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How to play shutdown defense

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Old
12-28-2009, 02:58 PM
  #1
BostonRic
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How to play shutdown defense

I'm a converted defenseman and have recently had some issues with coverage in my own zone. Any insights or advice would be helpful.

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12-28-2009, 03:10 PM
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Like we all learned in Mighty Ducks 3, let the forward make the first move.

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12-28-2009, 03:17 PM
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Jarick
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I converted to D this summer and I love it. You get to control the flow of the game and get more ice time. I've even been a plus player every game this year (and we're only a .500 team).

The #1 thing is to keep the puck to the outside and not let guys camp in the crease. If the puck gets below the faceoff dots on my side, I will attack the puck carrier and force him to take a bad shot, make a bad pass, or try and strip him of the puck. Otherwise I'm making sure guys aren't hanging around in front of my goalie.

On 2-on-1's, I stay between them and take away the pass (let the goalie see the puck). On 1-on-1's, I stay in front of the skater, wait until he tries to go around me, then poke check it off his stick (no check league, and it works 9 times out of 10).

Bottom line, keep them outside the slot, communicate with your partner, turn the puck up ice. If you played forward, you know what they want to do, make them think they can do it, then shut em down!

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12-28-2009, 04:06 PM
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Ani simov mal
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Watch the waist.

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12-28-2009, 07:00 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonRic View Post
I'm a converted defenseman and have recently had some issues with coverage in my own zone. Any insights or advice would be helpful.
I also converted from forward to defense this past summer, it took most of the summer to adjust and I am still learning which was why I switched. I have played forward for 35 years or so and needed a change and really that was the only reason.

I get one to three goals per game because I shoot better than most people which makes that aspect fun still.

Reading the play and being relied on to solidly carry the puck out of our end is really what I like about it. breaking up plays has always been fun since I was a defensive forward anyway and did a lot of forechecking and puck stealing.

I use a long stick .... well not too long for me but longer than most other peoples.

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12-28-2009, 07:11 PM
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ArGarBarGar
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One on one: watch the waist, keep your stick in front, and try to keep the puck-carrier to the outside.

Two on one: play the pass, but take away space from the puck-carrier so he is at least partially obstructed.

Defensive zone: Keep to your side of the ice. Lets say you are the left defenseman. If the puck is on the left side, focus on the winger on that side and stay between him and the goal. If on the opposite side, keep to the front and make sure that the center is aware of where the extra forward is so he can provide coverage

Offensive zone: Don't pinch unless you know you can keep the puck in the zone, and if the puck is on the opposite side then hang back a little bit so that if they pinch and get caught you are in a position to respond.

Just keep it simple, and when you get used to it you will be able to play more advanced defense as the time goes on.

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12-28-2009, 07:53 PM
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I'm not the kind of player you'd want to model your defensive play after, but I think I do an OK job.


I make it my duty to keep the wingers out of the slot. Defense is really a read and react type of position. You probably don't want to make the first move unless you see a very good hitting/pokecheck opportunity. I like to carry my stick with my elbows tucked back while skating backwards, because it conceals the full length of my reach.


I have no shot whatsoever, so my job in the offensive zone is usually to receive the pass as a last resort, then dish it back to someone else.

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12-28-2009, 08:05 PM
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Any chance you get keep on working on your backwards skating. Maybe get your steel pro'd to the heel.

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12-28-2009, 10:44 PM
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Ragss
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Originally Posted by Anisimov View Post
Watch the waist.


haha I was wondering about this today. I'm a fairly new player, but have been goaltending most of the time lately so today in a rec game I couldn't remember what I was supposed to look at as a defenseman...so I just did what I do as a goalie and stared at the puck which never worked.

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12-28-2009, 11:49 PM
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Sens16
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Back when I played high school hockey I would play as a forward but in tight situations the coach would throw me out on d since he would say I had a good sense on what to do. Couple big things I learned was always mirror the puck with your stick, stay in you position like if your a left defenceman or right defenceman, and if the puck goes behind the net protect it at all costs don't follow them behind the net watch for the center ice pass and block the forward's shooting lane. Hopefully that helps you out.

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12-30-2009, 05:14 PM
  #11
SERE 24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaBacon View Post
Like we all learned in Mighty Ducks 3, let the forward make the first move.
MAKE the forward make the first move. If you just keep backing up waiting for it you're going to get beat.

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12-30-2009, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Kovalchkin71 View Post
MAKE the forward make the first move. If you just keep backing up waiting for it you're going to get beat.
How can you get beat if he doesnt make a move?

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12-30-2009, 05:31 PM
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SERE 24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaBacon View Post
How can you get beat if he doesnt make a move?
He'll just shoot past you or pass while you're waiting for him to do something? Obviously if you know what you're doing this is all moot but all I meant is that if you're not sure what you're supposed to do, backing up waiting for the forward to do something isn't gonna work very well.

