on the lower hand. Keep in mind, the flex of the stick can play a vital role in this concept. A stick that has a lower flex will result in more whip or torque, resulting in a stronger release. However, a stick that is stiff or that has a higher flex, will result in a weaker shot. Although this all sounds very technical, this does not necessarily apply to younger hockey players, as they do not have as much strength as older hockey players.



Lastly, a quick release shot can prove to be even more effective when you change the angle of the shot. By changing the angle of the shot, this does not necessarily mean changing the angle of shot elevation, rather, it means changing the angle of the release point. For example, if you were approaching the goaltender and were ready to take a shot, the goaltender can anticipate the location of the shot by simply watching the blade of the stick. However, if you were to approach that same goaltender later in the game and were ready to let go a quick release shot, you could be deceptive by slightly changing the release point by doing a slight toe drag, moving the puck closer to your body, then releasing it. Just by moving the puck several inches can significantly change the possible locations that the puck can travel, causing the goaltender to readjust to the new release point. Again, this all sounds very technical, but you can practice the quick release from different angles by simply placing pucks in a square grid on your forehand, and shooting the pucks from inside, outside, ahead and in back of your stance.

datsyuk taking a shot

What are you waiting for? Pick up a HS Shooting Pad and HS Extreme Shooting Tarp today and work on beating the goalie quickly before he can see the puck coming!

Shot Accuracy – Off-Ice Skills Series

Shot Accuracy

Some players in the NHL score goals off the pure strength and power of their shot. However, some NHL’ers score goals on pure finesse and shot location. Consider players like Phil Kessel or Alex Ovechkin, who just always seem to find the back of the net. There are many factors involved, however, all natural goal scorers have one thing in common, they know where to shoot and how to get it there.

ovi on ice

One thing that may be a surprise to many, but has proven to be an effective technique on scoring, is the ability to visualize where you want the puck to go. Many goal scorers at all levels have the innate ability to visualize themselves scoring before they even take the shot. So when you are out practicing in your driveway or in your back yard, picture yourself shooting the puck short-side or going bar-down. You will be surprised that a simple mental trick of visualization will lead you to filling that net. That being said, there is still more to consider when working on your shooting accuracy. For instance, you can’t have an accurate shot if you aren’t looking at your target. If you want your shot to go top right corner, have your eyes locked onto that corner and let it rip. Not only do you want your eyes or body to move in the direction of your target, but it is essential to move your stick in that direction as well. If you want a low shot, make sure that you have a nice, fluid motion, keeping your stick and blade low as well. Like any other shot, your shot location or release point is vital. As mentioned in the shot power article, being aware of one’s “sweet spot” will be the difference between you scoring or being robbed by the goaltender.



Lastly, it’s important to be aware of your body’s movement and mechanics. This can only be done by continuously practicing your shot. There is no such thing as too many practice shots. Next time you are practicing your shot, become familiar of the movements and techniques required to get your shot at the desired location. Even the best hockey players in the world miss the net from time to time, so don’t be discouraged if you miss your shot. An accurate shooter will always read and adjust their mechanics, almost always nailing their second shot.

Hopkins shooting at targets

Practice makes perfect, so go out there and have fun and visualize yourself scoring! Here are some HockeyShot training aids that will help you snipe more goals: HS Extreme Shooter Tutor and HS Extreme Goal Targets.

Shot Power – Off-Ice Skills Series

Shot Power

There are not too many players in the NHL that would dive in front of a shot from Shea Weber or Zdeno Chara, and I don’t blame them. But what makes them such a threat on the power play is their ability to power a shot through to the net. To have a powerful shot, there are many things a hockey player needs to consider. The most important component of having a powerful shot is the stance of the hockey player.

chara taking a shot

Keep in mind, you need to have a relaxed stance and have the ability to transfer your weight from one foot to the other. A good rule of thumb is to have your nose go from toe-to-toe. Secondly, you want to have a strong push off your back foot and step toward your intended target. Keeping that in mind, it’s imperative that the mechanics of the shot and the stride are in one cohesive, fluid movement. Lastly, like the quick release, shot location is key to having a strong shot. As a hockey player, everyone is different, which makes it that much more important to find and be familiar with your “sweet spot”. Basically, your “sweet spot” is the location where you are most comfortable to release your shot, and more often than not, is the spot that allows you to have your most powerful shot. Like any other skill, practice is the only way to improve. To improve on your shot and shot power, be sure to take lots of shots. It’s not uncommon for many young hockey players to take up to a hundred shots a day.



