Hockey special teams, the penalty kill and the power play, are very different and go after very different things. That does not mean, however, that these two special teams can’t achieve their goals in a similar way. In fact, many hockey experts say that playing aggressively is the best strategy for both of these special teams.
Of course, “playing aggressively” looks different for each team. For the power play, the strategy should be to get the puck to the net and then converge on the net right away. Furthermore, the power play athletes should be good skaters, able of handling the puck even in tight spaces, and capable of good shots with even better aim. The penalty kill team should be made up of similar players, but here, success is all about good anticipation.
While some people frown on playing aggressively, especially for very young players, the truth of the matter is that this strategy works, especially for special teams. Plus, it also teaches kids to be fearless on the ice and to play with all they’ve got, which is an ability that will help them throughout the rest of their hockey experiences.
Keep in mind, though, that even the most aggressive play cannot make up for a lack of knowledge and skill. So, in addition to getting players to play aggressively, make sure you’re still working on building basic skills and improving your players as all-around athletes.