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11-24-2010, 12:45 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: high slot
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Originally Posted by Oilbleeder View Post
I'm a RWer, I shoot left and my skating is improving, but still pretty choppy.

1.) How do I improve my defensive positioning? I'm fairly bad two-way player and I'd like to improve it. I'm pretty bad on where to go when the opposition comes into our own zone, I'd like to know to get better.

2.) How to improve my cycling/cycling technique/boardwork. I'm not completely hideous at cycling(not as bad as my two-way play), but I'd like to get better. Any exercises?
Keeping it simple:

1) In your end, if the play is on the left side, you're in the high slot (hash marks), right defense has the low slot (front of the net). If the puck cycles to your side of the rink, you either drop to the right corner to precede or help your defenseman, or take the right boards by the hash marks. If the puck is banged around hard from the left side/corner to the right, proceed from the high slot to the right boards and intercept the puck for a pass out or clearing attempt. Slash any stray ankles if the ref isn't looking (I kid).

2) Imagine you're facing the boards, a foot away from it, and the puck is at your feet. For the opponent who's attacking you want to protect the puck first, then control it. First thing is to protect yourself. Hold your stick with two hands wide apart like you're going to cross-check someone, then put both hands on the glass. The opponent can't push you flat to the glass, your arms and stick are a buffer to give your body distance from the boards. You're protecting yourself now but not the puck. So, same position on the stick like you're going to cross-check, drop your left hand down to the boards, keep your right hand up on the glass or by the seam of glass/boards. You can play the puck with your stick and/or feet, and keep distance from the boards with your body. You want the puck against the boards, the blade of your stick near the puck, and your hips about 18"24" from the boards, using the shaft of your stick and arms to control that space. If you use one foot to press the puck up against the boards, spread your stance and keep your other foot a good distance apart so you don't go down. Kick the puck to the blade of your stick, and immediately clear/pass/whatever you're trying to do.

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