HockeyShot has everything you need to release a bomb from the blue line! We recommend the HS Extreme Hockey Radar and Hockey Stick Weight to get you started.

Four Types of Shots

Teach Yourself Great Wrist Shot Technique

There are many times where making an accurate wrist shot will be your best option to hit the net. You might have deked out a defenseman or two, or you might have just received a pass from a teammate. You may have studied some of the current great wrist shot artists, such as:

  • Joe Sakic
  • Phil Kessel
  • Alex Ovechkin
  • Hayley Wichkenheiser

There are two types of wrist shots:

  • The Quick Release – To surprise the goaltender, defensemen, and your Mom in the stands.
  • The Most Powerful Wrist Shot – When they know you’re going to shoot, but they don’t know where.

The types of wrist shots, with credit to Coach Jeremy Rupke and his mad skills, depend on:

  • Where you are, relative to the net.
  • The preparation status of the goaltender.
  • How well defended you are, when you have possession of the puck.

Here are the necessary steps to taking a great wrist shot, whether you are in Stealth Mode or Power Mode.

Quick Release Wrist Shot

You’re within the hash marks, chest pointed at the net, and the puck on your stick. You’re on the power play, so the goalie is a little unsure if you’re going to shoot, pass or drive around the net. The game is tied, so you want to score.

When you’ve decided to shoot, and accuracy is more important than power, getting the puck off fast is ideal. You won’t get robbed by a defender, the goalie isn’t quite sure what your plan is, and surprise – not strength is your biggest ally.

Chest pointed at the net, knees slightly bent, and puck on your stick starting just slightly behind your skate, you transfer your weight to your skate nearest the puck. Get some flex on your stick if you can, but more importantly, sweep the puck forward, give your wrist snapping motion when you are finishing the sweep forward, and follow through toward your target with a quick release. The follow through should end where you want the puck to go.

This shot is all about surprise, so if you score with this shot, make sure to smile and wink when you score. Subtlety is important, so don’t ride your stick like old-school Tiger Williams.

Most Powerful Wrist Shot

The differences between the powerful wrist shot and the Quick Release are that in the Powerful shot:

  • You start with the puck further back, for a longer drag along the ice before you release.
  • You will transfer your weight to the leg opposite the puck, so you can get a long push forward to your shot, use your lateral muscles on your torso and legs, and really get a good flex and release in your shot when you snap your wrist and propel the puck forward, you shoot with some good force.
  • Ovechkin Shooting

The powerful wrist shot can still take your opposing goalie and defenders by surprise, but if you shoot at a variety of targets throughout the game with this shot, you can keep them guessing, and you can shoot from the blue line or towards the boards, and look like a real hero in the process. If you’re a defenseman, you’ll want to master the MPWS big time.

The slap shot seems to get a lot of the headlines in hockey, but finesse players like Ovechkin, Crosby and Kessel make great use of the wrist shot, and tally lots of goals.

Practice your wrist shot often, from a broad range of angles and distances from the net. It doesn’t have the sound effects or break as many sticks as slap shots, but when you master it, it can be an effective goal scoring weapon for your arsenal.

Practice your wrist shot often, from a broad range of angles and distances from the net. It doesn’t have the sound effects or break as many sticks as slap shots, but when you master it, it can be an effective goal scoring weapon for your arsenal.

How to Make a Great Snap Shot

You robbed an opposing forward of the puck, and you’ve deked out his teammates. As you skate up the ice, you see that you’re all alone. You cross the blue line, and the goalie has the audacity to come out to challenge you for the puck.

You deke left, and as you raise your stick to make a wrist shot, the goalie poke checks the puck from you, robbing you of a great scoring opportunity. If only you had practiced your snap shot, you could have tapped in the game winning goal.

It’s a good thing you found this article, because next time, you’ll know exactly how to make a great snap shot, and you’ll make the best of your in-close scoring chances.

Here are four steps to a great snap shot.

  1. Puck Position

  2. You want to get a snap shot away quickly, because in most cases, you have a defenseman barreling down on you, or a goalie to contend with. Handle the puck in close to your body, at the most slightly behind your skate so you can build up some speed by dragging it forward.

