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Tips on the Center Position

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Old
04-28-2008, 07:00 AM
  #1
BuddehJuS
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Tips on the Center Position

I play center for my beer league and I'm only in my second season and I'm just looking for some info how to actually play center. I'm not horrible on faceoffs but I really lack it in the positioning department and knowing what my responsibilities are. Any help would be appreciatted!

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04-29-2008, 01:40 PM
  #2
BuddehJuS
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bump...?

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04-29-2008, 02:46 PM
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I look at centre as the 3rd defensemen. Cover the front of your net if one of the D-men aren't there. Be the first forward back-checking back. When teams dump the puck in or your team is breaking out, skate back and curl in front of your goal or behind the goal and make it easy for your defense to make the first pass to you.

Going through the neutral zone, I usually advise kids to make smart head-man passes. It's certainly okay to criss-cross the ice to get open or skate with the puck, but make sure all your forwards aren't clogging up the same skating lane.

Anything goes in the offensive zone. You might be the big-man on the line, so you could set up in front of the net or set up on the half-boards. Anything.

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04-29-2008, 02:55 PM
  #4
AngryBoss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delorme View Post
I look at centre as the 3rd defensemen. Cover the front of your net if one of the D-men aren't there. Be the first forward back-checking back. When teams dump the puck in or your team is breaking out, skate back and curl in front of your goal or behind the goal and make it easy for your defense to make the first pass to you.

Going through the neutral zone, I usually advise kids to make smart head-man passes. It's certainly okay to criss-cross the ice to get open or skate with the puck, but make sure all your forwards aren't clogging up the same skating lane.

Anything goes in the offensive zone. You might be the big-man on the line, so you could set up in front of the net or set up on the half-boards. Anything.
Bang-on!

One thing I found so much better as a centre is that I could constantly curl and move around, never stopping. This helped me break out of my zone so much faster.
As a winger, I found I was doing a lot of stops and starts trying to chip pucks out when it came along my side of the boards.

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04-30-2008, 12:35 PM
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Still All In
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Just like poker players, everyone has a tell or habit that they do, and you're going to be all over the place and start to pick up these little things on peoples habits. I know its a rec league but you'll start to notice little habits (same move over and over, likes to pass to player x, only likes to shoot from forehand, etc) and learn to shut people down.

Good communication is key, make sure you're talking/know who/what/when/where around you. You're expected to be responsible on both ends of the ice. Clog passing lanes, help dig in the corners with your wingers and D men.

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04-30-2008, 01:58 PM
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WhipNash27
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If you ever play a game with 5 or 6 skaters, then being center SUCKS. I did it not long ago, I could hardly move by the end of the game. The position with the most skating required.

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04-30-2008, 02:24 PM
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Orthodox Caveman
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Delorme is spot on.


I prefer playing center cause you're always moving. That's was one thing I didn't like as a winger, especially in the defensive zone.

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04-30-2008, 02:59 PM
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Z-Diddy
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I play center...

I would say watch out for the puck bunnies...

Chicks love the centermen... if youknowwhatimsaying

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04-30-2008, 03:07 PM
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Ludicrous Speed
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Like others have said, stay moving.

In the offensive zone, think that you're on a bungee chord that is attached to the area right in front of the crease. Always be in motion, but know that that is where you are needed most, right in front.

On D, idk what to say because it has always just been like breathing for me. I guess always keep your head on a swivel and if there is an open man-- get on him, quick.

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04-30-2008, 03:44 PM
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PJ Wiggum
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One thing I like to do while in the defensive zone is to let the wingers cover the point and then just help wherever needed. So go in the corners and help the d-men, watch the extra man in front of the net, and make sure to help with transition by making decent passes to the wingers if needed and then get up the ice and be open for a return pass. A key to playing is to rove around your zone below the hashmarks and behind the net wherever there is an open man. In the neutral zone you should be open for a pass when breaking out and even be the guy to carry the puck into the zone if that's your thing. On the backcheck you should be first in the zone for the forwards. I've even had to play as the high man on some teams but mostly on offense its a free for all.

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04-30-2008, 04:04 PM
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BuddehJuS
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Good tips, so by all this I'm to wager that if their is a guy in front of our net, he is my responsibility?

The tips are great, keep em coming!

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04-30-2008, 04:32 PM
  #12
ToursLepantoVienna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddehJuS View Post
Good tips, so by all this I'm to wager that if their is a guy in front of our net, he is my responsibility?
Not necessarily. Your wingers should be covering the 2 opposing d-men, leaving you and your 2 d-men to cover their forwards. I always take the "open" man, tying up his stick since I'm too small to handle most opposing forwards physically. All is well until 1 of you gets beat, then it's a 3-on-2 or 2-on-1 in the slot - not good.

I'm usually quicker getting to loose pucks anywhere below the hash marks than my d-men, so I try to get to those and start the break with a pass to one of my wingers. I'll battle the opposing forward if he beats me to the puck, leaving the slot coverage solely to my d-men.

I think of center as the only position where the entire ice is your offensive and defensive responsibility. At beer league level, wingers don't normally go below the defensive hash marks, nor the d-men on offense. The center goes everywhere.

That's why, as a general rule, the best skaters and best conditioned players on the team are centers. The least skilled players should always be "hidden" on the wing, never at center or on defence.

