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12-31-2009, 05:29 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Edmonton
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My tips are...

1-"Look at the waist" when challenged 1 on 1. This has been stated several times, but it is important. He is not going anywhere without his belly button so ignore the 19 headfakes, the slick stick handling, his "fake look" to the winger and watch his belt. Where it goes, he goes!

2-"Cheat to the forehand" when challenged one on one by a player coming up the middle. Make the forward go where you want him to. I am a big and surprisingly fast for a big player, which makes me a very good defensivly! (I also have zero offensive vision and can't stickhandle just in case anyone thought I am bragging about my rec hockey prowess). As a big and fast player, I know that I am fast enough not to be taken wide, and those few jack rabbits who are faster, still will not escape my reach... point on cheating to the forehand is this. He's not getting around me with the puck, so I'll cheat to the forehand and make him think his best option is to go around me on his backhand side. I know he wont be able to cut to the net, leaving his only option a backhand shot, or a "curl and pass". Just be careful not to cheat so much that he can get around you. You have to have the wheels to back it up.

3-"Cheat to the centre" when challenged one on one by a player coming down the wing.
this will force him WIDER, rather then him cutting back into the slot. Again, only cheat as much as your speed allows. And if you are lucky enough to force him wide while also force him to his backhand he might as well pack it in for the night.
Forwards/coaches keep this in mind as you decide to have a left handed shot playing the right wing and vice versa. Playing the offwing makes the onetimer a posibilty, but makes things near impossible if you like to challenge dmen 1 on 1.

4- "Meet him at the post"- Does he have a step on you? No worrys, meet him at the post. you KNOW he is going to cut to the net, so don't race to where he is, race to where he will be! Draw a map of the hockey rink. Put him at the boards, and you closer to centre ice while both standing on the blueline. Measure the distance he has to go, and the distance you have to go. You have a much shorter distance, so make the most of it and head straight to the post (keeping yourself in the passing lane of course). your job is to keep him from passing and to keep him from cutting past the post and in front. All you leave him is a full speed bad angle shot on the fly....if your goalie has faith in you he can challenge knowing the forward can't deck or pass.

5-"Never chase a player behind the net"- You'll never catch him...cut through the crease and meet him on the otherside! Boom!!...He can't come out front and you are in the passing lane! This is the number one mistake I see new dmen make chasing the forward behind the net who simply curls or passes back out in front giving you a great view as you stand behind the net and watch the puck cross the goal line.

6-"Talk with your goalie!" I know, goalies are different cats and aren't the best conversationalists, but let him know you will play the pass on the 2 on 1 and will meet someone testing you wide at the post preventing him from cutting in front.
Also talk during the game. Let him know when someone sneaks into Gretzky's office, and let him know where the rebounds and deflections go. "My Corner" "Far Corner" "straight out". The puck ricochets like crazy...just because u see it doesnt mean he does.

7- "Leave something in the tank" i know "i still have gas left in the tank" isn't a good sound bite in the post game interview, BUT as a dman, you always have to have that Emergency Wartime Power if you get pinned in your zone. Give 95% and save the other 5 until you really need it. Keep your shifts short as well. A good dman corp realizes that 30, 1 minute long shifts is EXACTLY the same amount of icetime as 15, 2 minute long shifts.

8-"Be safe" when in doubt, dump it out. Off the boards, off the glass, ice it, over the boards...all of those are far better options then throwing a pass up the middle and having it picked off. Sure the 130lb fowrard may throw his hands as he stands all by himslef at the far blueline. But it's better that he is upset when you safely chip it off the glass and into the neutral zone, then having your whole team pissed because your attempted a 130ft pass through a set of legs, over one stick and under another got picked off and quicky buldged your own twine.

9-"Look and Think" keep your head on a swivel and make a conscious effort to remember where your teammates and your opponents are and are going.

10-"***** or get off the pot" when blocking shots....either block it or get out of the way!

11-"Don't fight in front of the net on the PK" If you can't clear him from the crease, you are just putting two bodies infront of your goalie while leaving the entire side open for cross ice passes. Don't let him get the rebound, but dont fight him for position.

12-"Don't trust a forwad" They are all self absorbed playboys who get all the credit while you do all the hard work! Everyone knows that defense wins hockey games!!

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