Two questions, well actually one question and one request:
1) At the face off must all players be stationary? example, say there is a face off after an icing, can the defender begin sprinting around his net to the far side to build up speed for a breakout play, or must he be still in one place until the puck drops?
2) If anyone wants to throw out some hints for taking face offs, preferably tips for winning them , that'd be great.
I'm not sure about the players being in motion, its never come up in one of my games.
As far as winning goes, First I make sure I know what I'm going to do before I'm in the circle. That means check out where your teammates are positioned, maybe look for a weak match up on one side. Then basically I just key into the ref's movements, and let instinct and reaction take over.
If I'm having trouble reading when the puck is dropped or if I don't like my options on the draw, (Bad match ups, or weak defensive pair, or whatever) I will just tie up the other centers stick and use my feet to move the puck, or in some cases just barrel through with it.
Actually, win or lose, always tie up the other center.
Be aware of everything around you, as nexus mentioned. Look at the ref, learn his tendencies, watch the opposing center, etc. Make sure the other guy isn't cheating, and if he is, call his ass out on it.
Depending on the situation, the circle the draw takes place in, and the score, you want to do different "forms" of winning the draw.
As a centerman there are many ways to win a draw : tying up the stick and kicking the puck to a teammate, holding the centreman off the draw and pushing him away while the winger gather the puck or just winning the draw clean. One thing that I find that most players overlook this small but important rule.
"When getting set for the draw its the home team's player that gets set last" Therefore, you let the visiting player get set first then you take a quick look around you to see where all your players are positionned then take the draw. If you're the visiting player, in this case you're at a small disadvantage.
Another thing I've observed over the years is that centremans at the lower levels don't keep their eyes on the puck. For example, when i'm ready to take the draw i have my eyes on the linesman's hand. The instant that hand moves, i start to move my stick. Some players stare for whatever reason stare at the face-off dot waiting for the puck to drop into view. If you we're looking at the hand (not the dot) you would already be moving you're stick and have dropped your reaction time significantly. Just look at any NHL game, all the players are looking at the hand of the linesman, not the face off dot before the puck is dropped.
Other tips is to have good balance on your skates, a low center of gravity and a strong stick.
As a winger just know that you are supposed to stay still. However, once the ref's hand begins to move is when you are allowed to move (not when the puck is dropped). Therefore, stare at his hand and as soon as it begins to move take off. This will get you about an extra second.
As a center, my motto is if you ain't cheatin you ain't tryin. Of course don't' cheat in all aspects of the game, but as a center the name of the game is to cheat as much as the ref will let you. Turn your body as much as you can, it's a much easier way to win draws. Of course if the ref calls you out on it then try to take that draw straight.
Another thing I found is watch the ref's hand, same as a winger, when the hand moves you can move your body as well as it's a good time to start trying to win the draw.
Of course some refs suck and they limp wrist the drop, but that's another story.
Also a good thing to do is never win the puck towards your goalie. I've had centers do this and sometimes when you're not expecting or the goalie isn't really expecting it, it can lead to a rebound for a goal or a flutter win that the defenseman can't handle for a turnover in front of the goalie. I've seen this happen quite a few times. Always try to win it to the boards in the defensive zone.
How about tips for - if you're a winger, and your center passes the puck to you, or rather your feet. I find in the split second it takes to move that puck from your feet to your stick, the other winger has taken advantage.
Does anyone have particular ways of dealing with this without losing it?
I was thinking of perhaps moving backwards as the puck is dropped so I'm in a better receiving position (but less to rush the other team's defence).
Sometimes I gain control of the puck, but am not fast enough to sneak past the other forward/D.
So apart from simply being faster, any strategies?!
If your on the wing and he wins the puck at you than you should be able to chip it out atleast if your at a actual faceoff circle and not just a dot. but if you still than try to kick it out or if its to fast jus direct it somewhere with the skate sometimes you can suprise the other guy with that and get control of the and blow by the defense.
i dont know how, its just an instinct but i win almost all of my draws, dont mean to gloat...usually i win them without tying the other guy up or anything but just win them cleanly
ive never actually thought about what i do but i can retrace my steps right now
im right handed, so when the ref is on my right, i grab my stick as if i was cross checking a guy, to get more leverage for my backhand..when he's on my left i go forehand and try to face the ref as much as i can get away with...i also look at the refs hand
what i usually do is the second the ref drops it i move my stick forward a lot, fully extend my arms to get the most force and just bring it back as hard and fast as i can, and dont direct the puck through your legs, push it to one side
As the center, get low and move your hands down on the stick. This will give you more strength lower to pull the puck back. As far as timing, just watch the refs hand. As soon as he moves to drop the puck sweep your stick forward and pull back. The puck will be down by the time you pull back so just work on getting your stick out and pulling it back as quickly as possible once the ref moves his hand.
As a winger in the offensive zone, get ready to move and get open once the ref starts to drop the puck. That burst off the face-off will get you the puck more than anything else.
In the defensive zone, burst off the line as soon as the ref moves his hand as well. Use your own judgment obviously, but generally you want to get to the point to cover the defensemen as soon as possible.