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Hockeylover 10-11-2005 06:22 PM

I need advice on defense
 
On the other team that I play, I am a defenseman. I noticed many times that when the guy I was supposed to cover succeeds in scoring, it's when I lost track of him. Right after the goal, I see him uncovered with no one near him. That's embarassing. Each time I get hypnotised by and obsessed with the ball. I always think, "Where is that ball so I can put my stick on it!!!". They scored! Too late... :cry:

Here is what I think I should do: Always keep the man at a stick-lenght (at most), keeping myself between him and my goalie. I forget about the ball to focus on the man. If the ball is loose close to me, I'll go for it trying to get to the ball before the other does. If my teamate is in the other side of the net, I'll pass the ball behind the net if I think it's too dangerous to clear the zone. If the other guy is in front of the net, I'll try to push away if he gets too close to the net especially if he's trying to block the goalie's view. If he's about to touch the ball, then I lift his stick with my two hands making sure he won't be able to hit the ball.

Other question: When you lead by two goals with 10 minutes left in the game, do you ask your defensemen to stay near the red line to avoid breakaways from the other team? I think they should, and when they get the ball, they should shoot it as hard as they can in the other team's zone. In other words, the team should keep the other team prisoners in their own zone.

Any other suggestions? Thanks.

OrrNumber4 10-11-2005 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hockeylover
On the other team that I play, I am a defenseman. I noticed many times that when the guy I was supposed to cover succeeds in scoring, it's when I lost track of him. Right after the goal, I see him uncovered with no one near him. That's embarassing. Each time I get hypnotised by and obsessed with the ball. I always think, "Where is that ball so I can put my stick on it!!!". They scored! Too late... :cry:

Here is what I think I should do: Always keep the man at a stick-lenght (at most), keeping myself between him and my goalie. I forget about the ball to focus on the man. If the ball is loose close to me, I'll go for it trying to get to the ball before the other does. If my teamate is in the other side of the net, I'll pass the ball behind the net if I think it's too dangerous to clear the zone. If the other guy is in front of the net, I'll try to push away if he gets too close to the net especially if he's trying to block the goalie's view. If he's about to touch the ball, then I lift his stick with my two hands making sure he won't be able to hit the ball.

Other question: When you lead by two goals with 10 minutes left in the game, do you ask your defensemen to stay near the red line to avoid breakaways from the other team? I think they should, and when they get the ball, they should shoot it as hard as they can in the other team's zone. In other words, the team should keep the other team prisoners in their own zone.

Any other suggestions? Thanks.

I'll assume this a non-contact floor hockey league? It just takes a lot of practice to not get mesmerized by the puck. It evens happens to NHL players. I think you are on track with what you should do. Keep your head on a swivel :). I remember for ball hockey, it is ridiculously easy to clear the ball; clear it or pass it forward whenever you get the ball imo. In my experience, when you pass it laterally or behind you, it can take a wierd bounce and end up in the goal or on an opponents stick.

Hockeylover 10-11-2005 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by superroyain10
I'll assume this a non-contact floor hockey league? It just takes a lot of practice to not get mesmerized by the puck. It evens happens to NHL players. I think you are on track with what you should do. Keep your head on a swivel :). I remember for ball hockey, it is ridiculously easy to clear the ball; clear it or pass it forward whenever you get the ball imo. In my experience, when you pass it laterally or behind you, it can take a wierd bounce and end up in the goal or on an opponents stick.

Yes, it is a non-contact ball hockey league. :D

The pass behind the net must be used with discretion. It is a good idea to use it on face-offs close to our net. It's so crowdy in front when I get the ball that shooting it forward will be stopped by somebody, but you make me realize that a pass behind the net may as well end up on an opponent's stick. I think the best is to run away with the ball and go behind the net. For this I must proceed quickly. I have my defense assignment on Thursday. Since we are already eliminated of the playoffs, I'm going to try things without fears of making mistakes. In the season, especially if you play with a team that is not sure to make the playoffs, each game is crucial, so you don't dare experiment. You prefer to play as simple as possible. But at point you have developpe your hockey talents by trying things you would consider risky. I'm going to developpe a "mantra" throughout the game, like "Opponent: You WON'T touch that ball" that I will repeat again and again in my brain. This way I will be 100% focused on the man, not on the ball. Have you noticed that you play better when you hate the opponents and want to crush them without mercy? :madfire: If you want to win, you should not think about hockey as a game, but as a war!

