Switching from Forward to Defense
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10-31-2011, 01:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Owen Sound
Originally Posted by
From what I have personally noticed, people who move to play defense for the first time either like it or never want to play the position again. There seems to be no middle ground.
Even the conversations and talk is so much different on the far end of the bench.
The camaraderie is much better than when you are sitting on the other side with your fellow forwards. I think it's because of the bonding with your defensive partner as opposed to a forward line made of up 3 players.
Definitely. Plus in lower levels that have high scoring the forwards are typically pretty lazy defensively and defensemen have to do a lion's share of the work in 2.5 zones, and get all the criticism when you get scored on... I had the same defence partner for 3 seasons in Midget Houseleague and we grew really close that way. By the end of the first season we didn't need to say anything to each other on the ice because we knew what the other was doing pretty much all the time.
Being just a pairing and getting to play lots is a really great experience. My Juvenile (18 year old) season I had a 15 year old defence partner and it was a lot of fun being able to show him the ropes and ease a new guy into the league.
Also CornKicker as for your shot, definitely try to do more than slap shots from the point. Yeah they're fun and they hit hard, but as mentioned before there's the safety thing. Plus, I've found in my experience that only the guys with the best slap shots can get them off consistently. Too much risk of it missing or ending up in someone's shin.
My advice would be to pick safer options more often than not if you want consistent effectiveness. When you get the puck at the point, skate a little and buy time for yourself. Look for open players... Maybe your d partner. If there's a winger bearing down on you, fire the puck into one of the corners, or if there's a lane, take a quick wrist shot on net. I find the shots that are about 3-8 inches off the ice are the most effective - they often get deflected and can be tipped by your own forwards.
I was a stay at home D, so my mindset was always do the safest play, so it may not work for you. But dumping the puck into the corners and letting your forwards cycle down low and work to the net can be a great strategy since it can open up the point later for a slap shot or wear down the opponents a lot for easy goals.
Also, if you for whatever reason lose the puck and your team has to clear the zone, fire the damn thing back in there instead of holding onto it - 9/10 times it ends up in a turnover otherwise.
In the defensive end, most of the best tips have been covered, then it's really just up to you. If Im 1v1 down low, I always leave the guy and go back to the front of my net if he crosses to my partner's side of the ice, but make sure you communicate that with your partner and see if it's okay. If you have a plan, it'll be instinctive and you can cover your weak areas regardless of the situation.
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