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Transitioning from offense to defense tips

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05-20-2009, 06:40 AM
  #1
JLHockeyKnight
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Transitioning from offense to defense tips

So I recently started playing defense for my ice hockey team because we needed some, I volunteered as I've played defense in open hockey but not more than a game or 2 in real games. Our team is horrible (1-6) and only got our first win last night. Thing is we won 7-6, but we gave up 3 goals in a span of 10 minutes from the first period and into the 2nd, and they were all my fault.

Any tips for defense other than the basics? I try to always force them to the outside, keep clear of screening the goalie, and will always play the body if they try to cut to the inside. I also always go hard to the boards and I know I did a good job keeping my head up for the breakout pass because my team kept commenting on it.

Also, any tips on learning how to stop when you're skating backwards?

Thanks.

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05-20-2009, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by JLHockeyKnight View Post
So I recently started playing defense for my ice hockey team because we needed some, I volunteered as I've played defense in open hockey but not more than a game or 2 in real games. Our team is horrible (1-6) and only got our first win last night. Thing is we won 7-6, but we gave up 3 goals in a span of 10 minutes from the first period and into the 2nd, and they were all my fault.

Any tips for defense other than the basics? I try to always force them to the outside, keep clear of screening the goalie, and will always play the body if they try to cut to the inside. I also always go hard to the boards and I know I did a good job keeping my head up for the breakout pass because my team kept commenting on it.

Also, any tips on learning how to stop when you're skating backwards?

Thanks.
You have to develop the ability to read the play and that only comes from experience. Remember, make the puck handler make the first move (from the Mighty Ducks movie but it is very true). Also, don't get caught pinching in a rush and be aware of your fellow defenseman at all times. If you can't work together with him, you'll both fail.

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05-20-2009, 07:34 AM
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JLHockeyKnight
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Originally Posted by MistaWrista View Post
You have to develop the ability to read the play and that only comes from experience. Remember, make the puck handler make the first move (from the Mighty Ducks movie but it is very true). Also, don't get caught pinching in a rush and be aware of your fellow defenseman at all times. If you can't work together with him, you'll both fail.
Thanks. Actually I work really well with my partner so when I've been playing I've been asking when our captain comes up with lines that he keeps me with him. Also, I always play on the blue line but am never hestitant to start dropping back. I think I may have pinched once in the entire game last night. I let me defensive partner do the pinching if necessary cause he's faster. If there's one thing I learned from playing defense in NHL 09, there's no shame in not pinching.

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05-20-2009, 08:39 AM
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My biggest thing when I started playing defense was knowing where I was. I would think I was close to the net but I soon realized I wasnt and got burnt by the guy with the puck, so a quick look behind the back (when safe) is a good thing to do. Work on your transitions from forwards/backwards skating.

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05-20-2009, 09:11 AM
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You'll want to work on your backwards crossovers too. If you can't do backwards crossovers well then you'll never be able to keep up with a forward's lateral movements.

In the warmup for your next game see if you can pull a buddy over to help you with this. Have him fake coming inside and then cut outside to try to go around you. You'll need good backwards crossovers to keep up with him as he cuts inside, and when he's ready to cut outside you'll need to make a sharp turn and keep doing backwards crossovers in the other direction. If you stutter for a second you'll need to transition to forward skating quickly and gun it, since he'll be past you!

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05-20-2009, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by noobman View Post
You'll want to work on your backwards crossovers too. If you can't do backwards crossovers well then you'll never be able to keep up with a forward's lateral movements.

In the warmup for your next game see if you can pull a buddy over to help you with this. Have him fake coming inside and then cut outside to try to go around you. You'll need good backwards crossovers to keep up with him as he cuts inside, and when he's ready to cut outside you'll need to make a sharp turn and keep doing backwards crossovers in the other direction. If you stutter for a second you'll need to transition to forward skating quickly and gun it, since he'll be past you!
You make a good point. The proper way to do it is to cross under, bring the outside foot almost back in behind, not in front. Sorry if that's not a good description though.

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05-20-2009, 10:42 AM
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You said your team gave up 3 quick goals and they were all your fault. How did you come to this conclusion? We need to know what you are having trouble with rather than what you do well to be able to help. Give us a quick run down of the 3 goals and why you feel they were your fault?

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05-20-2009, 10:46 AM
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Keep your head up in your zone and always know what your going to do with the puck before you get it as you usually won't have alot of time before someone is on you.

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05-20-2009, 01:25 PM
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You said your team gave up 3 quick goals and they were all your fault. How did you come to this conclusion? We need to know what you are having trouble with rather than what you do well to be able to help. Give us a quick run down of the 3 goals and why you feel they were your fault?
1. Puck was bouncing around in front. There were 4 guys pressuring and the offense didn't come and assist. I picked up a guy in front, but another guy came wide, when the puck squirted over to him he had an open net.