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12-30-2009, 05:35 PM
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*disclaimer- I dont play D, i learned that from Mighty Ducks 3*

My experience from backchecking is i would perfer him to not make a move. I can seperate him from the puck with my body/stick or just get infront of the shot if he isnt doing much.

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12-30-2009, 05:35 PM
  #15
vivianmb
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DON'T LUNGE at the puck.
keep your feet moving.

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12-31-2009, 06:29 PM
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My tips are...

1-"Look at the waist" when challenged 1 on 1. This has been stated several times, but it is important. He is not going anywhere without his belly button so ignore the 19 headfakes, the slick stick handling, his "fake look" to the winger and watch his belt. Where it goes, he goes!

2-"Cheat to the forehand" when challenged one on one by a player coming up the middle. Make the forward go where you want him to. I am a big and surprisingly fast for a big player, which makes me a very good defensivly! (I also have zero offensive vision and can't stickhandle just in case anyone thought I am bragging about my rec hockey prowess). As a big and fast player, I know that I am fast enough not to be taken wide, and those few jack rabbits who are faster, still will not escape my reach...
Anyways...my point on cheating to the forehand is this. He's not getting around me with the puck, so I'll cheat to the forehand and make him think his best option is to go around me on his backhand side. I know he wont be able to cut to the net, leaving his only option a backhand shot, or a "curl and pass". Just be careful not to cheat so much that he can get around you. You have to have the wheels to back it up.

3-"Cheat to the centre" when challenged one on one by a player coming down the wing.
this will force him WIDER, rather then him cutting back into the slot. Again, only cheat as much as your speed allows. And if you are lucky enough to force him wide while also force him to his backhand he might as well pack it in for the night.
Forwards/coaches keep this in mind as you decide to have a left handed shot playing the right wing and vice versa. Playing the offwing makes the onetimer a posibilty, but makes things near impossible if you like to challenge dmen 1 on 1.

4- "Meet him at the post"- Does he have a step on you? No worrys, meet him at the post. you KNOW he is going to cut to the net, so don't race to where he is, race to where he will be! Draw a map of the hockey rink. Put him at the boards, and you closer to centre ice while both standing on the blueline. Measure the distance he has to go, and the distance you have to go. You have a much shorter distance, so make the most of it and head straight to the post (keeping yourself in the passing lane of course). your job is to keep him from passing and to keep him from cutting past the post and in front. All you leave him is a full speed bad angle shot on the fly....if your goalie has faith in you he can challenge knowing the forward can't deck or pass.

5-"Never chase a player behind the net"- You'll never catch him...cut through the crease and meet him on the otherside! Boom!!...He can't come out front and you are in the passing lane! This is the number one mistake I see new dmen make chasing the forward behind the net who simply curls or passes back out in front giving you a great view as you stand behind the net and watch the puck cross the goal line.

6-"Talk with your goalie!" I know, goalies are different cats and aren't the best conversationalists, but let him know you will play the pass on the 2 on 1 and will meet someone testing you wide at the post preventing him from cutting in front.
Also talk during the game. Let him know when someone sneaks into Gretzky's office, and let him know where the rebounds and deflections go. "My Corner" "Far Corner" "straight out". The puck ricochets like crazy...just because u see it doesnt mean he does.

7- "Leave something in the tank" i know "i still have gas left in the tank" isn't a good sound bite in the post game interview, BUT as a dman, you always have to have that Emergency Wartime Power if you get pinned in your zone. Give 95% and save the other 5 until you really need it. Keep your shifts short as well. A good dman corp realizes that 30, 1 minute long shifts is EXACTLY the same amount of icetime as 15, 2 minute long shifts.

8-"Be safe" when in doubt, dump it out. Off the boards, off the glass, ice it, over the boards...all of those are far better options then throwing a pass up the middle and having it picked off. Sure the 130lb fowrard may throw his hands as he stands all by himslef at the far blueline. But it's better that he is upset when you safely chip it off the glass and into the neutral zone, then having your whole team pissed because your attempted a 130ft pass through a set of legs, over one stick and under another got picked off and quicky buldged your own twine.

9-"Look and Think" keep your head on a swivel and make a conscious effort to remember where your teammates and your opponents are and are going.

10-"***** or get off the pot" when blocking shots....either block it or get out of the way!

11-"Don't fight in front of the net on the PK" If you can't clear him from the crease, you are just putting two bodies infront of your goalie while leaving the entire side open for cross ice passes. Don't let him get the rebound, but dont fight him for position.

12-"Don't trust a forwad" They are all self absorbed playboys who get all the credit while you do all the hard work! Everyone knows that defense wins hockey games!!

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Old
12-31-2009, 06:38 PM
  #17
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Watch all the Mighty Ducks films, then watch Slapshots 1 and 2 and you're perfect for any position.

