Random Quotes


“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”  -Henry Ford


Some people skate to the puck. I skate to where the puck is going to be. – Wayne Gretzky


You miss 100% of the shots you never take. – Wayne Gretzky

Great Day

Everyday is a great day for hockey – Mario Lemieux


When we’ve got the puck, they can”t score – Paul Coffey


Success isn’t measured by wins and losses, but how respond to a loss.  – Unknown


You”ve got to go to the net if you want to score. – Tom McVie


You don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone – Herb Brooks

On Players

For me, tough, smart, dependable. That’s where I would start. Tough — mentally and physically. Smart — good decisions, good football understanding, high football IQ. Dependable — [in] critical situations, you can count on those players to perform under pressure. You can count on those players to execute what you want to execute as a team. The tougher the game, the more critical the game, the more important the situation, the more I want the tough, smart, dependable player in the game, in the eye of the storm, making a decision that needs to be made for us to win. – Bill Belichick


Every time you compete, try harder to improve on your last performance. Give nothing short of your very best effort.
– Elgin Baylor


I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
– Michael Jordan


The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.
– Babe Ruth


“The Pessimist Sees Difficulty In Every Opportunity. The Optimist Sees Opportunity In Every Difficulty.” – Winston Churchill


Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.



What is a Leader?

Who on a hockey team would be the leader?

  • A leader is a person that has responsibility, that has built trust of his players & coaches.
  • When you think of leaders in hockey you naturally think of; coaches, captains and managers.
  • Some people believe a leader in hockey needs to have certain characteristics;
    • Be Good At Hockey
    • Be Vocal
    • Know the Game
  • Personally, I don’t believe that.  I believe that every player has the ability to be a leader in their own regard.
  • I think that everyone has the ability to grow into a leader with proper guidance.
  • For example, last season we had a team that struggled to start the season and there was one player that was new to hockey and was always a step behind.
  • I remember on the drive home after a loss, saying, “I don’t know what to do with this player.”
  • I was not a good leader.
  • However, as the season progressed.  It became apparent that this player would give full effort in every game, every practice.
  • The player may not have been the best player but he always tried his best.
  • Although he was a quiet player and was still learning the game but he was our leader.
  • So much so that when we won our division he was the player the coaching staff selected to receive the banner on behalf of his teammates.
  • So based on that I believe, the role of the coach is not to be the leader.  It is to work with the players to develop good leaders.  
  • When the team is able to develop leaders within the dressing room, whether it is players, coaches and even parents, then we will have a successful season.

West Carleton Atom C 2018/19 – Important Links

West Carleton Code of Conduct

  • This should be reviewed by the parents and the children.
  • It is the standard in which our organization would like to hold the players, coaches and parents when representing West Carleton.

10 Tips for Hockey Parent

  • Some guidelines for hockey parents.

7 Attributes of Bad Coaches

  • Some guidelines for hockey coaches.

LCMHA Atom C – 2018/19

  • This is the league page for the Atom C team.
  • Here you can find the schedule, standings & stats for the your team and the opposing teams

Coaches Site

  • Good site for coaches and parents of kids in hockey.

LCMHA Handbook

  • For the parents that love the rules we have the is the LCMHA Handbook.
  • Mostly this is for the coaching & management staff but pages 12 & 13 go over some league specific rules.

Hockey Canada Rules

  • If you are very extremely interested in rules.  This the Hockey Canada website for the standard rules.


Rules – Offside

I Don’t Get It

  • One of the most confusing rules in hockey is offside.
  • The Rule – In order to enter the offensive zone; the puck or puck carrier must enter the offensive zone first. That is crossing over the other teams blue line.
  • Let’s take a look at 3 offside scenario’s illustration of an offside.

Scenario 1 # – Skating The Puck in the Zone with Player Offside

picture (1).png

  • The center is carries the puck into the opposition end.  The right winger is already in the opposition zone.  Which means he is offside.

Scenario # 2 – Player Passes the Puck Into the Zone with Player Offside

picture (3).png

  • If in the above illustration the center passes to the right winger AND the RW touches the puck.  It will be offside.

Scenario # 3 – Defensive Team Exits Their Zone and Offensive Team Regains Entry without Clearing The Zone

picture (4).png

  • In this scenario, Player O grabs the puck and shoots the puck out of the defensive zone.  Player X (Defense) grabs the puck and skates back into the zone before the offensive players are able to clear the zone (or tag up).