Puckboy 10-13-2005 09:48 AM

You need to stay between your man and the puck/ball. You can not just watch the man, otherwise you will not know until the last minute, which is usually to late that the ball is being passed in front of the net. As far as what to do once you gain control, that all depends on the situation and hard to judge. If you want the safe play it is high off the glass out of the zone.

As far as the two goal lead with 10 min. left I think it is a bad idea to leave your d at the redline. You are not forcing them to make a play in their own zone. You give them time for an easy outlet pass and time to build up speed. If your D are not ready they are going to get burned or before they know it they will be trying to make a play while already on top of their goalie. Need to stay up at the blue line for the desperate team to make plays and the d need to step up at their own blueline.

Just My two cents, others may have different thoughts

HFNHL Commish 10-13-2005 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Puckboy
As far as the two goal lead with 10 min. left I think it is a bad idea to leave your d at the redline. You are not forcing them to make a play in their own zone. You give them time for an easy outlet pass and time to build up speed. If your D are not ready they are going to get burned or before they know it they will be trying to make a play while already on top of their goalie. Need to stay up at the blue line for the desperate team to make plays and the d need to step up at their own blueline.

Generally speaking, I agree that you need to keep the pressure on, even with a lead late in the game. Ideally, if the two defenseman are comfortable with each other and communicate well, the strong side defender should be holding the blueline, while the weak side defender should be floating a little bit further back in the neutral zone. That way, the weak side defender is in a position to either step up if the puck gets wrapped around the boards, or drop back to defend against a cherry picker/quick breakout.

Puckboy 10-13-2005 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HFNHL Commish
Generally speaking, I agree that you need to keep the pressure on, even with a lead late in the game. Ideally, if the two defenseman are comfortable with each other and communicate well, the strong side defender should be holding the blueline, while the weak side defender should be floating a little bit further back in the neutral zone. That way, the weak side defender is in a position to either step up if the puck gets wrapped around the boards, or drop back to defend against a cherry picker/quick breakout.

Could not agree more well said.

Hockeylover 10-13-2005 09:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HFNHL Commish
Generally speaking, I agree that you need to keep the pressure on, even with a lead late in the game. Ideally, if the two defenseman are comfortable with each other and communicate well, the strong side defender should be holding the blueline, while the weak side defender should be floating a little bit further back in the neutral zone. That way, the weak side defender is in a position to either step up if the puck gets wrapped around the boards, or drop back to defend against a cherry picker/quick breakout.

I will remember these tips. Thanks.

Tonight I played defense, and we lost. We are official out of the playoffs! I got good lessons tonight. They scored a goal when I was screening my own goalie. BIG mistake! Next time I'll get out of the way. Secondly, I tried to clear the zone through the middle of our zone, and the other team cut the ball and had good shots on goal. Fortunately the goalie made the save. Finally, I found myself trying to cover two guys at the same time in my zone, one wing and one defenseman who went out of his position to get a shot as near as possible. I was paralized for a few seconds not knowing what to do. Should have I guarded one player and forget about the other? It's our winger's responsibility to cover their defenseman! I have no idea where he was! On the positive side, the other teams have got any break-away on our goalie in the last two games, something we used to give about 4 times a game, with the result that they scored almost each time. Something furthermore encouraging since it was the best two teams we faced. The other thing is that I can run faster and longer, without being out of breath. Continuous daily physical activity will make of me a better player. Great news: Our team will reform next season. At least I won't have to play with another new team again. If we can all together play better on the defense aspect of the game, we'll be a good team.

technophile 10-13-2005 09:11 PM

If you're the defenseman in a 2 on 1, your job is to let the goalie take the shooter; you should be cutting off any potential pass. Let the guy with the puck shoot, and let the goalie see it all the way in -- as long as they can't pass across, the goalie has a chance.

Hockeylover 10-13-2005 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by technophile
If you're the defenseman in a 2 on 1, your job is to let the goalie take the shooter; you should be cutting off any potential pass. Let the guy with the puck shoot, and let the goalie see it all the way in -- as long as they can't pass across, the goalie has a chance.

I'm glad I did the right thing. I could have run crazy at the guy in front of me, but I would have blocked my goalie's view. Instead, althought with some delay because I was frozen, I chose to cover the guy on my right who could have received the ball from the guy in front. I still have alot to learn. This is only my second year.

DAebi1 10-13-2005 09:59 PM

Man, I wish there was a floor-hockey league in my town. You are lucky as hell. I have to play pick-up street hockey. :cry:

I like to play defense when we play pick-up though, even though my slapper is sub-par and I'm a much better forward. What I like to do is to anticipate the other players moves before they are made. I think everyone that watches hockey and are playing against people that play hockey can see where the play is going, what way the player will be going. I love it when I can pick things off and head down for a scoring chance.