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04-30-2008, 06:23 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcspence View Post

I think of center as the only position where the entire ice is your offensive and defensive responsibility.
This statement is key! If you are in your defensive zone and you are in front, say the puck goes into the corner and your defensemen is getting double teamed by the attacking team. (Remember, we teach players that the first guy in takes the body, second guy in takes the puck) So if your defensemen is get double teamed, you the center, needs to go into the corner and equal out the strength so you guy doesn't cough up the puck. If you get control of the puck in your defensive zone in the corner, alway exit the puck behind the net to the weak side.

Weak side: The side where the puck is not!

If you ever gain control of the puck on the side boards, try to exit the defensive zone, again on the weak side. To do this, make sure that you have the off side winger (the winger that is the furthest away from you) over load the zone on your side.

This will shorten the pass distance and reduce the interception of the puck. Plus, the winger overloading the zone can pull the attacking defensemen off the blue line.

Hope this helps.
Head coach

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05-06-2008, 08:35 PM
  #14
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I played a lot of center and I am 6'7.

Basically the key is to keep moving you have the most ice to cover.

As far as faceoffs go get as low as you can. Have both I of your hands gripped towards your body. The rest is just anticipation of when the puck drops. You can also protect the puck if you can pivot your foot and maybe kick it out if you can lift up the opposing centers stick.

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05-06-2008, 09:51 PM
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the_speedster
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I've played centre and coached for a bit.... Generally I break it down this way tot he kids I coach... playing centre ..SUCKS!

If you truly want to play it right accept that you are going to skate harder than anyone else on the team..

you will play BOTH ways .. meaning;

In the defensive you back up the D... IF your D is in the corner you have to make a judgement call.. If he's outnumbered you'd better have your but in there helping.. if he's not you can take his place backing up the other D but I usually advocate getting into the corner too. I coach the D to take the body (either knock your opponent the F out or press them against the wall.. the centre comes in, scoops the puck and starts the break out.

If you're markedly faster than the other wingers then try and skate it out but more than likely you should one-pass it out of the zone (off the boards or a headman pass to your wingers who should've read you and started skating to the red line by now)... then of course you've got to skate your butt off to join them on the attack and more than likely will be the forward down low as your wingers either skate at the other net or into the corner



ON OFFENSE.: Your wingers have to do a bit of work here (The lazy ******** They basically act like your D when the puck is in a corner (take the body) freeing you to take the puck (lor vice versa) once one of you has retrieved the puck then you should have two options.. pass to the low or high slot (other winger) or to the point to your Defense (who'd better know how to shoot)


When my centre has the puck in the offensive zone I usually teach him/her to cycle and use behind the net to buy his wingers and D a chance to move around to get open (this part takes practice) If chased back there a winger can cycle the puck with you by skating in concentric circles and repeatedly dropping the puck behind them into the corner leading to a quikc pass again to the defense while the "free winger" goes to the slot for a shot or sneaks behind the net to free you and the original winger to move down low..... takes a bit of practice



good luck and be sure to carbo-load

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Old
05-07-2008, 08:41 AM
  #16
WhipNash27
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If you're not in that good shape, playing center will get you in shape in no time . You skate more than any other position, but the bright side is that you tend to have much more control over the game.

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05-07-2008, 09:31 AM
  #17
Jarick
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Here's a good video on faceoffs. I watched it when I got word I was moving to center for a couple games, and I ended up winning about 90% of my draws that night. Granted it's beer league, but that's pretty good for someone who's never taken a draw before. My big tip for draws is to watch the puck, not the ice. Be sure to let your defense or wingers know who you're trying to win the puck to, and work out in advance with your wingers who's going to chase the puck if you lose the draw.

Defensively, you mainly want to cover the area below the faceoff dots, and especially between the faceoff dots and the net. Here's an example:



That area is critical. If there's a man who's not being covered in that area, it's your job to cover him. Otherwise, if the puck goes low, stay between the puck carrier and the slot to cut off any passes or rush in and provide support for the defenseman who's HOPEFULLY pressuring the forechecker. Once the puck is turned over, skate through the middle and make yourself a target for the defenseman or winger with the puck, don't just shoot up the ice hoping for a pass.

Offensively, it depends on what system you use. We typically have a triangle attack, meaning one forward attacks the puck, one provides support along the boards or in front of the net, and one forward stays a bit higher to get back on D or take a quick shot. Typically, in the offensive zone, forwards don't have sides or positions, we just cycle the puck and create scoring chances. If I'm playing with quick wingers, I'll be more aggressive and attack the net. If I have weak wingers, I'll stay higher because they won't get back on D as quickly as I would.

Overall, the center position requires the highest level of fitness and best judgment of all the skaters. So feel free to be creative offensively and smart defensively.

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Old
05-07-2008, 04:02 PM
  #18
WithOutPaperss
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Wow, this thread helps a lot. I can see a ton of things I'm doing wrong just by looking at these threads. Although my coaches weren't terrific...

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Old
05-08-2008, 12:28 AM
  #19
MG91
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Support is your main objective. support the D-men in the defensive zone and the for wards in the offensive zone. You also control the breakout and sort of have to follow the play to see where you should be. IMO the most important position because they could potentially control the game.

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