Performance Skating Playbook: NHL Movement Analysis - November/December 2019

ANA vs. WSH (11-18-19) | Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)

The play begins in the Anaheim Ducks zone with the Washington Capitals on the power play. John Carlson with the Capitals walks the blue line with excellent defensive skating mechanics and draws the play to the center of the ice. Evgeny Kuznetsov receives the pass and steps off of the wall using a power crossover to attack the middle of the ice.

Kuznetsov fakes the shot and draws the attention of all four Anaheim players as he makes the no-look pass to Alexander Ovechkin. The Washington captain receives the pass and delivers a devastatingly quick release to put the puck in the back of the net.

As an alternate play, Kuznetsov could fake the cross-ice pass and finish with a shot on net in order to generate secondary scoring opportunities on the power play.

LAK vs. ARI (11-18-19) | Jakob Chychrun (Arizona Coyotes)

The Arizona Coyotes gain the offensive zone on the power play and must regroup after a broken line change. Conor Garland executes a delay counter-move with an evasive puck movement up near the blue line that throws off Adrian Kempe and allows Garland to attack deeper into the offensive zone.

All four LA Kings players are pulled out of defensive position and shift focus to Garland, allowing him to use a no-look pass to set up Jakob Chychrun who is left wide open. Chychrun receives the pass and quickly rifles the shot to put the puck in the back of the net for the Arizona Coyotes.

BUF vs. CHI (11-17-19) | Kirby Dach (Chicago Blackhawks)

The Chicago Blackhawks gain puck possession after a neutral zone turn-over and Zack Smith head-mans the play into the Buffalo Sabres zone. Kirby Dach stays in the play, breaks free from the right side of the ice and Smith makes an excellent pass up to Dach through traffic.

Dach uses an evasive puck movement, drawing the puck to his right side before initiating a delay move by shifting his body weight to his left side, which provides him with ample time and space to backhand the puck and go top shelf over the Buffalo goalie.

Learning how to control the body's center of mass and leverage lower body weight shift will enhance the ability to maneuver laterally when gliding at high rates of speed.

COL vs. VAN (11-16-19) | Andre Burakovsky (Colorado Avalanche)

The play begins inside of the Vancouver Canucks zone with Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche demonstrating excellent puck protection against Tanner Pearson along the half-wall. MacKinnon leverages his core strength and body position with the use of multiple crossovers to maintain puck separation and skating distance from Pearson.

MacKinnon displays excellent puck retention by using several touches to keep the puck in motion and under control meanwhile facing defensive pressure from Pearson. As MacKinnon cuts behind the net and breaks free from his opponent, he displays precise timing with his ability to brake using his right skate inside edge to position him in the optimal lane to make the cross-crease pass to a waiting Andre Burakovsky who connects and puts the puck in the back of the net for the Colorado Avalanche.

BUF vs. EDM (12-8-19) | Riley Sheahan (Edmonton Oilers)

The play begins with a rush out of the Buffalo Sabres zone with Sam Reinhart driving up the right side through the neutral zone. Reinhart attempts an inside-out puck movement to drive wide past Darnell Nurse but the puck gets caught in Nurse's skates, forcing a turnover. The Edmonton Oilers contain the puck in the defensive zone and Joakim Nygard makes an incredible head-man pass up to Riley Sheahan for the breakaway.

Sheahan receives the pass on his backhand and uses linear crossovers to gain acceleration and separation from the Sabres defensemen. Using one evasive puck handle to deceive the Buffalo goalie, Sheahan backhands the puck five-hole for his first goal as an Edmonton Oiler.

ARI vs. CHI (12-8-19) | Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)

This incredible play begins with Calvin de Haan of the Chicago Blackhawks quarterbacking the offensive rush through the neutral zone. As Carl Soderberg steps up to challenge de Haan at the Arizona Coyotes blue line, de Haan utilizes an evasive puck handle and weight shift counter-move to evade Soderberg.

Olivier Ekman-Larsson then steps up in an attempt to force de Haan toward the boards but de Haan duplicates the same evasive movement and displays an excellent ability to accelerate past the defender, creating an odd-man scoring opportunity.

With Jonathan Toews in the wait, de Haan makes a cross-crease backhand pass through heavy foot traffic. Toews connects with the puck and puts a backhand shot on the net for this highlight-worthy goal for the Chicago Blackhawks.

NYI vs. TBL (12-9-19) | Josh Bailey (New York Islanders)

With the Tampa Bay Lightning on the power play, Nikita Kucherov sets up Steven Stamkos for a shot on net but the puck is turned over near the face-off dot. The New York Islanders do an excellent job of clearing the puck out of the defensive zone.

