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10-21-2005, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BooBlancRouge
Have yet to read through this thread so forgive me if some of this stuff has been said.

Always keep the man in front of you. Sounds stupid but trust me, when he's behind you, you're done. This is so important one on one. Even in non-contact leagues, I like to simply stand the man up around the blue line. As a defenseman, you should just be worried about getting in his way. Don't hold him up or use your stick outside of tying up his own. If the ball gets by, that isn't your main long as your goalie/other defenseman have this taken care of, as they should.

First pass out of the zone is also very important. Unless you're catching the other team on a change, NEVER go for the pass up the middle (even here use discretion). 99 times out of a hundred I'm looking for my wingers to be on the boards between the hash marks and the blue line and hitting them on the tape. That or a bank off the boards.

In the offensive zone, treat the blue line (or red line if your league plays with a floating blue line like mine does) like you would a goal line. Do whatever's in your power to keep the ball in the zone. Don't shoot if you've got a guy two feet in front of you, but do shoot in traffic. I like to get a low hard slap pass on goal in hopes of a screen, deflection or rebound.

Finally, keep it simple. I see too many defensmen trying to be heros in the O-Zone, or taking themselves out of the play trying to deliver "the big hit". Play a smart, simple game and you've done your job.
Thanks for those tips. In the offensive zone, if I have an adversary two feet in front of me, I prefer to shoot the ball hard on the board so it goes deep in the zone. I don't still have the ability and confidence to play around with the ball while waiting to have a chance to pass to a teamate. In other words, it's better at the level I am to get rid of the ball before someone steals it away from me.

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