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04-30-2012, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by predfan24 View Post
Agreed on the experience part but not so sure about the pass backwards when in doubt part. Only pass backwards if you are SURE. That means picking your head up and making sure the man your passing too is open otherwise your creating a turnover while your team is all heading in the wrong direction. If in doubt keep the puck moving forward.

Watch good players you play with. Watch professional hockey and really keep an eye on positioning and breakouts. Read up on positioning and breakouts. Try to think the game one or two steps ahead of what is happening. Try to know your options with the puck before it even gets to you. Most beginners do not keep their head up. That is a huge issue. How are you going to know who is the right option if your head is buried into the ice?

As far as catching a pass cleanly that comes with practice. Remember to use soft hands not hard hands. Try to cradle the pass as it comes onto your stick.
I agree, but forcing the puck forward could be just as bad as passing it backward for a turnover. Something that I always tell people I play with that have trouble grasping the game, is to focus on their next move. One of the first things I tell them, is that most games are won in the zone five feet on either side of both blue lines. If they catch the pass on the half boards in the defensive zone, their only job is to get the puck out of the zone. The three options, skate it out, pass it to your center and out, or chip it off the glass and chase it down. If you catch the pass on a breakout in the neutral zone, and feel rushed, chipping it into the corner is never a bad idea. If people who were never taught the game just jump in after watching some NHL games, they will look like fools. You need to be able to simplify the game.

Pavel Datsyuk, for example, has the reputation of confusing other teams and being very fancy, but some of his nicest plays come from the simplest of moves. He is just so smooth that it looks so effortless. But he always gets the puck out of the zone, in the zone, and he can slow the game down for everyone and turn it into easy give-n-go plays. It's beautiful to watch when he's at his best, not because of how fancy he is, but how simple it is.

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