Hockey Players Need Many Shots in Their Arsenal
Goalies adapt to tactics quickly, and hockey is a fast-moving game. Whether you're on a clear-cut breakaway or throwing the puck at the net from the blue line, different situations on the ice require a different kind of shot.
Let's examine some of the techniques hockey players use to fire the puck.
The Slap Shot
A slap shot is a big heavy booming shot skaters take by winding their stick up and following through. Slap shots have maximum power, but a goalie can read that a slap shot is coming a mile away.
Either you need to really blast it by the goalie or hope there's a screen in front of the net so they can't see the shot. Practice your slap shot with HockeyShot products like a heavy weighted puck so that a standard puck will feel lighter during the game.
The Wrist Shot
Wrist shots have less power than a slap shot, but they're deceptive because the shooter can mask their release. What you lose in miles-per-hour, you make up in sneakiness.
A hard, accurate wrister is one of the staples of the sniper. Today's training products give players an on-ice feel wherever they are, and synthetic ice tiles are way more realistic than shooting a puck on gravel, cement, or any other surface.
It's crucial when practicing a wrist shot to work on the stickhandling leading up to the release, and you can't practice those on-ice skills on a surface where the puck doesn't glide smoothly.
Players often shoot the puck just as it's passed to them, without stopping it on their stick first. It's hard to synchronize blasting a pass just as it arrives, but if you get a hard shot off that quickly, the goalie won't have time to set up first.
One-Timers are a power play staple because, with a man advantage, there's space and time to move the puck around deep in the zone. Alexander Ovechkin has scored countless goals posted at the left circle on the PP. Defensive players of all ages and skill levels can be extremely effective if they have a one-timer from the point.
The Snap Shot
The snapshot is a mix between a slap shot and a wrister. When you're in close to the net and need to put it upstairs, you don't need a full wind up as you would for a slap shot, but the puck doesn't roll off your blade like it would for a wrist shot.
"Snap" your wrists with a big flick, and you can get good placement and a quick and deceptive release.
The old-school backhand is a vintage weapon that is hard for goalies to read because it's unpredictable. If a player always shoots with their stronger forehand, goalies can prepare for them in advance. The backhand is a surprise weapon wielded famously by players like Mats Sundin.
When a player has the skills to deke and go upstairs with a backhand, the goalie can't just assume a forehand shot is coming, or they may get burned.
You might not be able to run a full practice with your teammates in your home, but modern training equipment gear lets you work on all these shots away from the ice. Develop all these shots and become a lethal sniper.