Warning, Creating Offense Video Illustration: Frankly, I've reached my limit with the irresponsible fear-monging rhetoric that we need to somehow change the integrity of our game to create offense, when so much offense is available to every player, they either don't know how to take advantage of it, or in too many cases, they are coached not to.
The truth of the matter is, we don't need bigger nets, smaller goaltending gear or any other gimmicky short cut to create offense in any league. What we need is to turn the tables on the coaches who exploit our collective inability to teach offense and begin teaching it aggressively, which, in turn, will force those coaches to adapt. Unfortunately, there is a disproportionate number of coaches who believe that the defenders control the space. What's worse, they believe if they say it often enough and loud enough all their players, other coaches, the media and ultimately the general public will believe it.
To this point they are correct, because they have recruited a brethren of disciples who also propagate this garbage. What we are left with is what we have now, an entire hockey community who believe whole-heartedly that creating offense is next to impossible...when, of course, nothing could be more absurd.
Coaching buzz statements like, "manage the puck", "every shot is a good shot" and my personal favorite, "move the puck quickly", are at the core of the systematic dumbing down of all that is offensive in our game. The same coaches who espouse "defense-first" are the same coaches who created these ridiculous buzz statements, therein lies the systematic convolution that is now offense in hockey. Born, in all likelihood from a coach whose team was limited in skill and needed a way to level the playing field, so he took advantage of all the coaches who had much more skilled teams, but didn't understand offensive principles. These coaches were able to dumb it down and make the skilled teams believe this gem ....that "hard work beats skill, every time." Not once and a while, no, EVERY TIME. Ridiculous ... but I give them credit for their resourcefulness in making their teams competitive, when their skill level, suggested they shouldn't.
In every live situation on the ice, the battle is for control of space, both the offensive group and the defensive group have equal opportunity. However, one group will assume control, that group is the one who dictates the terms of the play by creating stress. When you are on offense and you are concerned about "managing the puck," "shooting from everywhere" and "moving the puck quickly" you are effectively playing defense when you have the puck. You are conceding that the defense is in control. At this point, it is way easier to teach a group of players to move in unison in a common purpose when they don't have the puck than if they do. Just because it's easier, doesn't mean it is right. If you believe that group tactical offense is hard to teach, you deserve what you get.
I offer you the following, in a long list of snippets I've illustrated on here on how to turn the tables on the defense, and force them into decision making by just following the timeless principles of offense. Every night in the NHL, there are many examples of how the defensive group had perfect defensive position, yet still got their lunch handed to them by the offense, because the offense was able to force the defense into decisions, which, they often they will make the wrong one. This is what we should be highlighting, because this is where opportunity lies dormant. The NHL has never seen this much offensive skill, this deep in their line-up, eventually, we will see that offensive depth in minor hockey, that offensive skill needs to be empowered and awakened by coaches with a different skill set.
To create more offense in any league, especially the NHL, we need to build a generation of coaches who recognize the tremendous skill their players have these days, see an opportunity inside of that enhanced offensive capacity, and empower their players to apply their skill inside the principles of offense, which will make it easier to teach offense than defense. Where at the moment it is easier to teach defense than offense.
Let's flip the switch.