Leeds Knights coach Dave Whistle confident Elland Road home ice can yield creative opportunities

HEAD coach Dave Whistle intends for his Leeds team to play a fast, aggressive, entertaining brand of hockey once the new NIHL National season starts - and believes their home ice will enable that.

By Phil Harrison
Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 8:30 am
ATTACK-MINDED: Leeds head coach Dave Whislte. Picture courtresy of OHA.
ATTACK-MINDED: Leeds head coach Dave Whislte. Picture courtresy of OHA.

The 55-year-old is currently working on adding to a roster already started by owner Steve Nell and poring over the strengths and weaknesses of those already on board.

And once it is time for the first puck drop in, as hoped for, September, Whistle intends to have readied an attack-minded team, one constantly trying to create its own chances rather than waiting for opportunities.

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The smaller ice surface at Elland Road Arena shgould help Leeds make the style Dave Whistle wishes them toi play successful. Picture: Steve Riding.

“We want to have a fast skating team, a team that creates offence,” said Whistle. “I like my teams to force the others into mistakes and create offence off that - an aggressive skating team that tries forcing the issue instead of waiting.”

Whistle believes his team’s playing style will be aided by the small Elland Road ice pad, something Leeds Chiefs’ coach Sam Zajac tried to use to his team’s advantage in the short time they played there.

MORE – Steve Nell explains why Dave Whistle is the right man for Leeds top job

“When the rink is a little bit smaller you can get at teams right away and create turnovers,” added Whistle.

“One, it’s exciting for everybody, including the fans, when you play that way and, two, I believe you win more by doing that.

“I know that all the players already signed are all good skaters and, if you have good skaters, you can actually play that aggressive style and be successful.

“And if we can play that hard, forechecking, aggressive game and create those turnovers, if we have good crowds in, that just builds the atmosphere around the rink even more.”

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