Best of TCS Live Presentations: Tactics and Systems
Best of TCS Live Presentations: Tactics and Systems

Best of TCS Live Presentations: Tactics and Systems

With this year’s TCS Live just around the corner, we’re taking a look back at some of the highlights of the 2023 edition of the event.

Hockey’s Premier Coaching Conference gives attendees an exclusive look behind the curtain of how hockey’s top coaches develop and implement their tactical game plan.

Whether you’re looking to generate more scoring chances or keep pucks out of your net, last year’s conference featured some incredible presentations on all aspects of the game.

Take out your notepad and check out these talks from NHL coaches Pete DeBoer, Glen Gulutzan and Derek Lalonde.

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Pete DeBoer – Teaching Offensive Zone Concepts

Dallas Stars Head Coach Pete DeBoer believes offence is the toughest aspect of hockey to teach. Unlike football where plays are scripted and routes are drawn up, scoring in hockey is largely based on talent and instinct.

During his 2023 TCS Live presentation, DeBoer focuses on how success in the offensive zone all starts with puck protection (retrieving the puck and protecting it from defenders), details different ways to combat tight defensive zone coverage, and explains why it’s important to play the puck to the weak side of the ice, allowing for the whole offensive zone to be utilized and force the defence to spread out.

As a coach, DeBoer is well known for his emphasis on creating shots from the point. During his presentation, DeBoer also explained the importance of defensemen shooting right off of the pass and limiting stick handles when moving the puck D-to-D. Smaller details like these can make a huge difference, giving the defence less time to react and keeping shooting lanes open. Staying true to his style, DeBoer wrapped up his presentation by stressing that fancy plays and rotations are not what score goals.

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Glen Gulutzan – 3 Types of NHL D-Zone Coverage

When Glen Gulutzan stepped onto the stage at the TCS Live in Ann Arbor last June, it marked the fifth time the Edmonton Oilers Assistant Coach has presented at Hockey’s Premiere Coaching Conference. That’s the all-time record. And there’s a reason we keep asking the 52-year-old Manitoban to take part in the event – the coaching wizard always has something game-changing to share.

At TCS Live 2023, Gulutzan demonstrated his versatility presenting on defensive zone coverage and how the landscape is changing in the NHL, which will have an eventual impact on hockey everywhere.

Gulutzan goes through coverage details, second quicks, handling motion (3 high, behind the net east west and D motion), and zone vs. man-on-man vs. a hybrid system, before ending his presentation by encouraging coaches to poach concepts from around the hockey world, joking that he hasn’t had an original idea as a coach in 20 years.

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Derek Lalonde – The Simple Habits of a Power Play

Running an effective power play is a daunting task. A power play set-up alone can be very complex and in the words of Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Derek Lalonde, a little bit scary. 

At TCS Live in 2023, Lalonde presented on simple habits that make a power play effective. His 30-minute presentation is filled with incredible takeaways, like his three key PP habits (being face off ready, executing proper breakouts, and having healthy in-zone habits), plus power play drills for your team.

Lalonde, who served as an Assistant Coach for Team USA during the World Championship in May 2023, also discussed how he ran the power play with that team. With many of the players being young in age and with a quick turnaround for the tournament, Lalonde decided to simplify everything. In this video you’ll see the exact clips he showed his team prior to the tournament, focusing on puck retrieval, being shot-ready, and attacking the blueline simultaneously.

Watch the full presentation