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01-22-2004, 09:43 AM
Joe Cole
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Montreal
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Sorry it's long....just wanna help!

I think you are better off starting your first season on D. If you understand how to position a rushing forward towards the boards and cut the passing lane, you have 75% of the game down. When you get the puck in the defensive end, look towards the wingers. If they are near the boards, fire along the boards with enough speed that if they become checked while the pass is coming, they can just chip it up into the neutral zone.

This is the most basic way to get the puck out of your zone. It isn't fancy, but it works.

As for puck release, the one thing I can say is that during the warm up, that is the differnce between the guy who score and those who fan. It seems that every player has a booming shot. But during the game, they seem to sputter and make little dribble shots.

Here is a simple stationary drill. Take a few pucks and stand at the blue line about 10 feet from the boards. Pass the puck off the side boards to your self with enough force. When you get the rebound pass from the boards, control the puck, settle it down quickly and fire it at the net. First wristers, then slap shots (but do not wind up past the waist). Release as fast as possible. Repetition.

For a drill on the move, skate in towards the net (a few feet to the left/right). Fire a low shot at the boards after one stride after the blue line. Catch the rebound pass and release as fast as possible at the net. Now try the other side of the net for you throw in pass.

These are drills that you can do at the out door rink, by yourself.

The 10lbs weight wrist exercise above is a great idea too.

And lastly.....regarding panic.... do all your skating with a puck. Always. Get used to the feeling of it on your blade. Always stickhandle ..left/right/left/right over and over, and vary the speed of the r/l motion, drop it to your skates and kick it back toi the stick. Even in skating drills, stop and go's, always with a puck. This is how you get used to the presence of the puck in your control.

As for dekes, this will come with confidence with the puck. Not everyone has the moves. Just protect the puck, this is the most important thing. Then think lateral movement. But it is not the end all....look at Reechi, the guy has never deked anyone or gone through the middle. He just drives to the outside.

We can't all be like Kovalev or Jagr.

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