One-touch passes are a great way to keep the opposition on their heels and you one step ahead of the play. Worked to perfection, a one-touch pass lets the puck to do the work as opposed to you skating with it all the time. By quickly moving the puck around you’re not allowing the opposition to put pressure on the puck carrier.
You have to be able to anticipate where you’re moving the puck by knowing where your teammates are on the ice at all times. So when a pass comes you’ve already decided what you’re going to go with it.
There are several classic examples of when one-touch passes are effective: defensemen getting the puck in the neutral zone and making a quick one-touch pass to a forward to get back on the attack, the give-and-go, or a one-touch pass to a teammate open for a shot on goal.
Not only do you have to know where you teammate is, you must also be conscience of whether he’s a left-handed or right-handed shot so you can get the puck to him without breaking stride. On a one-time pass to a shooter, make sure you get the pass into a teammate’s “wheelhouse”, the area where he can catch the pass and release the shot in one fluid motion.
You want to keep your bottom hand lower on the stick to give you more strength and support. If your bottom hand is too high on the shaft, your return pass won’t be as strong or as accurate.
You want to have soft hands when making a one-touch pass. If you have “hands of stone”, the puck will shoot off your stick too quickly and won’t be accurate. It will be difficult to handle because it won’t have any spin on the pass. Don’t slap at the puck, cushion it with the middle of the blade and send it on to the next target.
Remember This …
The one-touch pass is all about anticipation. Prior to receiving the pass, you have to figure out what you’re going to do with it. You always have to be thinking one or two plays ahead. If you can do that, you’re likely to catch your opponents flat-footed.
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