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07-28-2009, 02:29 PM
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Location: North Shore, MA
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Originally Posted by WickedWrister View Post
Sorry, I'm a forward, usually LW.

Something I think I need to work on is being more active in the play. I don't want to say I'm a soft floater but whenever I think my team is going to gain possession of the puck, I speed up ice trying to get a long outlet pass.

Usually, I won't get that pass in stride because I'm far away from the puck, or it will come to hard and I won't be able to take it cleanly. My next game is tonight, and I think I'm going to help by trying to skate the puck out of my zone instead of looking for long passes.
I'm a left wing, too, and I have a horrible time catching that clearing pass at the point. But I'm a little concerned about you breaking hard for the other blueline if your defenseman hasn't even cleared the puck from your end yet.

You've got to look at hockey as being part of a team. There is likely going to be a defenseman anticipating your d-man wrapping the puck around the boards. If the puck doesn't clear the blue line it's going back into the zone and your defensemen get no rest -- they'll probably hate you for that. What's more, the more fatigued THEY are the more likely the other team is to score during their possession forcing your team to have to catch up. I can't give any technical advice on how to catch a pass that's behind you but that's something you'll be best off practicing with a team mate. The alternative is to stand at the wall and cut off the pass but then you've got no momentum to skate with the puck and you've got a defenseman ready to strip the puck from you. But to sum up:

Priority #1: Be in position and don't take yourself out of the play
Priority #2: It's your responsibility to help clear the way for the puck to get out of the zone. Lift the defender's stick or box him out if you need to!
Priority #3: If possible get the puck through the neutral zone. Give your team a chance to change lines if necessary and get fresh legs on the ice. If everyone is fresh then attack!

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