Tips on the Center Position
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05-07-2008, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
Here's a good video on faceoffs
. I watched it when I got word I was moving to center for a couple games, and I ended up winning about 90% of my draws that night. Granted it's beer league, but that's pretty good for someone who's never taken a draw before. My big tip for draws is to watch the puck, not the ice. Be sure to let your defense or wingers know who you're trying to win the puck to, and work out in advance with your wingers who's going to chase the puck if you lose the draw.
Defensively, you mainly want to cover the area below the faceoff dots, and especially between the faceoff dots and the net. Here's an example:
That area is critical. If there's a man who's not being covered in that area, it's your job to cover him. Otherwise, if the puck goes low, stay between the puck carrier and the slot to cut off any passes or rush in and provide support for the defenseman who's HOPEFULLY pressuring the forechecker. Once the puck is turned over, skate through the middle and make yourself a target for the defenseman or winger with the puck, don't just shoot up the ice hoping for a pass.
Offensively, it depends on what system you use. We typically have a triangle attack, meaning one forward attacks the puck, one provides support along the boards or in front of the net, and one forward stays a bit higher to get back on D or take a quick shot. Typically, in the offensive zone, forwards don't have sides or positions, we just cycle the puck and create scoring chances. If I'm playing with quick wingers, I'll be more aggressive and attack the net. If I have weak wingers, I'll stay higher because they won't get back on D as quickly as I would.
Overall, the center position requires the highest level of fitness and best judgment of all the skaters. So feel free to be creative offensively and smart defensively.
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