A quick release is the ability to catch a puck and release it on net. The faster a player is able to accomplish this, the less time the goalie has to set up. This definition isn’t a difficult concept to grasp, but improving your release is a continuous process of purposeful practice .
A quick release gives the shooter an advantage as the goalie has less time to react. Players often make the mistake of placing the puck in the perfect position before shooting. Player’s will over handle the puck. Trying to find the perfect set up which takes longer.
This his only buys extra time for the goalie.
Let’s take a look at the diagram illustrated below and break each zone down:
Quick Release Zone 1 “one touch pucks on net”.
This means zero stick handling. Adjust your body to a position to shoot the puck directly to the net. This is a high scoring area. Getting your shot off quickly is far more important then how hard, or accurate it needs to be. If a pass or rebound comes try to quickly release the puck on net. A bad pass or rebound putting you in an awkward position stands a good chance of going in when it’s thrown on net immediately.
Similar to zone 1, this is a high scoring area. Don’t look to stick handle in this zone, instead “2 touching” pucks to a shooting space and releasing the puck right away. The goalie will have a little bit more time to set up for a save in zone 2, therefore, we need to fire the puck harder and with more accuracy. The challenge with this zone is your mindset. Being comfortable while being uncomfortable. Catching a pass and touching it into space to shoot it hard and accurate is a skilled play. You will need to practice this over and over. Over time accuracy and shot power will improve.
Quick Release Zone 3, Primarily you will be seeing defenceman shoot from this zone.
If used correctly it can generate a lot of scoring chances. This is done by getting pucks to zone 1 and 2. You will have more time to handle the puck in zone 3. Players often look for that big booming slap shot which runs a higher risk of hitting shin pads or missing the net. You should use a quick heads up wrist shot 85-90% of the time in this zone
Any area in the offensive zone can generate a scoring chance. Working on a quick release will help a player get more scoring chances in each zones. You need to practices in all 3 zones and place the puck in awkward positions. When you get to a random game situation there is a good chance you have practiced a similar quick release.