Thread: noob Question
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09-17-2009, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BoJackson View Post
So, last year was my first year back since being a kid as a full hockey fan. I knew all the rules and some of the subtleties, but obviously learned a lot watching 86 games in depth and really following everything off the ice.

But now...The one question I have is...why is everyone concerned about having a right-handed shot? I definitely understand the need of a canon on the blue line, but every time I've seen someone mention getting a new defenseman...they always stipulate it has to be right handed. Is that actually a deal breaker or just to mix it up with our glut of lefties?

So, probably a stupid question, and feel free to merge it wherever it may fit, but it's been bugging me lately and I wasn't really sure where else to ask.
As far as power plays go, there are two reasons.

1) When teams are in the offensive zone (on the PP or even-strength), they usually put a right-shooting d-man on the right point and a left-shooting on the left point. That way, if there are any clearing attempts up the boards, it's easier to knock the puck down, stop the puck, draw the puck towards the center, etc.

2) As alluded to in a previous post, many teams with a right-handed and a left-handed point man will swap positions during the flow of play to set up one-timer opportunities. (Only on the power play and if the team has settled possession of the puck in the offensive zone.) This way, one-timers (the best way to catch a goalie off his angle) are much easier, because you're not shooting across your body. But a picture is worth a thousand words. Take at a look at the first two Ovechkin goals in this video. Both are one-timers from the left side of the ice from a right-handed shot (Ovechkin's a righty). Now try to imagine how hard it would be to shoot that quickly if Ovechkin had to wait for the puck to go all the way across his body. Not only is it incredibly awkward from a physical standpoint (the best you can do in most cases is shovel the puck towards the net), but it's much tougher in terms of hand-eye coordination because the puck isn't coming right between your legs in the so-called wheelhouse.

The vast majority of Canadians shoot left. I think a greater percentage of Americans shoot right due to the influence of baseball and golf. For whatever reason, it seems that a majority of Russians shoot right.

Hope this helps.

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