No NHL hockey yet, but there’s still plenty of hockey being played on rinks throughout the province. I passed by an outdoor rink in Oakbank on the weekend, and it was filled with kids and teens shooting the puck around. Nice to see.
This weeks’ hockey tip is on mastering the saucer pass. A saucer pass is a great technique for lifting the puck a few inches off the ice and dropping it onto your linemates’ stick. It’s a lot like throwing a frisbee where you move the puck from the heel of the stick to the toe – creating a spinning saucer motion in the process. I only began practicing this technique last year, as I got tired of having my passes around the net getting picked off because they were on the ice, or having my passes go into the rafters when trying to raise the puck a few inches. With a little bit of practice, I actually found the technique relatively easy to get the basics under my belt (which makes me wonder why I waited 3 decades to begin pacticing it ????). It takes a lot more practice and confidence to develop proficiency for using it is a game, but having an understanding and feel for the fundamentals is a good starting point.
Jeremy from HowToHockey.com has put up this tutorial – you can see his full range of videos here. I like the way he mechanically breaks down the techniques – they’re usually among the best “how to” videos on Youtube.
The added benefit of learning the saucer pass technique is that it helps teach you to develop more “touch” when handling the puck. The technique relies on good simple mechanics, not strength and power.
Here’s one final video with Patrick Kane demonstating his skills (in case you’re missing the real NHL these days).