The old saying in hockey is very true, skating is fast but the pass is king. The message here is that you speed up the game and give your offence the best chance to make a play by advancing the puck as much as possible, as fast as possible.
Coach Wally Kozak talks about why passing is so important:
“No player can skate as fast as a pass. Passing is the key to success in the game. The puck carrier needs control the puck and move it more often than carry it. Too often players carry the puck without an awareness of players open and they ‘THINK OF” passing when run out of space. Head manning the puck is a common “must do” rule for good teams. This adds speed to the game advancing the puck and creating options to score.”
Here is a video example by Coach Kozak that demonstrates the importance of getting the puck up ice quickly so the forwards can make a play with speed. Here’s a great passing drill called the Horse Shoe by Coach Kozak that will work on developing good passing skills when moving up the middle of the ice.