Never Shoot Like This…

Wait… So I’m NOT supposed to shoot like Alex Ovechkin, Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby and many other top scoring NHL forwards? That’s what I was told many times growing up and still hear today. I wanted to publish this article and video to help debunk this myth. The fact is there are many ways to shoot, and each method is effective in the right situation

If you ask me, there is no WRONG way to shoot, only more effective and less effective. If the puck ends up in the back of the net, it’s the right way to shoot. As long as you can get decent power, accuracy and release the shot is worth practicing.

My Philosophy on Shooting

There are the four basic shots, the wrist shot, snapshot, backhand, and slapshot. With each of those shots there are variations on how you can execute each shot. Some are better for power and some are better for a faster release. I believe that hockey players should be familiar with every method of shooting, and when you should use each type of shot. A hockey player should be able to shoot the puck with power and accuracy off either foot, there is not enough time to set up the perfect shot every time.

A player can achieve this by varying their body position, and foot positioning while practicing.

What is the “wrong” way to shoot?

I made a video to demonstrate the wrong way to shoot. This is something that a lot of hockey coaches still say, so I wanted to address it.

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Basic Shot Breakdown

Here is a basic summary of the four main types of shots, and when you might want to use them.

  • hockey-shooting-shortSlapshot – This is the most powerful shot and you typically want to use it from a distance. You need a bit of room to wind up so don’t try this shot when being heavily pressured. A variation is the one-timer which is great from the point, or when you are in close and need to get the puck to the net as fast as possible. Stamkos is known for his deadly powerful and accurate one-timer
  • Wrist Shot – This shot is great when you need power and accuracy. The full wrist shot is typically used when you are further from the net. This is also a good shot to use when cutting across the ice on your forehand side, as you are already set up to execute the shot and won’t waste any time trying to prepare for the shot. Sakic’s wrist shot is legendary
  • Snapshot – This shot is great when you need to get the puck off in a hurry. Many players use this when under pressure, when trying to catch the goalie off-guard, or when quickly moving the puck past a defender. This shot is good to use when in close to the net and you don’t want to give any clues that you are going to shoot. There is no denying Kessel has one of the best snapshots in the league, he scores most of his goals this way
  • Backhand – The backhand is often neglected from players because it is a hard shot to master, but commonly regarded as the hardest shot for a goalie to stop because they can’t read where it’s going. The backhand is used a lot in dekes. This shot is great to use after a quick move or fake, or when you are forced to your backhand and it’s your only shot option. Players who don’t practice their backhand will miss a lot of scoring opportunities. Datysuk is known to deke to his backhand, but also has a deadly backhand from a distance


  1. Reply Eddie July 8, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you!

  2. Reply Ian March 15, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Check out Mike Eruzione’s winning goal… off the stick side foot.

  3. Reply Bob Pleban March 8, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Greetings from Lake Elmo, Minnesota.
    I’ve written to you in the past and now wanted to thank you for your slow motion video of a wrist shot of which I asked you to create. I finally understand the wrist roll and follow thru. I’m the 78-year old guy that started playing regularly after retiring. By the way, my wife is still working on recovery from her knee operation. It can be a bugger for some people. I play open hockey at the Roseville Arena 3 to 4 times/week. The Arena has only 2 rules. You must be at least 18 years of age and must wear a helmet. Oh, and we don’t allow checking, but there is still unintentional crashes. And, any player would have to be nuts for getting out there without being fully protected. That’s a 55-year (working life)lapse going from playground outdoor ice to indoor arena ice. I’ve gained the distinction of earning a hockey nick name. Sometimes it’s Terminator or Kamikaze, but most of the time it’s Bobby.
    Now I’ve got to work on keeping the blade of my stick intimate with the ice surface when receiving a pass. You wouldn’t believe how many times a puck has gone right through my stick blade as if there is a hole in it.
    It is a challenging game and you are doing a great job of defining it.

    • Reply Jeremy Rupke May 6, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Thanks Bobby! Glad to help hockey players, young and old

  4. Reply Scott March 6, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Great advice, as always. Thanks!

  5. Reply John Meurer February 18, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Love it. Never say never.

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