June 1, 2018
The secret to receiving passes at speed isn’t to improve your hands. It’s to improve your footwork and patterning. You get way more OPTIONS when you take certain routes. And those routes are NOT higher risk. I call this a hidden asymmetry.
The pattern that elite players like Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby use involves picking the puck up on an arc. This means that as a pass comes to them, they will lean onto the edge of one of their skates and make a slight turn.
There are likely several reasons for this arc (slight turn) in the ice like throwing off the defenders angle, reducing tension in the body, creating an angular attack, etc. Whatever the reason for this asymmetry, you will notice that it occurs extremely often with the elite NHLers when they receive the puck with speed.
Keep an eye out for this asymmetry in the next NHL game you watch. You might just start noticing it happen everywhere.
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