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B,C,D leaguers, do you guys play to win?

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Old
07-20-2010, 12:23 AM
  #26
pucko
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Originally Posted by noobman View Post
I don't like league hockey anymore. If you can put up with some of the stuff that goes on there then by all means go ahead. I prefer pickup hockey... I get more ice time for less $$ and almost always have more fun.
Yeah, I play pickup hockey too. But it has its own problems, you know, 40 people 3 goalies, then next week -- 12 people one goalie.
Then there are long shifters who can barely skate but take 10 minute shifts, puck hogs who never pass to anyone except their own buddies, highly skillful puck hogs who go coast to coast and never pass to anyone not even their own buddies, etc. It is funny that sometimes there would be an almost completely different group of players as if they rotate once in a while. But rest assured that this new group will come complete with the following varieties: a long shifter, a puck hog, an angry coach, and an optional chippy guy. Also, in the summer a lot of times a bunch of really good kids would show up and they just skate circles around you...

To me, league games are a lot more predictable. Pickup hockey is more of a hit and miss. On the other hand, you don't owe anything to anyone. You just show up and play...

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07-20-2010, 12:31 AM
  #27
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When I play B league I just try to have a good time.

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07-20-2010, 12:42 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Synergy27 View Post
Lots of good points being made in this thread, and lots of good advice for beginners. But, I have to say that I think the OP's question needs to be posed a little differently. If you're not playing to win, what are you playing for?
Yes, I agree, play to win is an ambiguous definition. What I mean is rather trying to win at all cost and taking losing a game too seriously.

There was this guy who played D on the opposing team and he once threw his stick trying to prevent a breakout. He later commented on this "play" that "he had no other options".
I haven't seen players deliberately throwing sticks to prevent a goal since I was like 6 y.o. And that is a C league. Two teams. Summertime. [And the livin's easy].

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07-20-2010, 08:24 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by frito View Post
That being said, we played a team this past weekend that had a kid (I'm 42, 43 in a couple weeks BTW) who could easily play in D2, maybe D1. They beat us 6 - 4. He got 5 of the 6 goals all on unassisted end to end rushes. They had a Defensmen who took a run on me while I was in front of the net and literlly lifted me about 1/2 foot into the air (I had my daughter tape the game so I could see what I need to work on) then proceeded to smack talk me. This is the garbage that causes the nastiness more than anything and unfortunately drives newbes away from the game. As the game progressed, I was figuring out how to get a good lick or two in just because. If a guy is playing down like that, he should play down, not try to be some NHLer. Go out and teach your newbes how to play the game and save the jets for the appropriate division.
Hmmm...this sounds familiar....

I even said to my wife last night that if the refs and league are going to allow this type of crap, do they really expect beginners to stay with the game...and then I read this...

It is crucial that the league managers carefully oversee the league from many perspectives, and keeping it a fun and beneficial learning environment for the noobs is critical for the future of the league. It is us beginners who are here to learn and improve, and to tell our friends to start playing as well. That won't happen if the league allows what you are complaining about, or what i mention in my other thread to continue.

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07-20-2010, 08:46 AM
  #30
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where the hell do you guys play to get baggers like that? long island?

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07-20-2010, 08:49 AM
  #31
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where the hell do you guys play to get baggers like that? long island?
You're not too far off...

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07-20-2010, 09:34 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by nystromshairstylist View Post
You're not too far off...
yeah i grew up in NYC moved to LI at 10 played against all kinds of idiots. move to a real hockey area and notice how those types dont exist outside of metro NYC. even in connecticut there are many less(or were when i lived there in 2002-2007). the worst was after the rangers won the cup. they came out of the woodwork. we got rid of most of them. they thought they were tough. but i had just finished playing jr A in New England and wasn't about to take that crap. used to love seeing "tough guys" getting all pissed off cause they couldnt fight on ice. and they would try to run ya but they all go high which made it too easy to just duck and watch them do a cartwheel. good times.

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07-20-2010, 10:12 AM
  #33
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Since we're talking a bit about pickup versus league, IMO league is WAY more fun.

Pickup is usually full of ex high school and some college players. I can't keep up with them at all. Most of the time, they treat me like crap even though I'm not a bad player, I just can't skate that fast. Then they all take 10+ minute shifts, and I'm tired after 2, and then I sit on the bench for 10 minutes. And when I finally get on the ice, I maybe touch the puck once or twice, nobody plays defense, what's the point?

With league games, everyone's more or less on the same skill level, so you can actually have some fun playing with and against other players. There's something to play for, a win, a playoff spot, a championship. You get to be good friends with the guys on your team and have friendly rivalries. You can measure your progress in terms of goals, points, etc. There's faceoffs, refs, powerplays, penalty kills, overtime...just way more fun.