    Like a backhand shot, the snap shot relies more on surprise than power. It’s a great shot to make on a penalty shot as you cross the goal mouth, or after a battle in front of your opponent’s net. Old fashioned snap shots were just choppy slap shots, with a foot high lift of the stick. You can bank on the slight raise of the stick, but leave the chopping for firewood.

  3. Sitck Position

  4. Instead of the old quick chop shot, push the puck forward and toward you, and then bring your stick down on the ice, just behind the puck. To build up some flex in your stick, you’ll want to have your hand half way down the stick. Your chest should be facing your target.

    You want to strike the puck at the centre of the blade for good control. As you push forward with your bottom hand, pull back on the top end of the stick to maximize the flex.

  5. Weight Transfer

  6. Snap shots are best when you transfer your weight to your leg closest to the puck, whether you are skating or standing still. Time is of the essence, so build pressure fast on your stick and shoot ASAP.

  7. Scoring is a Snap

  8. Depending on the amount of height you need to score, a quick roll of your wrists upwards may be required. Roll your wrists back to make the blade of the stick angle back to give the puck some lift as it hurtles over the goaltender’s stick. Or, snap shot can be exceptionally effective if you feign a shot in one direction, allow the goalie to go into the butterfly position, and then snap the puck over the shoulder.

    To get really good at the snap shot, practice it frequently with Extreme Targets or with a bucket of pucks with a net kitted with a puck rebounder.

    Build up your snap shot targeting skills, wrist rolling muscle memory, and get used to making fast, accurate shots on goal.

How to Make an Effective Backhand Shot

If you have been admiring Sydney Crosby’s or Patrick Kane’s amazing backhand shooting techniques, or even if you want to get better at making backhand shots in general, you’ve come to the right place for some tips.

It’s the least common shooting technique, but if you’re in front of the net, and need to get a quick backhand shot off, you won’t want to have the puck dribble off the heel of your stick, or look like a doofus by missing the net entirely.

Here are five steps to making a great backhander that should make you look good come game time, as long as you practice as often as you can. You will usually be making a backhander when you are skating in front of the net, and don’t have the time or position for a forehand shot.

Other times you might be skating in from the opposing side of the net, and you have to deke around opposing defender. Lastly, there’s the Gretzky-style around-the net backhander which looks really cool.

datsyuk taking a back hand shot

  1. Line the Puck Up on Your Stick

  2. The best place for the puck on your blade is in the middle, on the backside of your stick. You might need to push the puck ahead of you, or start the puck close at arm’s length to the side of your stick, though it depends on the power you need in your stick.

    The further ahead the puck, the longer your sweep of the puck backwards, and the harder your shot will be. You’ll want to have a good stance before you shoot though. Give the puck a little cupping coverage to make it feel cozy, and add the element of surprise for the goalie, so he doesn’t know where the puck is at.

  3. Weight Transfer

  4. Most backhand shots are done when you are standing still. You’ll want your stance to be with your feet shoulder-width apart for balance. You will likely not have time or need to do much weight transfer for a backhander, but build up some weight first on your leg opposite the puck, and as you shoot at the net, transfer your weight to the leg closest to the net.

  5. Flex that Stick

  6. Time is of the essence on most back handers, but try and build up some downward pressure on the edge of the blade, and build up some “potential energy” and get some flexing in your stick. As you swing the stick blade towards your target, the flex of the stick will release, and propel the puck back, and hopefully catch the netminder completely by surprise.

  7. Need Some Altitude?

  8. The angle of the blade on the stick will determine the height of the shot – the flatter the blade, the lower the shot. If you want to pop the puck over the goalie’s stick, you’ll need to angle the blade away from where you’re shooting, and try to shovel the puck upwards. You might be able to catch one or two of Mama’s cookies as the fall from the top shelf. Follow through matters too, but don’t delay too many games by flipping pucks over the boards. That cute Puck Bunny looks better with her teeth intact.

  9. Follow Through to Finish Your Shot

  10. kane fallowing through on shot

    If you haven’t already slapped the blade of your stick against the post, the goalie’s jockstrap, or the netting, you should follow through, and point the stick where you want the puck to go. The higher you finish the shot, the higher the puck will go.

