Gap Control - Defending Against Fast Forwards
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02-26-2010, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Orillia, Ontario
Originally Posted by
You contradict yourself on these two points. And if you are slow of foot your second point is correct. And if you are fleet of foot your second point is also correct.
If you want to be a more productive defenseman, play it offensively. Make the puck carrier do what you want him to do and you won't get caught guessing. Especially in lower skilled leagues. Take away what the puck carrier wants to do and force him to do what he doesn't want to do. In most cases that will be forcing them to their backhand. The puck carrier is coming down the ice with 4 or 5 options and waiting for what he is going to do is going to let them pick their best option. Take the best options away and improve your odds on making a good play. You are correct that players panic, but most of them only if you make them panic. Skating backwards and watching them will not make them panic.
At the blue line make them do something!!!
There's no contradiction. Maintaining your angle is paramount. Being agressive is great, but if you don't have the proper angle, it's just going to backfire.
As you said, backing up doesn't force the play, but as long as you maintain your angle, you won't get beat. As a coach, I will tell you that getting defensemen to keep tight gaps and be aggressive in the neutral zone is the hardest thing to instill in young players. To be aggressive, you can't be affraid to be beat, and that takes a lot of time and patience.
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