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12-18-2007, 12:41 PM
  #3
RandV
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Vancouver
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This is getting into the area of stuff that can't be taught. I'm a beginner at ice hockey, but I've always had a good offensive mind, to the point where I in college floor hockey as a beginner I could outscore more experienced and talented people than myself. It also kind of depends on what kind of help your looking for. Are you playing in a somewhat competitive bantam league or something like that, or in beginner adult/non-competitive beer leagues? My idea's are more for the latter, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I see three general ways to beat the defense.

1 - Vision. This is the most natural skill. Easiest way to get around someone is to pass to an open player. Of course you have to be able to spot the player on the fly first, then be able to make the complete pass. Without the puck, it's about putting yourself in an open position to recieve a pass. Experience helps but this isn't really something that can be taught too much. For the defensive end, they can counter this with good team positioning.

2 - Skating. This is a you vs him thing. If your forward skating is stronger than the dman's backwards skating, and can outskate him once he's turned around, it's pretty easy to get around a guy. Playing against fellow beginners I'm really good at this. What I like to do is skate straight towards the other guy, sort of initiate the challenge, and just before the puck is in stick checking range, I'll do a few quick lateral steps, moving the puck to the outside, and hit the jets. So it's all about your skating vs his, using your legs to keep the puck out of his stick range. If you can't get to the net by skating you at least want to get deep into the zone, let your teammates have time to catch up so a play can be set up.

3 - Stickhandling/Puck Control. I suck here. Some guys can go into a dman's checking range dangling the puck and not let them touch it. By doing this you can also 'slow' the game down, stall with the puck until you're teammate can get in the perfect position for a shot, if you can't get to the net yourself. I'd say this one needs a lot of experience to pull off, as it's really a unique hockey skill. The first two are pretty transferable to other sports, so someone athletic can pick them up in hockey right away. Stickhandling like this doesn't just take skill, but also years of experience to be able to do it good enough.

So I'd say the only real advice that can be given is pick the area you're good at, and focus on that. In floor hockey the first two came naturally to me (havnig played a lot of soccer in the past), but I didn't start picking up anything in the last one until the end of my 2nd/last year.

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