10 Takeaways After 10 NHL Games

We are at the 10 game mark of the NHL season, and what a great start to the year it has been! Here are our top 10 takeaways that you can apply to your own game!

10. Play like Parise. Watching Minnesota’s Zach Parise play the game can only inspire players to work as hard as they can every game, every period and every shift. When your best player is also the one working the hardest, it sets an example for the entire team to follow.

9. Connor McDavid. Edmonton’s 18 year old superstar is for real and is the complete package of finesse, speed, size and strength. Although out with an injury, learn from watching his first games of the season. Use your home training aids to practice stick handling that mimic McDavid’s and you are sure to take your game to the next level.

8. Dangling around the defense. We are only 10 games into the season but there have already been some incredible highlight reel dekes. The best forwards know how to dangle around the “D”. Make sure you have mastered many moves that give you options to put yourself into a position to get to the net.

7. Snipers. We have seen players score goals by sniping the puck into the smallest openings. The goalie takes up plenty of space, but it takes 1,152 to completely cover the front of the net. Pick one of those 1,152 spots and light the lamp!

6. Off-season training helps. This is pretty obvious at the NHL level where every player hits the ice for the first practices and games in shape and ready to go. It may not be as obvious at the youth levels where players who stayed in shape over the summer and practiced their stickhandling, shooting and skill development have a clear advantage.

5. Prolific passing. In addition to some stellar goals so far this season, we have also seen some amazing set ups. Passing with precision is a skill that players need to master to become an elite hockey player.

4. Playing both ends of the ice. Great players know that they need to be good on both ends of the ice. Being able to bury the puck in the slot in the offensive zone is great, but knowing how to stop the opposing center from doing the same in your defensive zone can be the difference between winning and losing.

3. Hand-eye coordination. We’ve seen pucks batted out of the air for goals, passes kicked from feet to blade at full stride and other amazing displays of hand-eye coordination. Practice, practice and more practice of stickhandling and other skills is the best path to improving your hand-eye coordination.

2. Dedication. What we love to see night in and night out is the blood, sweat and tears that are left out on the ice each and every game at the National Hockey League level. Bring that intensity and dedication to your own game and you will have a successful season!

1. Hard work. There is no substitute for good, old-fashioned hard work and we have seen that with teams through their first 10 games of the NHL season. If the best players in the world have to work their hardest each and every night, so too should every hockey player that aspires to make it to the next level!

Remember, always work hard and dream bigger than everyone else!

October 30, 2015 — Joe Shoults

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