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11-21-2010, 04:59 PM
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To echo what has been already mentioned....

1. Getting hacked at is the nature of playing infront of the net. If you don't like it, play in the open ice. It's also a good thing, because if the goalie is hitting you, he's not stopping the puck. If defenceman are coming after you, they're not pursuing the puck carrier. If you're on the PP, you've just turned a 5on4 into a 4on3.

You could also get more protective pads / a padded shirt. Most hockey pants sold today have spine protectors which are pads that extend above the normal height of the pant at your spine. While this may prevent a serious injury, it also gives defenceman something to jam their stick in to knock you off balance by pushing down it (they'll never get called for it), and at 6'7 that might be a problem for you. Another thing -- if your pants are getting pushed down, get suspenders. Also, make sure your cup is protecting what it needs to.

2. For positioning, you basically want to stand where the goalie would want to stand. Just on the outside of the crease, square to the shooter as if you were the guy trying to make the save.... because that means you're exactly where the goalie would want to be. To get a guage of just how much space you have, you can usually back into the goalie very slowly to get a feel of where he's standing, drive him nuts, and usually not get called. When battling with a defenceman, I personally try to get between him and the goalie, most beer leaguers wont go down to block a shot anyways.

3. If you're being pushed out, as others have reccomended, widen your stance and bend your knees. Remember that the shoulders are the widest part of the body, so ideally you want them infront of the goalie's face. No goalie is going to be looking over you, so get down as low as you're comfortable doing.

4. In terms of movement, you want to stay square to the shooter at all times. If someone on your team takes the puck below the goal line. You will usually be in a good spot to drop into the slot for a pass.

5. This may be a controversial topic, but if you get a serious whack like a cross check to the back of the neck, a really hard slash to the legs, or a big slew foot, going down isn't the worst thing in the world. Obviously don't stay down and milk it, get right back up, but sometimes the action (especially if it makes a lot of noise) is enough to draw the penalty. It'll keep both the goalies and players honest, because otherwise, if you do become really strong on your feet, they'll be able to get away with anything and not take penalties.

Last edited by seanlinden: 11-21-2010 at 05:54 PM.
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