If you don't mind me asking, hockeylover, where are you from?

Hockeylover 10-13-2005 10:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DAebi1
Man, I wish there was a floor-hockey league in my town. You are lucky as hell. I have to play pick-up street hockey. :cry:

I like to play defense when we play pick-up though, even though my slapper is sub-par and I'm a much better forward. What I like to do is to anticipate the other players moves before they are made. I think everyone that watches hockey and are playing against people that play hockey can see where the play is going, what way the player will be going. I love it when I can pick things off and head down for a scoring chance.

If you don't mind me asking, hockeylover, where are you from?

Sorry to hear that you don't have organized floor hockey in your area! :cry: Maybe there is a gym in a school that you could rent and create a league of your own?

It's funny you ask me where I am from as I was about to tell you! I read "Future Vezina" beside your alvatar. Georges Vezina was from my home town, Chicoutimi. He played with my favourite team, Les Saguenéens de Chicoutimi who play in La Ligue Junior Majeure du Québec. My uncle, Jean-Guy Morissette- was a goalie for Les Saguenéens in the arounds of 1955. My dream was to be goalie for the Montreal Canadiens. I played only two games in organized ice hockey, in the Pee-Wee level. My father told me to forget about it, and focus on school... :cry: I know in my heart that I would have made it very far if I had persued hockey. :shakehead

Hockeylover 10-16-2005 07:39 PM

I played defense today. I did pretty good, even though we lost 8 to 1! It was already 6-1 in the middle of the game! I made sure to push away the guys who were staying in front of the net, and I cleared the zone using the boards. No one knows anybody on the team, so we're not playing with cohesion. As any new team, we never use the pointmen in the offensive zone. For offensemen, defensemen at the point are of NO use in the offense zone, they exist only for defensive purpose. The offensemen just passed the ball between themselves. Of course, their passes are cut most of the time.

Someone suggested that my stick is way too long. It extends one inch above my eye level. I cut it so it extends only to my chin. This is much better. First, it is lighter. Maybe someone can give other reasons for a shorter stick?

Briefly, I am satisfied with my defense play. It will just improve with time. Before I started playing hockey, I thought it was easy. It's not! There is so much to learn.

Ozolinsh_27 10-16-2005 07:42 PM

with a shorter stick, once you get used to the length, you can handle the ball/puck better.

Mackee 10-21-2005 09:53 PM

Have yet to read through this thread so forgive me if some of this stuff has been said.

Always keep the man in front of you. Sounds stupid but trust me, when he's behind you, you're done. This is so important one on one. Even in non-contact leagues, I like to simply stand the man up around the blue line. As a defenseman, you should just be worried about getting in his way. Don't hold him up or use your stick outside of tying up his own. If the ball gets by, that isn't your main concern...so long as your goalie/other defenseman have this taken care of, as they should.

First pass out of the zone is also very important. Unless you're catching the other team on a change, NEVER go for the pass up the middle (even here use discretion). 99 times out of a hundred I'm looking for my wingers to be on the boards between the hash marks and the blue line and hitting them on the tape. That or a bank off the boards.

In the offensive zone, treat the blue line (or red line if your league plays with a floating blue line like mine does) like you would a goal line. Do whatever's in your power to keep the ball in the zone. Don't shoot if you've got a guy two feet in front of you, but do shoot in traffic. I like to get a low hard slap pass on goal in hopes of a screen, deflection or rebound.

Finally, keep it simple. I see too many defensmen trying to be heros in the O-Zone, or taking themselves out of the play trying to deliver "the big hit". Play a smart, simple game and you've done your job.

Hockeylover 10-21-2005 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BooBlancRouge
Have yet to read through this thread so forgive me if some of this stuff has been said.

Always keep the man in front of you. Sounds stupid but trust me, when he's behind you, you're done. This is so important one on one. Even in non-contact leagues, I like to simply stand the man up around the blue line. As a defenseman, you should just be worried about getting in his way. Don't hold him up or use your stick outside of tying up his own. If the ball gets by, that isn't your main concern...so long as your goalie/other defenseman have this taken care of, as they should.

First pass out of the zone is also very important. Unless you're catching the other team on a change, NEVER go for the pass up the middle (even here use discretion). 99 times out of a hundred I'm looking for my wingers to be on the boards between the hash marks and the blue line and hitting them on the tape. That or a bank off the boards.

