Further Hockey insights from the Noob...
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04-23-2010, 02:06 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Originally Posted by
I just wanted to add the obvious answer to item #1 that everyone has shockingly overlooked.
Having played four years of NCAA hockey and playing in competitive, checking leagues my entire life, I've never seen the primary reason for finishing your checks being to make your opponent second guess himself or rush his plays. Intimidation, while certainly a factor in finishing your checks, has always been secondary to the very obvious goal of wearing your opponent down. Besides, most good, experienced hockey players understand that they're going to get hit and it doesn't phase them much after a while. It does, however, wear them down - that's unavoidable.
Most of you who play house league won't relate as closely, but for those of you who have played a more competitive brand of hockey, how many times do you want to get drilled by a solid, experienced hitter in one game? By the third or fourth time someone "finishes" their check on you, you're significantly less effective than you were at the start of the game.
How often, even in the NHL, is the team that wins the one that comes out with a ton of energy and starts throwing the body on the forecheck and in the corners right out of the gate? It's how teams that don't stack up on paper take down conference leaders when the odds are against them and underdog teams knock off favorites in playoff series. Physicality and grinding down your opponent is a HUGE part of hockey. Intimidation comes second to wear and tear, and THAT is why finishing your checks is important.
Yes. This. Grind them down and let attrition become a factor. The intimidation thing can come along with this, but the main thing is that eventually getting run through the boards takes it's toll no matter how eager you are to stand in there and keep getting run.
As a defenseman, I'm pretty sure that my least favourite part of the position was when you were racing back for a puck dumped into the zone, and your job is basically to go move the puck along and then get thumped by a guy who has been intending to get a run at you since he dumped the puck in from the neutral zone. Playing a team that did this over and over and over and over all game long was a huge strain both mentally and physically, and eventually you're not getting to those pucks as quickly and your passes aren't going where you want them quite as accurately.
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