Small, but big tips thread
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07-10-2011, 11:06 PM
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: Jun 2006
As it was referenced, I just want to reiterate it. Puck movement is key as well. The teams that I coach, I always preach about quick, smart puck movement especially if you're on a lower skilled team. If you wait until a guy is in your kitchen, you have a better chance of burning the dinner.
I think the thought process is, "the longer I wait, the closer this guy will get to me and the less chance he has checking my target" but in actuality you really jeopardize the pass you're making all together. Generally speaking, I'm a fan of "if the pass is there, move it" and then get into open space and you'll get it back. Passing opens up holes in defenses, holding the puck leads to be trapped or gaining "useless ice" which again leads to being trapped.
I tell my less experienced defensemen sometimes to watch their stick positioning while back skating. If you leave your stick hanging way out there like a fishing pole, you allow the attacking forward to understand the extent of your abilities. He can keep the puck just out of your reach (which cause many new d-men to lunge for it, which means you're toast all together). Or even worse, he can put it between you and your stick which is very difficult for a newbie to defend against (more so in a non-contact league).
I tell them to pull the hand on the butt-end back a bit, raise the elbow a bit and keep your stick a bit more in front of your skates as opposed to dangling way out there. The attacker will feel he has more room, get closer to you and then you just simply poke it away without him even realizing you were positioned to do so.
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