    There you have it, the perfect backhand shot. If you are a visual person, and need some images or videos, you can check out our friend Jeremy Rupke from HowToHockey.com, and he’ll show you how it’s done.

5 Steps to a Slapshot Goalies Will Fear

There aren’t many things as satisfying to a hockey player as making a great slapshot which punches the twine behind a goal keeper and makes the goal light glow. A hat trick, a post-game plate of chicken wings, or the roar of the crowd might edge it out slightly, but a slap shot goal is up there in the list of hockey’s greatest moments.

If you want to achieve these precious moments on a regular basis, you’d better learn how to make a really effective slap shot. There are subtle variations with this shot, depending on whether you are standing still by the puck, or skating down the ice with the puck towards the goal. We’ll point off the subtle differences along the way.

Here are the five steps to a great slapshot. One that will make that satisfying “smack” against the ice. You might just hear the goalie whimper as the puck hurtles at him (or her) too.

Slapshot by Stamkos

Timing and Position

Standing Still

If you are standing still beside the puck, get into the classic hockey pose, with a firm grip on the end of the stick, and your pivoting hand about midway down the shaft. Knees slightly bent puck midway between your legs, one skate towards the net, the other trailing. Be prepared to make some weight transfer magic happen. Start with your weight loaded on your back skate, which should be just trailing behind the puck

Bring your stick up behind you about a 3 o’clock position, straight out behind you. You can lift your stick to 1pm even, if you’re at the blue line, but you might not have the time for that much swing.

As you bring your stick back though, doing a quick check for Ming vases behind you if you’re practicing in Mom’s living room. (You aren’t though, are you?). Checking for one of your teammates, or even a snarling, opposing defender.

On the Move

When you’re skating hard for the net, choosing moment when you should make your slapshot can be challenging. You don’t want to swing early and miss, or late and flip the puck over the glass. Instead, take your shot when your body is positioned over the puck about center of the stride.

The longer the stick is in contact with the puck, the more powerful the shot. The speed of your body to the puck will provide greater puck velocity towards the net, so let ‘er rip!

From here, a moving shot or a standstill shot are the same.

Making Contact

You want to lift your stick and move the stick back on a downward arc, to strike the ice first with the edge your stick blade. Pivot your weight to your forward skate as you move the stick towards the ice.

You will want to make contact about the distance of a $100 bill in front of the puck. If you practice with an actual $100 bill, let me know when you are practicing! Start putting downward pressure on the stick.

Flex and Recoil

Your stick should start to flex and curve as you push along the ice. Think of it like drawing back an arrow in a bow. Make contact with the puck, as close to the middle of the blade of the stick. Slide the stick forward quickly, to take advantage of flexibility of the stick, then it will recoil.

Follow through

With your stick pointed to where you want the puck to go.

On low follow through finishes, you’ll end up with a low shot, and alternatively, when you raise your stick and follow through to point towards a top corner, think of that being where your puck will go as well.

If you find it difficult to make the right contact with a moving slapshot, try checking out our video on the stationary slapshot and perfect that first. Once you gain confidence on body, puck and stick placement, you’ll might be ready to shoot like Zdeno Chara, instead of looking like Alex Ovechkin in this video.

Breakaway Tips to Light the Lamp!

You’re flying down the wing and beat your first man, the last defender skates helplessly backwards, his skates getting tangled up as you deke to your left, toe drag, and slip around him. Now the only person left between you and the back of your net is the goalie. He’s made 31 saves tonight and your team’s down 1. You panic and fire off a quick shot. It grazes the outside of his blocker and ricochets off the glass as the buzzer sounds.

The drama may not be familiar, but for many players, beating the goalie can turn out to be the most difficult part of hockey. After all, it is your final step before lightning the lamp and skating past your bench to get props. You can have a hard shot, good hands, and a great hockey IQ, but if you can’t combine them all, goals will be hard to come by.

Thankfully, the guys at How to Hockey are back to help you out, and this time, it’s on this incredible outdoor rink in the Canadian Rockies!





Like many things in life, having a list can help with accomplishing and remembering your goals. So try to keep these simple steps in mind whenever you’re getting ready to score:

Step 1 – Head Up!

This gets talked about all the time in hockey, especially if you’re playing in a contact league. When you’re not scanning the ice to see if a big hit’s coming, keeping your head up allows you to know exactly where you’re going and what’s coming next. This works particularly well when you’re trying to score. If you can see the goalie first, it allows you to read them before making any decisions.

