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03-20-2008, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Downingtown, PA
Lots of good points made already...the importance of watching the referee's hand can't be stressed enough. It's also important to take into account where the face-off is taking place and whether your opponent is a left or right-handed shot.
One additional note...sometimes, it's important to realize that your opponent is better on face-offs than you are. I've watched guys with perfect technique lose face-off after face-off because they keep trying to win the puck back against someone who's faster on the draw. Don't keep trying the same thing on the eleventh draw if you've lost the previous ten.
In the defensive zone, if your opponent is trying to win the puck back, you can use his own tactics against him by "helping" him win the draw so hard that the puck ends up in the neutral zone. In the offensive zone, perhaps try changing things up by lifting your opponent's stick and kicking the puck either forward or back to the point...or simply tie your opponent up long enough for a teammate to fish the puck out.
Whatever you do, don't just skate up to the dot, flip your bottom hand over, and expect the same results again and again.
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