It’s Confusing

  • Does that clear it up?
  • Probably not, because it’s pretty confusing.
  • So players will go offside.
  • It’s natural, and the coaching staff will work with the players to reduce the amount of times this will happen.
  • Game by game, year by year the players will reduce the amount of times they go offside.
  • But in the words of George Harrison, “It takes Time”
    • Its gonna take time
    • A whole lot of precious time
    • Its gonna take patience and time, ummm
    • To do it, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it,
    • To do it right child
  • Honestly, I thought if I was going to use a lyric from a Beatle to describe offside I thought it would be “Get Back”.

Going To The Movies

  • I think that offside is kind of like going to the movies.
  • When you go to the movies you cannot just walk in.  You need to have a ticket.
  • So think of the “Ticket” kind of like the “Puck”.
  • In order to gain the entry to the offensive zone (movie theater) you need to first provide the ticket “puck” before you can enter.
  • Now the ‘ticket’ is special in that it allows you and your ‘friends’ (teammates) can all enter the ‘movie theater’.
  • If you attempt to enter the ‘movies’ without having the ticket already than the ‘usher’ (ref) will kick you & all your ‘friends’ out until you have a ticket.
  • Or if the ticket left the ‘movie theater’ the usher will make sure that all of your ‘friends’ leave the movie theater.

Back In The Day

  • Back in the Day, before Fortnite the family would huddle around the TV and watch Hockey Night In Canada
  • They would have a cartoon explain rules of the game.  Here’s Peter Puck.

Now, we don’t have Peter Puck but we do have Snoop Dogg, who did a pretty good and entertaining job of describing offside.



That’s it.  That’s offsides explained.  Hopefully it helped a bit or entertained a little.

Practice Plan

Here is a post for all Practice Plans.  Most practice plans will be similar.  There will only be a couple of added drills as the season progresses we will add new items to the current Practice Plans.  They are in PDF formats.


  • 90 Minute Half Ice Practice Plan
  • 5 Puck Breakaway Drill
  • Snake & Stops (10 Minutes)
  • Snake & Transition (10 Minutes)
    • Wrinkle on the Snake.  Transitions to backwards skating during the circle.
  • Stations
    • Transition – Ian will lead
    • Breakout
    • Outside the center.  Pass & Shoot
  • Quick Skate Battle Drill
  • Postitional


  • Quick Warm-Up
  • Skating
  • 3 Station
    1. NZ Stickhandling
    2. Curl & Shoot
    3. Dump In – Break Out
  • Scrimmage


  • Quick Warm Up
  • Skating
  • Split Groups into Two
  • Station 1
    • Passing Drill
    • Breakout Drill
    • Work with Goalie in Passing Drill End
  • Station 2
    • 3 on 2 Zone Entry
    • Point Shot Screen & Puck Battle In Front
  • 5 Puck Breakaway
    • If we have time.
  • Scrimmage


Defensive Zone – Positional

Protect the House

  • If you watch hockey or have played you’ll hear the phrase.  Protect the house.
  • What is the House?   First, we will show the diagram of the ‘house’
    • (picture listed below)


Photo Curtisy of League1.com 

  • The plan is to keep this area ‘clean’.  Keep your house clean!
  • In hockey you have responsibilities to keep your house clean.
  • Much like you may have responsibilities in your own home, you may need to clean your room, put the dishes away or take out the garbage.
  • Unlike your house, the odds are your coach won’t asking you to pickup your socks.  Unless, you put your socks on incorrectly and they windup up on the ice.  In that case then, yes your coach will ask you to pickup your socks.  Bad example!
  • Nevertheless, we have responsibilities as hockey players.
  • Opposing players will want to go to the house. We have two main jobs;
    • Job #1 Make sure the puck stays away from the house and if it comes into our house move it away as soon as possible.  Think of the puck like a stray cat that wandered into the house.  You like the kitty, but you’re also allergic so it’s gotta go outside the house!
    • Job #2 – Make sure the guests are covered!  The opposing players will want to come over to your house.  It makes sense because you’re pretty cool.  But you don’t want your guests alone in your house.  That’s not cool!  So make sure you keep your guest company, because they will likely make a mess of your house.
  • Keep your house clean!

