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06-07-2012, 01:21 PM
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tarheelhockey's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Triangle
Country: United States
Posts: 34,413
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Just a couple of little tips I've learned:

Appreciate your power to "influence" other players without actually engaging them. As someone said earlier, simply by being in the right spot and looking confident, you can change your opponent's willingness to challenge your area of the ice. Use this to your advantage; influence them into places you want them to go.

Also, while it's absolutely true that you should play the man and not the puck when defending the rush, you should also have shooting lanes in mind.

For example: say you're playing LD against a left-handed shooter. Probably 90% of low-level forwards are going to have the same idea: skate hard, cut to the middle above the hash marks and shoot. So, while you want to have your body between him and the net, it's also a good idea to have your stick trained on the location of his forehand shot, blocking his shooting lane. Make him believe that you'll deflect or steal the puck at that location, and you'll influence him to either get rid of the puck, or cut to the outside where he's little danger. If he's a right-handed shot it's even easier; just track him wide and present him with a nice open shooting lane at such a sharp angle that the goalie will have no problem eating it up. All you have to worry about is the pass and the backhand, which few recreational players can do effectively.

Summary: use your positioning to influence opponents, particularly to influence them into taking low-quality shots.

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