Pickup is $15, league is about $25 per game. But if we make the playoffs like we always do, it drops to $20 per game, and the last three years we've won a free spot in a summer tourney, dropping it to $17 per game.

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07-20-2010, 10:16 AM
  #34
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In the regular season I just sort of go with the flow, and I don't try to get in the way of what anyone else is doing, aside from calling an occasional time out if I want to tell my team a couple of things that I am seeing that would help us. But I am a goalie, so I am sort of playing on an island anyway.

In the play-offs I am playing to win more though. I have told our weaker defensemen to end their shift early at the end of a one goal game on a penalty kill, and told three or four guys that if they're not going to backcheck harder then they need to take shorter shifts. But I wouldn't do that on most teams, our team is all good friends and nobody is sensitive, we all take direct, constructive criticism pretty well (ex. of their idea of direct constructive criticism: "Hey Mush, why don't you close your legs next time, sl*t").

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07-20-2010, 10:30 AM
  #35
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I've been only playing for 6 months, but it's funny how my attitude has changed based on the team I'm playing with.

I started out on a winter team comprised completely of beginners. We even had a training camp with an ex NHL'er teaching us how to play. Everybody was bad, but we had fun. Getting blown out 15-1 was still enjoyable because you could point out what you did better that game than the previous one.

Now I'm playing on a summer team which is comprised of half of the people from my winter team, and about half from one of the teams which used to blow us out 15-1. There is a more focus on winning. I play defense so there is even more pressure.

Whereas before I'd challenge a forward, and see if I could stop them, if not, they probably scored, no big deal, we're already down 8-0. I learned what I could and couldn't do. Now I have a vocal goaltender behind me cussing and swearing up a storm every time I make the slightest mistake. It's taken a lot of fun out of it, and I find myself deliberately cutting my shifts short, so I have less time to "mess up"

I played summer hockey so that I could keep learning and keep getting better, and keep my motivation up. But it's been more of a demotivating factor because of this.

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07-20-2010, 11:10 AM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skraut View Post
I've been only playing for 6 months, but it's funny how my attitude has changed based on the team I'm playing with.

I started out on a winter team comprised completely of beginners. We even had a training camp with an ex NHL'er teaching us how to play. Everybody was bad, but we had fun. Getting blown out 15-1 was still enjoyable because you could point out what you did better that game than the previous one.

Now I'm playing on a summer team which is comprised of half of the people from my winter team, and about half from one of the teams which used to blow us out 15-1. There is a more focus on winning. I play defense so there is even more pressure.

Whereas before I'd challenge a forward, and see if I could stop them, if not, they probably scored, no big deal, we're already down 8-0. I learned what I could and couldn't do. Now I have a vocal goaltender behind me cussing and swearing up a storm every time I make the slightest mistake. It's taken a lot of fun out of it, and I find myself deliberately cutting my shifts short, so I have less time to "mess up"

I played summer hockey so that I could keep learning and keep getting better, and keep my motivation up. But it's been more of a demotivating factor because of this.
Maybe this is a problem with playing over the summer? There are fewer people to fill up the leagues, and b/c of that, just as in the case with my league, everyone gets lumped together, D1s and noobs all mixed in the same division - except my team has almost all of the beginners, and the other 3 teams are stacked with college and semi-pro players

I am not clueless, I can see and feel the better players on my team cringe sometimes when I go out on the ice if the game is close, so like last night, i skipped alot of my shifts and kept the ones i did go out on to no more than 1 minute at most. Not exactly a confidence builder...

For those here running/managing leagues, as a beginner i cannot stress enough how important it is to keep us in a division with others at our level . If I get frustrated and quit, you lose the next 10 years of my league, open hockey, clinic and sharpening fees, let alone that i won't exactly be an advocate for my kids to pick up the sport...

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07-20-2010, 11:12 AM
  #37
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@Skraut

That's why on the teams I play on beginners are usually put on the wing. That way they can experiment without costing the team too much when they screw up. I don't mean this as an insult to you, I started at wing when I began playing as an adult for just that reason. It's easy to be much more confident when there are two guys behind you.

IRT Pickup hockey

I only do it for practice & exercise now. League hockey is so, so much better, if for no other reason than the fact that people play assigned positions. It's hard for me to work on skills and play my position in pickup when people are constantly switching positions.

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07-20-2010, 11:14 AM
  #38
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Don't let it discourage you too much. If the goalie is being a dick, just pull him aside after the game and explain you're trying your best, you're still a beginner, and ask for some feedback. If he still wants to be a dick, don't let it get to you.

A part of playing league hockey that not many people touch on is being able to get along with teammates. It's not a given that every team is full of easy going and positive players. You'll have some laid back guys who like to have fun and joke around, and there are others who are very serious and competitive. You'll also have guys grumbling on the bench, even cussing out teammates. We're dealing with that with a couple of our guys.

