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10-07-2010, 09:32 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Positioning/Line advice

Looking for some suggestions on positioning/line advice for our beer league team. Here is the situation:

We have 10 skaters on a low level beer league team. Of those 10, only 2 have any regular experience, 1 played high school varsity level many years ago and the rest are all relative beginners (started playing within the last year). Our plan was to grow as a team and get better together. The guys are out for fun but also want to learn and be competitive at the same time.

As beginners we are playing pretty darn well and half way through the season we find ourselves tied for third in the league. We typically have no problem scoring but our defense is a bit soft at times. I would expect this given our relative inexperience as defense is a tough position to learn. We currently have one of our strongest skaters back on D with some "average" skaters who are improving quickly and have taken the time to learn defensive positioning. Two of them wanted to learn the position and play back there. Last game we moved a player who had been playing forward back to D and he played very well. He is a good skater, fairly big guy, with a long reach and has pretty decent hockey sense. However, he has made it clear that he does not want to play back there in the future.

He believes that we should move a couple of other skaters back who are stronger skaters. I do not entirely disagree but the problem is that our strongest skaters are also our leading scorers. One is second in the league in scoring and the other is third. The one who is third is a great passer and has more assists than goals so he is a playmaker. He is also a small guy - about 5'4" and 135 lbs and I'm not sure that he is a great candidate to help move people away from the net or block shots.

In sum, there is an internal dispute brewing and someone suggested that we rotate someone into a D position every period. My thought was that it would be more helpful for guys to get used to playing together rather than having different bodies back there all the time, particularly if the plan remains to stay together as a team next season as well. Others have countered that "chemistry" isn't that important at this level but that the best skaters should be on D regardless of the effect that it may have on scoring. I can see both points of view. Do you really sacrifice your top 2 scorers to D? Any suggestions?


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