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04-27-2011, 04:52 PM
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Issue #1 is a really tricky one because you have to consider a lot of different elements.

Since you are in an inline league, I will assume you play 4 on 4 (my league sets up that way) which means you don't have a center to drop in and cover the front of the net for you. On my team, the lowest hockey IQ people are almost all forwards, so they rarely recognize these situations and drop in so I can take the winger on the boards.

This typically leads to my next line of thinking, skill of the two players involved. If the player coming from the side is a particularly good shooter and the player in front is not too talented with receiving passes or shooting, I will take a position between the two (still closer to the intended pass target) to ensure the shooter can't get better shooting position on my goalie, and any pass he attempts to make will have to be a saucer pass (which I can usually read and get a piece of). This gives the biggest chance of disrupting the play.

If it is non-check inline hockey, the best tips I can give you for defense is to just maintain body positioning between the player with the puck and the net and be patient for them to make an error. Going directly at a player rarely works out because you can't play the body, and it is difficult to make a quick stop and get back in the play.

And if someone tries to make a fancy move around you and threads the puck through your feet (going approximately the same speed), stay calm, block their path through for about 1 second to slow them down, keep your body between them and the puck, turn around, and play the puck to a safe location. Most refs give you a 1-2 second of interference time before giving any penalties. Just focus on the man first, the puck second. In that 1 second, you've already messed up that guys plan, and it gives both you and your d partner time to decide what to do. In the beginner leagues, there are a lot of guys playing below their level and they are used to players watching the puck and letting them walk around them when they try moves like this.

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