Penalty Kills

General Points

Don’t overcommit to getting the puck if you feel it will take you out of position

Keep your Sticks in passing lanes. We want to disrupt their passes, particularly the ones moving east-west because those are the ones that are more likely to result in a one-timer or cross-slotline shot.

Keep your sticks active and on the ice. If the puck carrier has passing options, you may want to wave your stick, one-handed, between those two options – try to read where he wants to send it and block the pass.

Since USA Hockey rules don’t encourage icing the puck on a penalty kill, try to get the puck out of the zone by lobbing it up and into the neutral zone, or firing it hard against the glass so it is outside of our zone, but not causing an icing.

If you are farther out from the goal, keep your body in a potential shooting lane when possible.

Once in position, make sure you return to that position as quickly as possible using starts and stops instead of looping.

Option 1: Box

When it’s a 4 on 5 penalty kill, and the puck is in our zone, we will move into a box formation, with two defensemen in front of the goalie, and two forwards on each side of the high slot.

The goal of the box is to keep opponents and their passes out of the middle of the ice. Generally speaking, it is more about containing the opponent than pressuring them. By forcing them to keep moving the puck around the outside, this method tries to burn time as the opponent keeps looking for different opportunities.

Option 2: Diamond

We can be a little more aggressive with a team that doesn’t pass as well with a Diamond formation. This positioning allows the closest penalty killer to put a bit more pressure on the opponent. As mentioned above, don’t overcommit, and make sure that you move back to your position once the puck leaves.

Penalty Kill Forecheck 1-1-2

When we are on PK and the puck is in the opponent’s end, we organize in the following way:

  • One of the forwards goes after the puck carrier aggressively, while the other forward takes center ice and watches.
  • The defenders may move up, but remain in defensive posture, both covering their sides.
  • The forechecking forward tries to engage the puck carrier if he can, but does NOT stop! Instead, he curls back towards our end, keeping his speed up.
  • At about the same time that the first forechecker transitions back, the second forechecker should be going after the puck or the destination of a pass.