2. I was behind the net, I went to wrap the puck left around the boards to break out, fanned completely, got a piece of it that went to the left faceoff dot...right to an opposing player. I tried to block it but it got by me and the goalie.

3. Third goal I didn't step up properly in a 1 on 1. The guy cut left and I stumbled, I went to try to stick lift and missed completely, and he scored. I stumbled around 10 feet in front of the net.

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05-20-2009, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JLHockeyKnight View Post
1. Puck was bouncing around in front. There were 4 guys pressuring and the offense didn't come and assist. I picked up a guy in front, but another guy came wide, when the puck squirted over to him he had an open net.

2. I was behind the net, I went to wrap the puck left around the boards to break out, fanned completely, got a piece of it that went to the left faceoff dot...right to an opposing player. I tried to block it but it got by me and the goalie.

3. Third goal I didn't step up properly in a 1 on 1. The guy cut left and I stumbled, I went to try to stick lift and missed completely, and he scored. I stumbled around 10 feet in front of the net.
First goal's not your fault, it's the offensive players faults. Second is just bad luck, you can just keep working on your stick handling and puck clearing so you don't shank clearing attempts. Third goal is your fault, but you just need to make sure your skating is like second nature (like walking) so that you don't stumble at key times. I don't really think that any of these goals were due to a lack of hockey knowledge per se, but were more like fundamental miscues, which can only be improved by working on those skills using repeititon.

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05-20-2009, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLHockeyKnight View Post
1. Puck was bouncing around in front. There were 4 guys pressuring and the offense didn't come and assist. I picked up a guy in front, but another guy came wide, when the puck squirted over to him he had an open net.
You did your job. Unless your goalie tells you otherwise, the rule is to give him the shot and take away the passing option.


Quote:
2. I was behind the net, I went to wrap the puck left around the boards to break out, fanned completely, got a piece of it that went to the left faceoff dot...right to an opposing player. I tried to block it but it got by me and the goalie.
Well, that's your fault, but there's not much you could do there. When in doubt drive it hard up the boards.

Quote:
3. Third goal I didn't step up properly in a 1 on 1. The guy cut left and I stumbled, I went to try to stick lift and missed completely, and he scored. I stumbled around 10 feet in front of the net.
That will come with practice. I have a fairly long reach so I like to keep my elbows tucked back a bit on the 1 v 1... the forward always thinks he has a little more room than he does, and is in for a shock when I stick my arm out and poke the puck away!

Stopping backwards is actually a bit easier than stopping forward. As far as I know you can't do a "hockey stop" while going backwards. Do you remember the pizza stop? You know... where you're skating forward and you point both of your toes together inward? Well, you do the opposite of that going backwards.

Alternatively, you could do a T stop going backward. If you're going backwards to forwards use the "reverse pizza" stop, and if you need to stop. Sorry if this makes no sense... it's hard to explain w/o pics!


Last edited by noobman: 05-20-2009 at 03:46 PM.
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05-20-2009, 03:50 PM
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Johnny Law
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Not going to repeat what other guys already said but I'd add that you will need to learn how to quickly set your offensive guys up when you regain control.

I remember switching and I thought the most difficult part was once you got it back and wanted to break out when no one was obviously open. It takes practice to know where to place the puck so only your teammates can get it.

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05-20-2009, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLHockeyKnight View Post

3. Third goal I didn't step up properly in a 1 on 1. The guy cut left and I stumbled, I went to try to stick lift and missed completely, and he scored. I stumbled around 10 feet in front of the net.
A good 1v1 tip that was passed along to me while I was switching between forward and defense, is if you can keep your outside shoulder lined up with the offensive players inside shoulder and keep yourself between the goalie and the offensive player, it keeps you in a relatively decent defensive position.

Edit to add to control the gap between yourself and the offensive player no longer than a stick length.

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05-20-2009, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MistaWrista View Post
be aware of your fellow defenseman at all times.
That should go for your center as well. A responsible center will help you out in the defensive zone, and will cover for you if you pinch in. Make sure you develop solid communication with your center(s) so everyone knows where they need to be.

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05-20-2009, 04:59 PM
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Gap control is key. Practice your T pushes (if your not sure what they are i can find a video and show you). A little something And when they are skating down the wing or out from the corner looking for a pass i just place your stick right infront of theirs becareful about that though cause if they are shooting it can cause alot of trouble, but you deflect alot of passes.

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05-20-2009, 06:04 PM
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Don't be afraid to utilize the poke check, a good way to keep attacking players at bay is to keep the upper arm bent and tucked, this way the forward doesn't know what your full extension is and they have to be a little more passive or you can poke check it away.

