Further Hockey insights from the Noob...
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04-22-2010, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Originally Posted by
In continuation of my earlier "hockey thoughts" thread, which was painfully hijacked by the flamers, malcontents, and those just jealous of my solidified status as "America's Worst Hockey Player" - some further ideas came to mind recently:
1) why is "finishing one's check" important?
It seems rather stupid, as it takes you out of the play for that much longer. This isn't the NFL, where the play stops when you crunch the RB and they fall down. Oftentimes, the d-man has sent the puck up the ice by the time a forechecking forward arrives to check them against the backboards, so that forward/center is just wasting his time rather than turning quickly to get back in the play. Given how hockey is endless motion, with getting back into the right positioning is so critical, why would a coach actually think that "finishing a check" like that is of any usefullness?
You're thinking, and this is good! Hitting is technically only in the game to separate people from pucks. In reality, it's used as intimidation. Finishing a check will leave a guy second guessing himself throughout the game. He may start trying to move the puck too quickly, leading to turnovers. You have to use your decision making skills to determine when to finish your check, and when to stay in position.
2) NHL motion offense - it seems when looking at alot of NHL teams, particularly on the power play, some Doug Moe-style offense (for those non-geezer NBA fans, he was an iconic Denver Nugget head coach in the early-mid 80s) would be helpful. For instance, on the power play especially alot of players just stand around waiting for the guy on the point to decide whether to shoot/pass, then react.
Why don't more teams use set motion/offense plays with quick passing to move the puck around, and get the other team moving one direction - and then a quick pass to the other side of the goal mouth? I did it in open hockey last week a few times and it worked well.
Actually, motion offense is in place. It's just hard to notice sometimes. You see it often during a cycle play, where the point man may jump into the slot to take a one-timer. Sometimes the winger may pass the puck to a player, then follow his pass and cut to the middle to get open. I think either Franzen or Holmstrom scored a goal against Pheonix the other day by doing this.
3) Open hockey is open hockey, but I went to one recently where there were actually players worse than me, it was shocking. They weren't all that interested in concepts like positioning, who is on defense and who is playing offense, etc. Really was an eye opener.
Some people are either unaware of or unwilling to do the things you need to do to get better. They just want the excitement of skating around and scoring goals. You're a beginner now, but you may eventually reach a point where you're less concerned about improving and more concerned about having a good night. When that day comes for me I'm hanging the skates up. If you ever see a guy who can't do proper crossovers working on his shooting or stickhandling for 3/4 of an hour, you'll know you've found one of these people.
4) Hockey is a passing game, and I would rather make 1 nice pass for a goal than score 3 times - just like my b-ball days. Another thread mentioned that everyone wants to score in the scrimmage games - not me, I firmly believe I am the second coming of Adam Oates, though it might take 40-50 years more to attain his skill level...where was that Stamm skating book...
So many new players don't understand that hockey is a styles game... but I think you've figured that out. Simply put, the puck is the fastest moving thing on the ice. The fastest way to get up the ice, and the easiest way to put the goalie out of position is with passing. Typically you have guys who prefer to hold the puck, and guys who prefer to move the puck quickly. On offense, fast puckmovers are either the pass-first guys who will get the puck and send it off quickly, or guys who will get the puck and quickly launch a shot. Guys that hold the puck will usually wheel around with the puck, and will prefer to drive the net, create a hole for a shot, draw attention and hit the open guy with a pass, or just dangle all over the place.
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