Step 2 – Think about it

Now that you’ve read how the goalie is set up, take the time (quickly!) to run over your options. Should you shoot, pass, or try and deke? If you see a gaping hole or a side left open, don’t be afraid to fire a shot. If you see a teammate streaking down the wing, fire them a pass if they’re in a better position. Finally, if it’s just you and the goalie, create some movement to open up more scoring lanes.

Step 3 – Where’s the goalie?

Lots of new players don’t take the split second to notice where the goalie is positioned in the net. If the goalie is out of the net, chances are you have less shooting angles, and need to opt for a deke. If the goalie is further back in their net, look for those high scoring spots like the corners, inner posts, and five hole areas.

Goalie Postioning

Step 4 – Movement

If the goalie is on top of their game, they’ve most likely started to cut off your angles, and challenge you. The only way to create more open options for yourself is to get the goalie to move laterally. This means creating movement yourself! Remember that wherever your stick goes, the puck follows, meaning the goalie is going to keep up. If you can create enough movement left to right, you can make the goalie make a mistake, or over commit meaning you can find the back of the net.

Step 5 – Posts

As long as you remember that if you can get to the post faster than the goalie can, 9 times out of 10 there’s going to be an opening. Sometimes this just takes 1 move, sometimes it can take 5, but the outcome is always going to be the same. As long as you can create enough space at the post to fit a puck in, you’re giving your team a goal.

To conclude, remember that as long as you can give yourself enough time to make the right decision, you always have the advantage over the goalie. You get to decide when the goalie moves, and where, so attack with confidence. Keep your head up to see everything on the ice, because more often than not, passing to a teammate is a way more effective way to create a scoring chance. If all else fails, take a nice hard shot to any of the posts, and aim for the net, at the very least you’re going to create some chances and rebound opportunities.

Thanks for reading and we hoped you enjoyed the incredible scenery from the mountains!

How NOT to Miss The Net

The opening of a regulation hockey net is six feet wide by four feet tall. A hockey puck has a three inch diameter. If the goaltender has been pulled, there seems to be a whole lot of room for error if you are taking a shot of any style at it.





The average NHL goalie is about 6-foot-2, and two hundred pounds and change. Vertically, with stacked pads, or in the butterfly position, that eliminates a lot of goal mouth real estate.

If you are going to score, even if the netminder is screened, you need as much help as you can get to learn how not to ring the puck off the post, crossbar, or completely wide into the corner.

Make sure the puck gets on net

Here are some pointers to increase your scoring percentage. If you get really good at scoring, the Toronto Maple Leafs may come knocking on your door.

#1 – If you have the chance to take a shot on an open net, try to get as close as possible before taking the shot. Slamming the puck into the boards with a wild, far shot won’t cut it. Try and cross the blue line, even stand between the hash marks, even if you have an open net. Don’t rush your shot if you have time.

#2 – Close is a good thing, but unless you wrap the puck around the goal post like Wayne Gretzky did back in the day, minimize your shots from the side of the net. If you can bank it off the goalie’s back, or a defender’s stick you might lose the point – but a goal is a goal. Try and get your shot off before all you have to shoot at is twine.

#3 – For the best accuracy, keep the puck on the ice. You may need to lift the puck over the goalie’s stick, or knock the cookies off of Mama’s shelf top corner sometimes, but a shot on the ice will have the best accuracy. Roll your wrist as you shoot, keep your stick closed on the puck and slide the puck subtly past the goalkeeper’s stick if you can.

The top of the blade will be tilted down over the puck with a closed blade, and might confuse the goalie as to whether you have the puck, or not. An open blade (top of the blade tilted back and away from the puck) could send the puck up, and over the net. The best you can hope for with a high wild shot is to knock the goalie’s water bottle off the net.

NHL goal scoring location heatmap

Practice some shots with a rolling wrist, closed blade, in close to the net but not so close you are beside it. Your opponents will do their best to keep you out of the prime scoring real estate in front of the net. If you find yourself there all alone, you’ll want to have a bunch of practice shots under your belt. Gretzky said, “You miss one-hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Do your best to improve your shooting skills, and you’ll miss a lot less when you’re positioned in front of the net, and all alone.