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05-20-2009, 06:19 PM
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I suck at playing defense and any advice I would give would be bad probably. The only one I remember is "when in doubt get it out" meaning if you are not sure what the play is make a good clear and be strong on the puck doing it.

The other thing I have heard a lot is "The boards are your friends" meaning you don't have to always make a play to a team mate, sometimes less is more and making a safe play up the boards is an okay thing to do.

Other than, which was stating the obvious to begin with, you probably know more than me. I'm a defensive forward type with w heavy shot ... would probably be a goon in the pros.

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05-21-2009, 12:11 PM
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I relate one on ones in hockey the same way as I approached them defensively in football. You have to maintain a comfort zone between you and the guy coming in on you, if he gets too close to you (invading your space) before you are ready to step up he has you beat. Keep about a sticks length between you and the guy coming in so you can react to which way he goes.

Of course you also have to have in your inner mind an idea as to when you have to step up and take him so that you do not back in on your goalie. Give a cushion, then step up and take the guy at some point in time.

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05-21-2009, 01:13 PM
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One last thing... don't be afraid to make mistakes.

I started playing D randomly in a beer league b/c we'd always have five guys trying to play offense and then wind up with 3 on 0s going the other way. The toughest thing to do, IMO, is to keep yourself aware of your position on the ice while constantly focusing on the puck carrier and any available pass recipients.

When I first started I actually backed right into the goalie!

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05-21-2009, 03:07 PM
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I relate one on ones in hockey the same way as I approached them defensively in football. You have to maintain a comfort zone between you and the guy coming in on you, if he gets too close to you (invading your space) before you are ready to step up he has you beat. Keep about a sticks length between you and the guy coming in so you can react to which way he goes.

Of course you also have to have in your inner mind an idea as to when you have to step up and take him so that you do not back in on your goalie. Give a cushion, then step up and take the guy at some point in time.

... and watch his jersey crest especially in a noncontact toe drag league. he can't go anywhere without the puck if you've stopped his forward progress by forcing him to skate through your body.

Of course this is easier said than doing it. I suck at playing defense but I have good advice at least haha.

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05-31-2009, 12:35 AM
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Rule of the Road for playing defense!

Here are a couple of "Rules of the road to playing defense"

1. Avoid the check.
2. Get into the corner and get out.
3. Exit the defensive zone on the weak side.
4. Never skate the puck out of the zone...pass it out of the zone!
5. Mirror your partner's move.
6. Always puck support for your partner.
7. Move the player to the outside for the bad angle shot.
8. Control the gap at the blue line.
9. High off the glass when Icing the Puck.
10. Don't screen the goalie.
11. Clear space out front so the goalie can see.
12. Don't watch the goalie freeze the puck, control the opponent's stick.
13. Clear rebounds to the corner.
14. Proper face off alignment in your zone.
15. When puck is in the NZ, skate backwards with the puck to open up time and space.
16. Always "D to D" passing...always!
17. While in the attacking zone, stand three feet into the zone.
18. If puck is rimming around the boards...go pinch and push it back!
19. 5 on 5 in the Attacking zone, dump it behind the net.
20. 5 on 4 advantage...shoot on net until you are blue in the face.
21. Toe drag towards center to get the clean shot off!
22. Switch to your off wing on power plays.
23. Rag the puck on delayed penalies to get the goalie off for the 6th attacker.
24. Rag the puck as long as you can when you are shorthanded, then ice the puck.
25. Use the reflection of the glass to see who's coming behind you.
26. Watch chest of the opponent...not the fancy stick work.

Now, here are some drills for you to use for agility.

Drill #1: One way circle drills. Which means, you skate around a face off circle but you can only face down ice when you skate around. example: If you look at it like a big face off circle, and you are skating counter-clock wise around the circle, when you get to the top of the circle, you pivot and skate backwards around the other side of the circle. When you get to the bottom of the circle, you step out and turn forwards, skting up the circle. Once you have the pivot down...do it with a puck.

Drill #2: Same thing but this time, make the circle tighter. Say around a face off dots. If you have a curling bulleye...this works better. I just want to force you to do this quick front to back and back to front transition. This is key to your success.

Once you have this down...do it with a puck.

If you have any more questions and you want help...PM me!

Head coach

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05-31-2009, 11:47 AM
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^^ Great Tips!!!!!!

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05-31-2009, 12:39 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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nahh you guys got it all wrong .... you duct tape one of these to the shaft of your stick and the rest is self explanatory.

http://www.tactical-life.com/online/...7/12/talon.jpg



http://technabob.com/blog/wp-content...03/net_gun.jpg


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05-31-2009, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post


What's up with this? Is this a guy from North Korea lighting this thing off? It must be what they use when people don't Goose step correctly!

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05-31-2009, 01:50 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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not sure but it will put an end to a 3 on 1 in a hurry.

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