Thread: Physical play
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05-30-2008, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Neely27 View Post
I like to play physical. It's always fun to check somebody in open ice, or to smash somebody agaisnt the boards. It's always clean. But after every time I check somebody I get scared because I know the other team is going to be looking to hit me. I know it's going to be clean but they are still going to check me. I'm a pretty small dude, 5'6 140 and most players in the league are bigger then me so it hurts to get hit.

Is there any advice about not being scared of the big hit?
What age level do you play in? Sounds like you are in Bantams age class, due to your weight.

I think hattrick15 pretty much summed it up as far as how to take a hit and absorb the shock against the boards.

However, I would like to add to that just a little. For me, I teach my players not to get hit. Hattrick15 said..."rolling off the check on the boards is not to hard. Open ice make a smart play most likely off the boards and step to the side."

Plus, how you enter the boards is every important. If you are going to get a puck against the boards, the angle of approach on how you get in and out is critical.

Here, take a look at this drawing.

I have three senarios that I would like for you to look at.

First, lets look a senario A
Here you will see that the puck is up against the board with the defensemen rushing into the boards. Now I see a lot of defensemen, grab the puck, and try to bank the puck up the boards and out of their defensive zone. Yes, they get it out of the zone, but what they have done is allow a turn over. Plus, if they stop, they get hit!

So rather than a turn over, quickly get in and out. Control the puck and turn into your zone then make the pass..."D to D".

Now in senario B you see the centermen has rushed into the boards. Again, I don't know how many time I see players at all age levels, go to the board and try to push the puck up to their winger or try to advance the puck into the attacking zone, like they are gainning yardage like football.

You don't get any point for giving the puck away all the time. Plus, when the winger stops up against the boards, he is going to get his A** kicked. So don't do it!

Question: If the puck is in the neutral zone, how many guys on the other team are hanging out with your defensemen? Answer: NONE!

So the best play is send the puck back to your defensemen and then regroup, rather than giving a turn over.

In the last senario C the winger is rushing into the corner. I have found it best to have the winger get in and turn up ice towards the point man. Once you start to make that turn, hold the puck for an extra second to pull the defensemen with you. Once the defensemen is locked in, pass the puck back into the pressure zone (yellow). When the puck is in this area, the goalie is under maximum pressure. Why? It forces the goalie to watch the front and the back area at the same time. This gives player on your team the chance to get into stricking distance for one timers.

As far as open ice hits...
I feel its better to get hit they and get hit in open ice. Boards can be every useful for the defending team. If you are next to the boards, coming up the ice, cut into the center area to avoid the check.

If you are in open ice, I recommend keeping your head up and by all means, Pass the Puck. The average pro player hold the puck just a few seconds. They never skate up ice with it. Passing is quicker that skating.

Keep the puck moving with passing. This will also help you avoid the big check!

Last, I recommend you take a power skating class or two. A class that works a lot on spinning and turning in the air to help you with your balance. This turning and spinning will help you avoid the check and when you do get hit, you will be able to stay on your feet.

Skating and balance is 80% of the game. Without it, you might as well be in the stands.

Hope this helps
Head coach

Last edited by Headcoach: 05-30-2008 at 12:54 PM.
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