David St-Louis

Hockey Analyst

Location icon Canada

Prospects writer @Eliteprospects, covering the QMJHL and other Junior leagues. Systems and Tactics @TheCoachesSite. Video Analyst. En français aussi.

The Coaches Site
How NHL teams use off-puck spacing to generate offence (VIDEOS)

Spacing is a term more often heard in other sports, but even if hockey has its own particularities, the concept remains crucial to offence. The more attackers you bring in an area, the more defenders will follow, making it hard to create meaningful plays. Spacing aims to counteract this.

Eyes On The Prize
Claude Julien can improve the Canadiens' system with one of Barry Trotz's tricks

Sparky the Dragon has been the mascot of the New York Islanders for a while now. While the current playing style of the team under Barry Trotz, its defensive tendencies, and the way the Isles protect the vital slot, might lead NHL fans to call for the replacement of old Sparky with a great big turtle, the winged mascot fits the new direction of the organization well.

The Coaches Site
3 important defensive habits to have in the offensive zone (VIDEOS)

Many of the brightest stars in the NHL fell early in the 2020 postseason, their great individual talent stifled by extensive defensive structures. It's a reminder that while top players usually have the most pull, a group committed to shutting them down can haul itself up even higher in playoff rounds.

The Coaches Site
4 elements of on-ice decision-making in hockey (VIDEOS)

You can strengthen decision-making with your players. Great decision-making might the biggest predictor of success in hockey. Players who pick the right plays more often than not, over the course of a game, control its flow. They earn the trust of their coach, receive more ice-time, and get more puck touches.

Pension Plan Puppets
The new Maple Leafs offensive system could change the NHL for the better

Point shots are inefficient; enough statistical studies have proven it. Yet, most teams rely on them ad nauseam. They take turns lining up and firing at the offensive bluelines until a shot hits target and someone emerges victorious. The Maple Leafs now aim differently, not just in how they fire at the net, but in their overall strategy.

Eyes On The Prize
Defining Hockey Sense: Why the puck seems to follow Nick Suzuki

''He is always around the puck." Since the start of training camp, we have heard variations of this saying for Nick Suzuki. It's a common way to describe hockey players, especially smart ones. Those players seem to have an unfair advantage; they get more puck touches inside a shift and the play runs through them.

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