The Defensive Zone

  • From Hockey Share you will see the basic 5 zones.
  • The Green Area is essentially the “House” area, again we want to keep this clean.
  • From inside, the blue line the rink is sectioned off into 4 zones.
    • Right Side – Below the Faceoff Circle (Right Defense Zone)
    • Right Side – Above the Faceoff Circle (Right Winger Zone)
    • Left Side – Below the Faceoff Circle (Left Defense Zone)
    • Right Side – Below the Faceoff Circle (Left Defense Zone)


Strong Side vs. Weak Side

  • I’d like to quickly go over the terms – Strong side / Weak side.
  • It is a simple concept, wherever the puck is, is known as the strong side, where ever the puck is not, is known as the weak side.
  • When the puck is dumped into the right instead of the coach explaining that the right side defender goes to the right side of the defensive zone.
  • It’s easier to explain that the strong side defender (RD) goes into corner.  The weak-side defender (LD) will go to the net to protect the house.
  • Also, when we start to integrate offensive players into positional drills it’s easier to explain strong-side / weak-side, because the right side is the opposite of the offensive player.  It would be confusing for the coaching staff to explain and probably difficult for players new to the game and positional hockey.
  • It’s also tough for some coaches to remember right from left and it’s tough with hockey gloves & a stick for the coach to make the “L” with his thumb and index finger ….
  • Each player has a role to successfully defend and each role is equally important.
  • There’s a website that I stumbled across, knyght.net, which had an excellent image of each positions responsibility.


  • Per Knyght this is the area for the Center in the defensive zone.


  • I tend to think of the Center as the support.  They need to help in all zone’s.
  • In the defensive zone you have a lot of jobs;
    • Protecting the house.  If the defenseman needs help covering opposing players the center may need to help.
    • Protect the house # 2.  Prevent any cross-ice passes into the “house”
    • Support puck battles for the defenseman & wingers.  Typically, helping out with the defenseman for a puck battle in the corner.
    • Support the breakout.  Provide a passing option for the winger if they are unable to clear the zone by either skating the puck out or using the boards.
  • The center should to be able read the play and anticipate who needs the support.
  • Here is a more indepth article on center’s R&R by How to Hockey.


  • Per Knyght this is the area for the Winger in the defensive zone.


  • For the wingers its a structured approach.
  • You don’t want the wingers to be chasing the play.  You don’t want them in the corner battling with their own defensman for the puck.  If either of the players gains control of the puck who would they pass it too?
  • One job is making sure they are covering the defenseman on their side.
  • The other job it making sure they are available for a pass to help get the puck out of the zone.
  • For the weakside winger you can cheat a little bit towards the middle of the ice. There’s a couple of reasons for this.
    • Able to gather arrant pucks that are sent into the house.
    • Available for short outlet passes in the Neutral zone.
  • The strong side winger should be close to the boards and available for an outlet pass.
  • For detailed information please review New to Hockey.  There was one particular photo that I wanted to show which details on where to play and the objective.


  • The winger has the following rules
    1. Be available for the outlet pass from the defense.  E
    2. Cover the opposition defense.
    3. If there is already support in another area (zone), don’t chase the play.


  • Per Knyght this is the area for the Defense in the defensive zone.


  • The defenseman have partners and like good partners you need to communicate and there needs to be balance.
  • The defenseman needs to cover for one another if they leave their zone.  You have to have each other’s back.


  • Maintain positioning so that the defender is between the puck and the goalie.
  • So you are attempting to keep the play to the outside.
  • Often the puck battle will often happen in the corner.
  • So in the illustration.  The puck is in the corner.  In this scenario the Strong side defenseman (area 1) will handle the puck carrier and the Weak side defenseman will handle the House.



  • The quick rules for the defenseman.
    1. Positive communication with your partner.
    2. The strong side defender battles in the corner.
    3. The weakside defender protects the front of the net.
    4. The defenseman will initiate the outlet (breakout) pass.
  • More details at How to Hockey.

That’s it!  That’s the responsibilities for the skaters in the defensive zone.  But don’t take my word for it you can listen to Hall of Famer Denis Savard from Ice Hockey Systems explaining defensive zone coverage.  Also, for entertainment on youtube search for “Denis Savard Spinorama”, I swear it’s more entertaining than any gamer youtuber, even DanTDM.





Get the puck out

  • The first things from a structure standpoint that we will work on is transitioning the puck out of our zone.
  • Being unable to successfully transition the puck out of the defensive zone can lead to prolonged attacks, which can lead to frustration, disappointment & goals against.
  • What we want to do is allow the players to be successful and transition the puck out of the offensive zone.
  • The goal is going to be to have the players understand how to set themselves up to successfully move the puck out of the defensive zone.
  • How do we do this?  Breakout

What is a breakout?

  • A breakout is essentially the defending team is attempting to transition the puck away from their defensive zone and strategically moving the play up the ice, into the attacking zone.
  • The defenseman’s job is to gain possession of the puck and move the puck to a safe(r) area with an outlet pass.
  • The forward (wingers) job is to support the defenseman by being ready for the outlet pass.
  • As we progress in this we will add additional elements such as center support and 5 man breakout.

