A good two way player always knows’ his actions and movements away from the puck are just as important as his play with the puck. If you’re playing with a great play maker, or some other clever play quarterback, it’s imperative to play smart without the puck. One key that every NHL player will use is to constantly have your head on a swivel. In the NHL if you take your eyes off the play or your surroundings for an instance, your either going to get rocked by someone lining you up because your heads down, or your not going to be ready for a pass, open player, or one timer. Everyone understands the importance of being able to handle the puck proficiently when you have it, but if you don’t read and understand the play as it’s progressing, your going to find yourself missing a lot of opportunities and scoring chances you should have been a part of.
Take the great one for example (Gretzky). He seemed to always be in the right place at the right time. That wasn’t luck, he understood the dynamics of the game and how to watch the play progress even without being near the puck. His head was always on a swivel which always made him available for a pass, shot, or quick one timer. Start learning how to read and anticipate where the puck is going to go, even before the play is made. You’ll be on your way to being the next great one.