Josh Bailey with the Islanders reads the play and accelerates to open ice using power crossovers in order to gain separation away from Victor Hedman. As Bailey speeds through the neutral zone with impressive forward skating mechanics, he collects the puck mid-stride and gains the offensive zone.

Using a lateral crossover to cut toward the high slot, Bailey uses a deceptive puck handle to evade the Tampa Bay goalie and shoots blocker-side for an incredible short-handed goal for the Islanders.

WSH vs. CBJ (12-16-19) | Oliver Bjorkstrand (Columbus Blue Jackets)

The Washington Capitals attempt a breakout from the defensive zone resulting in a broken play due to an errant pass in the neutral zone. Scott Harrington of the Columbus Blue Jackets does an excellent job of maintaining his defensive position while swiping at the puck and advancing it to Oliver Bjorkstrand who retrieves the loose puck in the neutral zone.

Bjorkstrand displays great skating mechanics with the use of lateral crossovers and a single-handed puck carry to optimize acceleration. Bjorkstrand assumes a deep turn position which establishing a wide base of support, allowing him to maintain body separation from the Capitals defender and puck control as Bjorkstrand cuts across the crease for one of his two highlight goals from this game.

PIT vs. VAN (12-21-19) | Elias Pettersson (Vancouver Canucks)

J.T. Miller with the Vancouver Canucks receives the breakout pass and quarterbacks the offensive zone entry. Miller demonstrates an excellent ability to combine two deceptive decelerations to create time and space against John Marino of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Miller's evasive skating skills create time and space which allows the Canucks defenseman to initiate the one-timer that puts the puck on the net, allowing Elias Pettersson to react and pick up the rebound, producing a great goal for the Vancouver Canucks.

ANA vs. NYR (12-22-19) | Brett Howden (New York Rangers)

Artemi Panarin begins the attack for the New York Rangers and gains the offensive zone. Panarin decelerates along the half wall to buy time and space for a trailing player and he makes a tape-to-tape connection with Tony DeAngelo.

DeAngelo executes an open ice heel-to-heel movement as he catches the pass and puts a wide-angle shot on net, creating a rebound amidst heavy foot traffic. With DeAngelo drawing the Anaheim Ducks goalie and three players to the right side of the ice, Brett Howden with the Rangers steps in unchallenged to collect the puck and score on a wide-open net.

CGY vs. DAL (12-22-19) | Denis Gurianov (Dallas Stars)

Justin Dowling sets up the offensive rush for the Dallas Stars and makes the pass up to Denis Gurianov. Gurianov displays great athleticism as he accelerates up the right side of the ice, maintaining puck control with his top hand and simultaneously using his left hand to push away defender Noah Hanifin with the Calgary Flames.

As Gurianov enters the offensive zone on his off-wing, he utilizes linear crossovers to cut toward the slot while also using his left arm to create separation from Hanifin. At just the precise moment, Gurianov connects his left hand to the hockey stick to roof the puck shortside over the Flames goalie for a highlight-worthy goal.

ARI vs. DET (12-22-19) | Carl Soderberg (Arizona Coyotes)

Carl Soderberg picks up a chip pass upon entry into the Detroit Red Wings zone with three players covering him. Just as the Red Wings turn the puck over in front of the net and attempt to break out of the defensive zone, Clayton Keller with the Arizona Coyotes gains possession and executes an evasive rudder turn to throw the puck toward the net.

Just as Jimmy Howard makes the pad save, Carl Soderberg swipes at the rebound to put the puck in the back of the net for the Arizona Coyotes.

VGK vs. SJS (12-22-19) | Logan Couture (San Jose Sharks)

The play begins with Brent Burns holding the blue line and pinching in to keep the puck inside of the Vegas Golden Knights zone. As Burns moves up the half wall, he initiates a fake pass to the middle in order to relieve defensive pressure as he continues to move down low beneath the goal line.

Burns establishes a deep turn position with his center of mass aligned over his lead leg while using inside edge heel pushes from his trailing leg in order to maintain his rate of skating momentum. Burns also displays excellent puckhandling ability as he creates body separation between the Vegas defender and the puck.

As Burns navigates behind the net, he uses an outside edge rudder maneuver to simultaneously decelerate and rotate toward the goalie, allowing him to make an effortless cross-crease pass. Burns initiates the pass and connects with Logan Couture for this incredible goal for the San Jose Sharks.