Want Speed? Go Edge to Edge.
Wow! How about the speed in this year’s NHL playoffs! It’s absolutely lightning out there! When studying in-game movement patterns it’s interesting to note that while the overall trend of the game is North-South, the variability of the pattern inside the North-South game is really the layer where elite coaches need to focus. The bigger concept? Go Edge to Edge.
“Move your feet”. You’ve heard it a thousand times. But what does it mean?
Mostly, it means to bust on your outside edge with multiple crossovers in a radial pattern. Language describing solely linear patterns don’t often involve the “Move your Feet” language. Why? Well, because foot races over 5 feet tend to involve a radial pattern. Why? The need for maneuverability. There’s more than just you out on the ice. Taking into account your teammates and the opposing team, space is at a premium out there. From in the stands or on TV it might look like there’s a lot of room but just ask any elite hockey player and they’ll tell you, it’s tight out there.
So, what does all this mean? You need to Zig and Zag out there guys. To move and move fast you need to go Edge to Edge.
What about some of the patterns? Here are 3 key patterns that you should focus on, fast!
1. Radial Crossovers (5ft, 10ft, 15Ft): It’s important to work Fwd and Bwd Crossovers in these 3 radiuses. Why? These are the 3 common radiuses found in game play that affect “Moving your Feet” in game situations. What’s the key movement differences within each radius? It’s all about coordinating foot inversion of the lead skate while controlling foot eversion of the back skate. Getting that right is the start. The next? I call it Apollo Creed, you got to have that bounce. Feel it and get Free Speed baby!
2. Linear Crossovers (2-2, 2-1-1): I bet you guys didn’t think you we’re going to learn about a new NZ FC eh? Travelling in a Fwd motion moving edge to edge is a staple of the game’s best players. Think Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon. This pattern alone defines them. What’s the 2-2, 2-1-1 all about? It’s the tempo of the pattern. Just doing linear crossovers in a 1-1 ratio is fundamental. You need to dig deeper into the layers. Try repping a 2-2 (Two Fwd Crossovers to the Left and two to the right) or maybe a 2-1-1 (Two Fwd Crossovers to the right, one to the left and then another to the right). There’s a matrix of a bunch of different tempo’s and you’ve got to rep them all. Want to get really good? Add some deceptive movement and skills inside the tempo. Now you’re getting ready to transfer.
3. Hip First Pivot to Bwd X-Over to Fwd X-Over: This is a key pattern and a great one for young players because it involves a ton of coordination and incredible weight shift. It happens all the time in games for players in all positions and in all 3 zones because it opens you up to the play, allows you to support the puck and have vision of the ice. Work this pattern in various radius’ and tempo’s. Joe Pavelski said to me one day that he thinks this is the key in his movement so that the game “slows” down for him (mentally). It allows him to see everything. Even with the same mental aptitude or detail on game night, just focusing on being disciplined to execute this movement pattern when appropriate on the ice makes him a better player. Pretty cool. He’s had his best goal production this year at 35. Awesome.
So, looking to increase speed in your development plan for next season? Go Edge to Edge. The best guys do it and if you work it and are detailed about it, your game will skyrocket too!