Stretching with the enemy. I don't like it. (Courtesy: Len Redkoles)

Hockey 101: Preventing Turnovers

Dear Flyers,

You lost 3-2 to the New Jersey Devils last night for one reason: you turned the puck over in your own zone. That much you know. However, you know a lot about what to do and what not to do, and yet you still make simple mistakes. That’s why even though you are professionals, you still have coaches to teach you things. That’s why you still have practices. No matter how new or how experienced you are in the league, you still screw up. So here are a few pieces of advice:

Look familiar? (Courtesy: NHL Shop)

Take a few minutes, every day, to stare at the picture above. You should recognize this jersey because you wear one just like that for every game. Sometimes the colors are inverted, but you’re old enough to see the similarity. Now when you’re playing the game, sometimes you will have the puck on your stick while you are in your own zone. What you should try to do is look for people that have a similar jersey to the one in the picture; let’s call them teammates. It’s generally a good idea to pass it to them. If there is someone wearing ANYTHING other than that jersey in your way, the puck will not go through them.  So don’t try passing at that other weird person. If there is nobody in the way, but you see somebody moving to get in the way, don’t pass them the puck.

When you see someone wearing the orange colored jersey and they are open, that is a perfect time to give them the puck. But sometimes you will be in a situation where there is nobody open. The good news is that you still have options! See those things on the sides with the glass on top and the funny logos written on them? Those are called boards. What you can do, is shoot the puck at them to get it out of your zone. And if you bounce it in the general direction of one of your open “teammates” then maybe they can get it and eventually score a goal.

Sometimes there will be a situation where you are trapped in a corner with those non-teammates converging on you. Again, you have options! You can press the puck against the boards, and hold it for a whistle, or wait for help to arrive. Sometimes, when you can’t see your teammates, you will hear their voices. They will be yelling things to you in order to help you blindly put the puck in a safe area. You can trust them because they want to help you, thus the reason for the same kind of shirt as you.

I know it seems like a lot. But just remember two simple things when you have the puck in your own zone. 1. Pass ONLY to the people wearing the same shirt as you. 2. NEVER pass to people wearing anything else. That is all.

Thanks for reading!

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Tags: Ice Hockey Ilya Kovalchuk New Jersey Devils NHL Orange And Black Philadelphia Flyers Sergei Bobrovsky Turnovers Kill

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