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-   -   Advice: How to contain an uber-talented forward? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1377483)

JoeCool16 03-16-2013 12:21 PM

How to contain an uber-talented forward?
 
I play on a defensive checking line in a non-contact rec league with a wide array of talent. One guy we're playing against today is quite a lot better than everyone else on the team... probably in the league.

We're a great team but this guy can cut us to shreds. He's only about 5ft0 or 4'11 but wow can he skate, stickhandle, shoot... and he's got a great base. We can't really squash him because it's non-contact (although, like in most leagues, they'll let a little go).

As a forward matching up against him, can you give any advice for how to contain the little phenom?

robmneilson 03-16-2013 12:26 PM

I've always found the best thing is just to watch their eyes, shoulder and just get in their way when they cut into the zone. I'm always frustrated that I can't put in a little hip check, so instead I just try to line up in front of them and make them have to go through me. Usually that little bit of contact is kosher.

Do that successfully a few times, and the next time they come in they will likely be frustrated, and probably give you a whack or two after you shut them down. Drawn quite a few penalties that way.

With a little guy make sure to keep your hands low to stay out of the box.

UpGoesRupp 03-16-2013 01:40 PM

It's a lot of zone coverage with the little shifty guys. Take away the middle of the ice and force them into passing plays. Always be on the defensive side of the puck in your end and as stated above. Make the player go through you to get their open space.

A simple way to harness your positioning (mainly for D) is take the shortcut to your own goal to avoid getting beaten wide. I.e. turn and skate directly towards the net (taking away the prime scoring areas)

TieClark 03-16-2013 02:26 PM

If you can skate with him, stay on him and don't let him have any room. If you cant', you have to play the angles and keep him to the outside at all times. Can't do anything if you're playing the perimeter all game.

JoeCool16 03-16-2013 07:57 PM

Thanks guys, I'll give it a try! I'm not a good enough skater to stay with him, so I'll play positionally.

JaeTM 03-16-2013 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robmneilson (Post 61760017)
I've always found the best thing is just to watch their eyes, shoulder and just get in their way when they cut into the zone. I'm always frustrated that I can't put in a little hip check, so instead I just try to line up in front of them and make them have to go through me. Usually that little bit of contact is kosher.

Do that successfully a few times, and the next time they come in they will likely be frustrated, and probably give you a whack or two after you shut them down. Drawn quite a few penalties that way.

With a little guy make sure to keep your hands low to stay out of the box.

You don't want to watch their eyes as they can be deceiving. Watch their waist instead and play the man as opposed to the puck. Well, play the puck too, but taking the man is more important because they won't be able to do anything with the puck it you're on them.

Ozz 03-16-2013 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TieClark (Post 61769747)
If you can skate with him, stay on him and don't let him have any room. If you cant', you have to play the angles and keep him to the outside at all times. Can't do anything if you're playing the perimeter all game.

Ditto. Make sure they know you're not going to give them an inch. If you can add in a little legal roughness here and there to make sure they get the point, then that's usually helpful too.

Aside from that, as stated do your best to force them to the side. If he's coming down on your through the middle chances are he's going to go through you, so be sure to not take yourself out of the play by jumping at the puck. I'm a forward but am very defensive, and I block a lot of shots in these situations as well. Otherwise if they try to get fancy like that I'll poke my stick to force them to move, and expect to throw my body the other way because that's usually where they go. If they run right into you, they're not getting by you.

JoeCool16 03-17-2013 02:06 AM

Thanks for the tips! Containment went okay... he slipped away from time to time but overall we kept him fairly in check. Just getting in his way and keeping a close watch on him (even if it meant our D not pinching much while he was on the ice) really helped.

sanityplease 03-17-2013 10:04 AM

Keep the small, quick, shifty guys to the outside (perimeter). & you can't 'hit' him but you can put your body where he wants to go. Make sure your whole team knows to watch for the passes to him (if he's really good there will be a lot of them), intercept/knock them away.

If you keep on him, he won't be having any fun.

Islander102 03-17-2013 01:38 PM

As others have been saying, as he's coming down on you, watch his chest/core, and stay in a straight line with you. What his eyes/stick do are useless, as if his body can't get past you, it doesn't matter where he puts the puck.

Since the league is non contact, a player with real good hands is going to be able to get around you most of the time. Don't be discouraged by that, just force him to the outside. Keep your body, feet (this is a key one, because a lot of good players like slipping the puck through your legs) and stick in position to take everything away from the lane to the net, and he'll go around you and be forced into a bad angle shot or to go behind the net.

Guffaw 03-17-2013 02:51 PM

Some great advice here. I try and remember my job is not to take the puck off them, that's what they want you to try and do. My job is to stay between them and our goalie, push them to the outside, make them shoot through me, force a bad pass, etc. They have even more of an advantage in men's league because you can't really knock them off the puck.

Another thing that really helps is just skating hard and being tenacious. No drive-bys swinging your stick, stop and starts. Don't give them anything for free.

I'm a fourth or fifth year forward(was a goalie before) limited skill and hands, but I have speed. I absolutely love playing against the other team's best players. They usually aren't very happy by the end of the night. A two hander to the back of my leg tells me I'm doing a good job. LOL

questhockey 03-17-2013 03:40 PM

As stated a few times. Keep an eye on his core, and keep him to the outside. One thing I've always done with these type of players is give them an opening. Do wide cross overs, and then back up with your legs spread a bit. That will make him think you need to have your feet wide to be stable. Players like that are drawn to openings. Let him try to toe drag and dangle through your legs, and close up quickly. 2 things occur then. 1 and most important, you bring him to you physically, which you can then lean into him a bit. Second as he goes to make a move, he will slow a bit, giving your other players time to close in...secondary support. Plus usually you can close up quick enough, then kick the puck forward, and get your team going the other way, for an odd man rush.

Another move a use a few times a game, is during skating back, I point back into neutral zone off to the side, sometimes yelling "you got him", or "pick up the trailer". Most players will swing wide in those instances, as they think they maybe able to draw you to the corner, and make a nice pass out to open ice for a teammate to have clear shot at goal. That moves works alot. Again, it takes the shifty guy off to the side, away from high percentage area,and better yet to an area he is more easily contained.

bigbadbruins1 03-21-2013 02:23 PM

honestly take away the middle of the ice by staying close to him. if you can skate with him and keep him a north-south skater you take away a lot of his skills. like its been said before, always keep your body where he will most likely want to go. as a goalie I see guys get beat a lot because they try to go for the puck. The problem is that if he is as talented as you say he will just dangle around you and succeed most of the time. So even in a no contact league a bump or a nudge wont draw a call but it will slow him down/ change his movements.

ponder 03-22-2013 01:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TieClark (Post 61769747)
If you can skate with him, stay on him and don't let him have any room. If you cant', you have to play the angles and keep him to the outside at all times. Can't do anything if you're playing the perimeter all game.

I've always found this most effective too. If someone is crazy good, give them ZERO time or space. Literally try to have someone shadowing them at all times, always within stick length if possible.

silkyjohnson50* 03-22-2013 02:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ponder (Post 62158789)
I've always found this most effective too. If someone is crazy good, give them ZERO time or space. Literally try to have someone shadowing them at all times, always within stick length if possible.

The best part (or worst part if you're the player being shadowed) is that it becomes very irritating as well.


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