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01-07-2010, 02:36 AM
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"12-"Don't trust a forwad" They are all self absorbed playboys who get all the credit while you do all the hard work! Everyone knows that defense wins hockey games!!"


hahahahaha so true

great tips, from one D-man ( & sometime forward ) to another

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01-07-2010, 07:50 AM
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Marotte Marauder
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Great post by ekcut!

I'll add my 2 cents: when facing a forward 1 on 1, extend your stick a bit but leave some extension in the tank. In other words make it "look" like your stick is extended but as he comes a little too close, you have enough additional extension to poke check the puck. Very subtle, very effective.

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01-07-2010, 11:35 AM
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Jarick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekcut View Post
My tips are...

1-"Look at the waist"

2-"Cheat to the forehand"

3-"Cheat to the centre"

4- "Meet him at the post"

5-"Never chase a player behind the net"

8-"Be safe" when in doubt, dump it out.

9-"Look and Think"

10-"***** or get off the pot" when blocking shots
Great post, I try and do all those things, half of them I don't even think about it.

The trick of keeping your elbow tucked to mask the length of your stick is good, as is putting your stick out and directing him where you want to go with it. Especially when you cut off his forehand shot (not many beer leaguers can rip a backhand from 50 feet out hard enough to beat a goalie).

I will say if a guy has a step on me, I just try and cut off his lane by turning around and skating to cut him off at the middle.

And yep, if all my guys are out of position and I have no target, I flip the puck up and out of the zone or chip it off the glass. I'll take an icing and change rather than getting stuck in our end for two minutes.

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Old
01-08-2010, 12:28 PM
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Gap Control and minimize crossovers.

One thing we have been trying to teach our minor hockey team is gap control. Knowing/deciding when to attack the forward before being backed up on top of your goalie. I would rather see them attack and miss the puck/player than for the forward to use the D man as a screen.

On a 1 on 1 coming down the boards, his inside should and your outside shoulder should be lined up. You can easily force the forward to the outside as well as have an advantage when you transition from forward skating to backward skating. Along with high stick hand elbow (helps in surprising the forward with a poke check).

One issue we see in young kids is that they have been taught while skating backwards to keep the off stick hand out and palm facing up. IMO this causes an imbalance. I taught our team to put the thumb on their chest. Keeps everything centered over the skates and allows for an explosive movement if you have to direct someone into the boards.

Crossovers. In minor hockey it is emphasized too much. Great to initially teach, but how many D have been caught up in their own feet while being beat to the outside. IMO Lidstrom is a fantastic player to watch, rarely does he cross his feet over, but they are always moving.

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01-08-2010, 12:55 PM
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TheSandman
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On 1v1s, I was taught to look at the guy's shoulders, not waist. I'm just a beer leaguer, but I've been pretty successful using that idea. I think the main idea is don't just stare at the puck.

Also, I've found that being ready to go down on a knee while keeping your stick flat on the ice and being able to pop back up again right away is very useful for stopping centering passes from the corners and behind the goal line.

Again, I'm a beer leaguer and don't get practice time and all (except for the odd pickup here and there), but I do try to see what the pros do and give it a go on the rink. Mainly I look for the details that make them great. Recently I've been watching how defensemen use escape moves to retrieve dumped in pucks. Next time you watch your favorite team, check out how the defensemen will use their shoulders to fake like they're going to slap the puck one direction but then go the other way when an opposing forward is chasing them down.

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01-08-2010, 01:33 PM
  #23
Jarick
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Also, I've found that being ready to go down on a knee while keeping your stick flat on the ice and being able to pop back up again right away is very useful for stopping centering passes from the corners and behind the goal line.
I can't remember where I saw that a couple months back, but I started doing that and it's working pretty well. I've even deflected some shots up into the netting that would likely have hit my tender.

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01-17-2010, 08:25 PM
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ekcut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSandman View Post
On 1v1s, I was taught to look at the guy's shoulders, not waist. I'm just a beer leaguer, but I've been pretty successful using that idea. I think the main idea is don't just stare at the puck.

Also, I've found that being ready to go down on a knee while keeping your stick flat on the ice and being able to pop back up again right away is very useful for stopping centering passes from the corners and behind the goal line.

Again, I'm a beer leaguer and don't get practice time and all (except for the odd pickup here and there), but I do try to see what the pros do and give it a go on the rink. Mainly I look for the details that make them great. Recently I've been watching how defensemen use escape moves to retrieve dumped in pucks. Next time you watch your favorite team, check out how the defensemen will use their shoulders to fake like they're going to slap the puck one direction but then go the other way when an opposing forward is chasing them down.
That is exactly why i think the wait is where you should be looking. He can shoulder fake, but you can not waist fake!

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01-17-2010, 08:59 PM
  #25
TheSandman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekcut View Post
That is exactly why i think the wait is where you should be looking. He can shoulder fake, but you can not waist fake!
Good point!

I guess it works for me, but then I don't exactly play against high-end forwards who are going to get too fancy with their fakes.

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