In the offensive zone, treat the blue line (or red line if your league plays with a floating blue line like mine does) like you would a goal line. Do whatever's in your power to keep the ball in the zone. Don't shoot if you've got a guy two feet in front of you, but do shoot in traffic. I like to get a low hard slap pass on goal in hopes of a screen, deflection or rebound.

Finally, keep it simple. I see too many defensmen trying to be heros in the O-Zone, or taking themselves out of the play trying to deliver "the big hit". Play a smart, simple game and you've done your job.

Thanks for those tips. In the offensive zone, if I have an adversary two feet in front of me, I prefer to shoot the ball hard on the board so it goes deep in the zone. I don't still have the ability and confidence to play around with the ball while waiting to have a chance to pass to a teamate. In other words, it's better at the level I am to get rid of the ball before someone steals it away from me.

Mackee 10-22-2005 02:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hockeylover
Thanks for those tips. In the offensive zone, if I have an adversary two feet in front of me, I prefer to shoot the ball hard on the board so it goes deep in the zone. I don't still have the ability and confidence to play around with the ball while waiting to have a chance to pass to a teamate. In other words, it's better at the level I am to get rid of the ball before someone steals it away from me.

Anytime. And I do agree with you. Putting the ball deep isn't a bad play, especially if you're covered closely. I was referring to a situation where you have a bit of space to manuever. As you get better, you'll become more confident with your play.

HFNHL Commish 10-24-2005 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hockeylover
Thanks for those tips. In the offensive zone, if I have an adversary two feet in front of me, I prefer to shoot the ball hard on the board so it goes deep in the zone. I don't still have the ability and confidence to play around with the ball while waiting to have a chance to pass to a teamate. In other words, it's better at the level I am to get rid of the ball before someone steals it away from me.

That's the proper play. I've always believed that a defenseman's primary offensive responsibility in the zone is to keep the puck alive.

We can't all be Scott Niedermayer. If you have the puck and you're backed up against the blueline, dump it in and let the forwards go to work. Try to force the play, and you'll likely wind up getting caught with your pants down. Similarly, don't let your ego convince you to wind up for that big slapshot when you have a forward standing two feet in front of you. ;)

Mackee 10-25-2005 10:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HFNHL Commish
We can't all be Scott Niedermayer. If you have the puck and you're backed up against the blueline, dump it in and let the forwards go to work. Try to force the play, and you'll likely wind up getting caught with your pants down. Similarly, don't let your ego convince you to wind up for that big slapshot when you have a forward standing two feet in front of you. ;)

Count me as one who has learned this the hard way. :D

hfboardsuser 10-26-2005 01:11 AM

To add to this great discussion...

Everyone's played against the guy who thinks he's Gretzky. Some of them even do have God-given talent that mystifies you.

I find that the best advice against guys like this is to just back up. Don't give him the whole ice surface, but when he goes to bust out a major deke or pass himself the ball/puck off the boards, he expects you to be sucked in. And that's what happens.

Now, you'll probably go "Oh, duh. Yeah, don't get suckered in. Just stay put. Let him come to you."

You've got to take it a step farther (err, backwards!). Just back up a couple steps. You suddenly see the developing play a whole lot better. Not only does it increase the coverage you're getting with your peripheral vision, but many nice moves rely on the increased space formed behind you when you are sucked in. Moving back takes that away, and forces the forward to actually come to you.

Get ready to block a shot when this happens, though, especially near the half-boards. Backing up gives the forward a clearer shooting lane, and he isn't pressured to get rid of the puck/ball quickly as a result. Just get yourself in the way and let your goalie take care of the rest. That, or position your stick in front of the shot. Just a quick flick of the shaft so that the blade points to your left foot (if right handed) works wonders.

HFNHL Commish 10-26-2005 07:11 AM

Couple of good points there, Mr. Bugg. Contrary to popular belief, trying to stand a guy up at the blueline isn't always the smartest (or safest) play. ;)

If you do concede the blueline, always remember that the boards are a defenseman's best friend. Play your angles properly, and 90% of guys will try to take you to the outside. Make the boards work against them. Give them no option other than to try to take the puck deep. Once they choose to go that route, use your body and the boards to create a bottleneck. Even works in a non-checking league because the guy's basically running himself into the glass.

