Photo by Patrick Haney
What is the secret to scoring more goals? Take more shots!
As the Great One once remarked, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Truer words were never spoken.
As a right-shooting right winger, I tend to fade to the right when carrying the puck across the blue line. I favor the outside shot, and I like using my body to shield a defender so they can’t poke the puck away. However, one bad habit I’ve picked up–as one of my linemates so graciously pointed out–I tend to coast when a defender approaches. I think the reason I do this is because I’m not coordinated enough to throw a deke if my feet are still moving. Lame, I know. The thing is, usually I can put a decent move on the guy guarding me, but slowing down allows too much time for backup to arrive. As you know, hockey is a fast paced sport and even a few seconds can result in a lost opportunity. When I have a defender shutting me down I can’t get a shot off.
No shot means no goal.
If you suffer from the same ailment I do, you might grab a friend and practice driving to the net. One thing I find that helps me is to focus my eyes on the goal, rather than on the approaching defender. Keeping my eyes focused and my legs churning means I’ll be harder to catch and more likely to get a good look at the net.