Here is a great video that shows two strategies for entering the offensive zone effectively either when you have a 1-on-1 or a 1-on-2.
When entering the zone, it is essential to protect the puck and get it deep. Turnovers in the neutral zone or at the opponent's blue line can be dangerous, as they often result in attacks when we are not ready.
1. The McDavid Drive Wide
The first strategy is the McDavid Drive Wide which involves driving wide with speed and crossing over first to the middle, then wide, and then back around the defenseman. This is a low risk, high reward approach as it creates several options, including going short side or around the defender. By crossing over first to the middle, the idea is to slightly turn the defenders toes towards the middle making it much more difficult (slower) for them to react to your drive wide.
Remember to protect the puck as you approach the defenseman. The puck should never be close enough to them to poke it away from you.
2. Slowing Through The Middle
The second strategy is Slowing Through The Middle, which is more about controlling speed than speed itself. This involves using skating techniques like a soft drag, anchor, or punch to control your speed and maintain lateral options. The goal is to create space for yourself by driving fast down the ice and then slowing just before you reach the defense. This usually will open up the gap and give you time to enter the zone for a pass or a shot. As we cross the middle, it may lead to a McDavid Drive Wide on the opposite side of the ice.
Again, remember to protect the puck.
The McDavid Wide Drive AND Slowing Through The Middle
Here’s a great example of BOTH techniques…
McDavid torches Rielly for goal-of-the-year candidate
Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid blows by Morgan Rielly and puts the puck past Michael Hutchinson to give Edmonton the 6-3 lead over the Maple Leafs. The goal was McDavid's first career goal in Toronto For the latest hockey action, subscribe to our channel by clicking the big, red shiny SUBSCRIBE button Watch live hockey wherever you are: https://www.nhl.com/tv Breaking news, scores, stats, analysis & real-time highlights: https://www.nhl.com Feeling social?