There have been some great goals scored during the first four days of the NHL Playoffs. For aspiring hockey players watching the great action, there is much to be learned from the shooting habits of the best players in the world. Here are four takeaways from the first four days of the playoffs:
- In Close Go High. With goaltenders going down into the butterfly and trying to take up as much space as possible, they best place to find an opening when you are down low, is up high. Pay attention to this throughout the playoffs and you will see that there are a lot of goals scored just under the cross bar from players in and around the crease.
- Short Side Snipe. Jakob Silfverberg won Game 2 for Anaheim in the closing seconds over Winnipeg by making an excellent shot that great goal scorers have perfected. Silfverberg took the puck from behind the net, circled around the front of the net, and with the goalie moving with the flow, sniped back against the grain and caught the goalie on the short-side for the game winner.
- Shooting Low. The easiest saves for goalies are those that are a foot or so off the ice. Keeping the puck on or close to the ice opens up all sorts of opportunities for rebounds and deflections. There have been a lot of big goals scored already in this playoff with pucks that are on the ice.
- Get The Puck To The Net. Goals come in all shapes and sizes, and they don’t have to be pretty to be effective, they just need to cross the line to count. Oftentimes just getting a good, hard shot on net can be all it takes to get a bounce, a screen or a deflection. When in doubt, get the puck to the net!
The NHL Playoffs are one of the most exciting times of the year to watch hockey. They are also inspiring for players who want to maximize their potential. One of the things I used to do is watch the games, and then shoot pucks in my basement during commercials and the periods. The great shooters have all shot thousands and thousands of practice pucks. It’s fun to try and recreate a great goal and at the same time dream of one day scoring the game winner.
Enjoy the NHL Playoffs and remember, always work hard and dream bigger than everyone else!