How to Take a Backhand Shot
The backhand shot in hockey is a useful way to put the puck on the net when time is of the essence. It's also a good strategy for beating a goaltender caught out of position, or when your body position relative to the puck and the goal doesn't give
you time to prepare for a conventional forehand shot—whether it's a slap shot, wrist shot, or snap shot. It's better
to put the puck on the net rather than allow the goalie to recover, or defensemen to move in and knock you off the puck or steal it away while you prepare for another type of shot.
How to Take a Backhand When Close to the Net
- When possible shoot the puck from in front of your body to take advantage of the blade angle to lift the puck over a goalie's pads.
- With the puck on your hockey stick, quickly pull your top hand forward and push your lower hand away from the body with a snapping action similar to a snap shot.
How to Shoot a Backhand from Distance
- A backhand from distance will allow you to set up a little bit, so make sure you're in a balanced, athletic hockey stance.
- To put more power behind a backhand, the shot will be more like a wrist shot.
- Keep the puck near your rear skate and cup it to protect it.
- Make sure the puck is not on the toe of your stick blade, but instead on the flat part of it, in the middle or near its heel.
- Pull the puck forward toward the net until it gets to your front foot.
- Roll your wrists to open the blade.
- Snap the blade forward by pushing your bottom hand toward the target and pulling your top hand back, shooting the puck toward the net.
How to Roof the Backhand
One of the advantages of a backhand shot is the ability to shoot the puck high into the net over the goalie's leg pads, blocker, stick, and glove. This is known as "roofing" the puck, because you're shooting the puck from close to the goal into
the top of the goal netting (the roof). This shot is essentially a snap shot but requires a couple of slight modifications. First, you'll want to position the puck in front of your body to take advantage of the blade angle to lift the puck. Cup
the puck, then roll your wrists to open the blade. Rolling the wrists puts the blade in an open position to shoot high quickly. Snap the blade by quickly pushing your top hand down and pulling your bottom hand up.