Hockeylover 10-30-2005 08:25 PM

Same story with that particular ball hockey team: We were beaten up 8-1! I played the second half of the game as a defenseman and was very happy with my playing excepted at one occasion when I left my man by himself. He scored on the play. But other than that, I covered the guys in front of the net and on the board very well. I put less focus than usual on the ball, and more on my man, and it paid off. I think the lesson I learned today is to cover someone, to keep an eye on him every few seconds and take a quick look around to try and anticipate what play is likely to happen. For example, it could be a guy alone in the creast. You can tell he is going to receive the ball if his teamate is in possession of the ball and looks at the guy in the creast. Most of the times, you can tell he is going to pass to him. Then you come as close as you can to that guy. If you wait that the pass is done, it may be already too late. In other words, you have to be there where the ball is gonna be.

Last point, a general one: I believe that it's better to choose a position -offense or defense- where you are at your best and improve yourself at that position. I notice that I am more useful at defense. So from now on, I will always ask to be on defense.

Hockeylover 11-02-2005 09:59 PM

Thanks for everyone's contribution!

Tonight this ball hockey team started its second season. A few guys have decided not to join the team again, but we had a few new guys who accepted to take their place. We were completely beaten up in our defensive zone. We lost 6 to 3, which is not so bad. The other team were doing great passes, which we are not yet able to do. That's the difference.

A few guys got me when they made a series of moves in front of me. When they went to my left, I was going left, they then turned right, then I went right. After a few seconds, I was dizzy and they passed by me quite easily and rushed to the net. Is it because I follow the ball too much? Should not I go on him, forget about the ball, put myself in his way, and hold his stick a bit? Thanks in advance.

Crossroads* 11-02-2005 10:45 PM

Defense in ball hockey is quite simple. . . most ball hockey teams do not run set plays, or run picks, and are usually not organized offensively. All the defensemen have to do is take away the passing lanes and make sure the goaltender sees the ball at all times.

However, to translate success on the court to the ice, make sure you keep the man you're covering in front of you and realize potential passing lanes and block them effectively before the person could make a play. I really wouldn't worry about blocking shots (if you're not wearing a cup :P).

The key to being an effective defenseman in a ball hockey league is simple: move your feet and be faster on them than the opposing teams forwards. If you're faster on your feet than the opposing teams players, 9 times out of 10 you'll come up with the ball and break-out with a pass to one of your forwards (I'd make a habit of mentioning to the fastest forward on your team to stay high in your zone (up with the opposing defenseman) so you'll know that a potential break-out play has a chance of working).

Seph 11-03-2005 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hockeylover
Thanks for everyone's contribution!

Tonight this ball hockey team started its second season. A few guys have decided not to join the team again, but we had a few new guys who accepted to take their place. We were completely beaten up in our defensive zone. We lost 6 to 3, which is not so bad. The other team were doing great passes, which we are not yet able to do. That's the difference.

A few guys got me when they made a series of moves in front of me. When they went to my left, I was going left, they then turned right, then I went right. After a few seconds, I was dizzy and they passed by me quite easily and rushed to the net. Is it because I follow the ball too much? Should not I go on him, forget about the ball, put myself in his way, and hold his stick a bit? Thanks in advance.

I play a lot ball hockey too, and there are always those guys with a dozen different moves and dekes. You're right though, when you know a guy has that kind of skill, just forget about the puck. It's non contact, so you can't hit him, but just keep your body between his body and the net and your stick on the ground in front of him. Odds are he'll continue to work his way down the side, but before he knows it, he'll be behind the net and forced to pass, or will have coughed up the puck making one too many moves. and go for the stick. It's a lot easier to knock his stick off the ball than to knock the ball of his stick.

What Crossroads said above about passing lanes is spot on. When your man doesn't have the ball, think about the lanes between him and the ball. Keep something in that lane, whether, it's your body or your stick and if the pass comes his way you can cut it off. If the pass gets through you, try to put your stick in front of his to block the shot or if you're too far away and brave you can drop sideways to one knee to block it with your body. Dropping low helps make you bigger in the shot lane, as well as helps your goalie see around you so you don't screen him.

/edit: Oh yeah, and one thing that hasn't been mentioned yet: TALK. Let forwards know who is open when the defense sneaks in from the point, make sure you know who your partner has and that he knows who you have. Talk to your goalie too, or at least, make sure they talk to you. Goalies have a different view of the ice than you, and can help make sure you're not leaving someone open and can let you know that you're screening them.

DisgruntledHawkFan 11-07-2005 01:36 AM

I played Goalie mostly and a little bit of D. A simple but very crucial rule to follow is that if you're the last man back, never try and stickhandle. Dump it every time. Passing along the boards is also best. If you're a big guy and your league allows you to get away with some physical play (I am and mine does) be as physical as you can be. It's my experience that most ball hockey players hate to be hassled and it's a very good way to throw them off of there game.


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