Drill 1 – Two Man Breakout 

  • Our first systematic drill will be the two man breakout.
  • With the two man breakout there will be two players (one defense & one forward)
  • The Defenseman will retrieve the puck and make an outlet pass to the winger and the forward will skate with the puck out of the defensive zone.
  • A variation to the drill will have the forward use a bank pass to himself to get the puck out of the zone around the blue-line.
  • Defenseman remember the boards are your friends.


Drill 1.5 – Three Man Breakout

  • After the two man breakout we will add the three man breakout drill.
  • The drill is the same as the first breakout drill but with center support.
  • Here is a detail of the drill from Jes-Hockey.com

Drill 2 – 2 (or 3) Man Breakout with Transition (1v1 or 2v1)

  • Eventually we may want to have this drill transition into a 1 vs 1.


  • The drill will be a variation of the 2 (3) Man Breakout drills.
  • There will be a variation.  Instead of the forward dumping in the puck we will have the coach dump the puck in the zone.  Similar to the earlier breakout listed above.
  • The Defense will gather the puck and make an outlet pass to the forward.  Once the forward has received the pass the defense will skate to the first pylon and skate backwards.
  • When the forward receives the pass he would circle around the farther pylon and attempt to get a shot on net.
  • Please Note:  The defenseman’s role is NOT to attack the forward.  It is to transition to backwards skating and maintain positioning.  Holding the forward to an OUTSIDE shot.  Essentially, allow the forward to ATTACK the net and maintain positioning.
  • Variation will be a 3 Man Breakout & Transition.  This drill will have a center support the forward.  There will be TWO far pylons for the forward to skate too.
    • The key for this will be to pass between the two attacking forwards.
    • For the two forwards to stay on-side while transitioning to the offensive zone.
    • The defense’s job is to again maintain positioning and to protect the middle of the ice.

Drill 3. 5 Man Breakout 


  • There are several parts to this drill.  Which will teach defensive zone positioning.
  • In this scenario the zone exit will be on the LEFT side.  When we practice zone exit’s on the right side it will be the opposite.
  • The right defense will move the puck to the left defensive corner.
  • The left defenseman will secure the puck and make an outlet pass to the left winger.
  • The left winger will have a several options;
    • Skate the puck out of the zone.
    • Make a short pass to the center.
    • Use the boards to bank pass to himself
    • Use the boards to bank pass to the center.
  • The center will be supporting the left defenseman and winger.  They will be available for an outlet pass.
  • The right winger will ‘cheat’ towards the center of the defensive zone once the puck is moved to the left side.  This will allow him to be available for an outlet pass in the center of the zone.


  • By mid-season we will transition into the basic 5 man breakout and regroup to a three on two offensive.



  • Here is a potential drill that we could run by end of season.
  • What is interesting about this drill is that at the end of the breakout the forward sends a pass to a defenseman and the forwards regroup.
  • The defenseman then sends an neutral zone outlet pass to the forwards.

That’s it.  That’s the breakouts, how to transition out of the defensive zone and potential drills for this season.  From a skill development standpoint the breakout will help with the following skillset; situational awareness, puck control and passing.  Which will be key for player development.

Here is some additional details on breakouts drills and information.

Skating Edges Drills

Skating Edge Drills

  • I found this skating edge training, from iTrain Hockey.  This is a really good explanations on the drills and how to do them properly.


  • Bubbles Watermelons – Inside Edges Heal Pushes – 0:50 –> 2:20
  • Alternate Inside Edge C-Cuts – 2:53
  • Heel Lift & Plant C-Cuts – 4:25
  • Single Leg C Cuts 5:30
  • Inside Edge Single C-Cuts –> 8:49
  • Inside Edge Circle (Crosby) –> 13:30
  • Backward Watermelons –> 15:50
  • Inside Edge C-Cuts –> 17:00
  • Explains the Outside Edge & Crossovers –> 20:44
  • Outside Edge Kicks & Hold –> 22:22
  • Outside Edge Toe Kicks Backwards–> 26:00
  • Backwards C-Cut & Kick – 28:00
  • Inside Edges (Crosby) Up Ice – 32:30
  • C-Cut / Cross Over Forward – 33:30
  • Two Foot Single Leg Slalom – 37:00
  • Two Foot Slalom – 37:45
  • Two Foot Slalom Backwards – 38:50
  • Single Leg Slalom Forwards – 39:50
  • Single Leg Slalom Backwards – 40:50