Personally, the first year I had high expectations for myself that I did not fulfill, I blamed others for things I shouldn't, and I didn't have as much fun as I would have liked. The next year, I put less pressure on myself, tried to be a lot more positive, and it was more fun.

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07-20-2010, 12:18 PM
  #39
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@Skraut

That's why on the teams I play on beginners are usually put on the wing. That way they can experiment without costing the team too much when they screw up. I don't mean this as an insult to you, I started at wing when I began playing as an adult for just that reason. It's easy to be much more confident when there are two guys behind you.
On the winter beginner team I was the only guy who could skate backwards, so D became my position. It's fine with me because I've always played D in all sports.

The summer team unfortunately seems to be made up solely of people who want to play forward. It's usually me and the 3 guys who drew the short straws. I've asked to play wing several times, but the captain is the captain for both the winter and summer teams, he wants me to keep playing D and keep learning.

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07-20-2010, 12:41 PM
  #40
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That's too bad...summer league should be a good time for players to experiment.

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07-20-2010, 01:16 PM
  #41
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But only within the parameters of fair play and sportsmanship.

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07-20-2010, 01:43 PM
  #42
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Sure you can have fun, at ANY level, but I want to score more beauty goals or make more sweet assists than anyone out there! The goals are for the team to win! At least in a league where I hafta pay.

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07-20-2010, 02:11 PM
  #43
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Personally, I love playing hockey whether it be open or league though my preference is open hockey. The level of play is a bit faster, more ice-time, and I've made a bunch of friends from open hockey. League games are only about 39 minutes long while an open hockey lasts 90 minutes. So, if you get like 15 guys for your league team, there isn't much ice time to be had. Though, I do play about 3-4 times a week for about the past year, thus my endurance is up a bit higher than the average one game a week beer leaguer. I enjoy the formalities that comes with league play, but less pressure and more ice-time that come from open are more enjoyable.

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07-20-2010, 02:22 PM
  #44
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Yeah, I play pickup hockey too. But it has its own problems, you know, 40 people 3 goalies, then next week -- 12 people one goalie.
Then there are long shifters who can barely skate but take 10 minute shifts, puck hogs who never pass to anyone except their own buddies, highly skillful puck hogs who go coast to coast and never pass to anyone not even their own buddies, etc. It is funny that sometimes there would be an almost completely different group of players as if they rotate once in a while. But rest assured that this new group will come complete with the following varieties: a long shifter, a puck hog, an angry coach, and an optional chippy guy. Also, in the summer a lot of times a bunch of really good kids would show up and they just skate circles around you...

To me, league games are a lot more predictable. Pickup hockey is more of a hit and miss. On the other hand, you don't owe anything to anyone. You just show up and play...
Ahh, well I don't really play true pick up in that regard. One of the guys I know organizes hockey... has a contract with the rink and gets guys to chip in and play. He's relaly good with restricting the numbers, and always has two goalies. In tough situations, we use our slush fund to rent-a-goalie, but that's only happened once in the three years I've been playing.

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07-20-2010, 02:51 PM
  #45
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League games are only about 39 minutes long while an open hockey lasts 90 minutes.
Your league plays 13 minute periods? That's rough, ours are 15.

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07-20-2010, 03:00 PM
  #46
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Pretty sure ours are 17 minutes.

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07-20-2010, 03:10 PM
  #47
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15/15/12 periods over here.

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07-20-2010, 03:30 PM
  #48
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where the hell do you guys play to get baggers like that? long island?
Cincinnati, the hockey mecca that it is.

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07-20-2010, 05:18 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by Devil Dancer View Post
Your league plays 13 minute periods? That's rough, ours are 15.
Yep, and many teams want 3 forward lines and 4 d-men. I play LW usually and there isn't a lot of ice time to distribute when games are that short.

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07-20-2010, 07:10 PM
  #50
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I play to win at every level. I can have fun and recognize good play even in defeat, but I'm not out there to lose. I tend to have more fun and be generally happier when my team wins a game I played crappy in than I do when my team loses a game I played great in. Now, of course, I don't go overboard. I won't go to just any lengths to win, but I'm still going to try.

As captain of a C-level team, we have players from across the spectrum from A down to D (and even though that's the lowest league, we have some noobs that really weren't even good at D-level). I generally try to distribute ice time as evenly as possible. I try to fashion lines where lower players are matched with higher ones so we don't just end up with one line of stars and puck hogs and one terrible line that everybody else is begging to get off the ice the moment they step on. Plus, the good players tend to open up opportunities that the lower players can't generate for themselves.

Winning is not the be-all end-all of the game for our team, but it is important to a lot of players. Like me, most of my teammates are happier with a win over a loss, regardless of personal performance. So yes, at the end of a tied or one-goal game, I will throw out an all-star scoring line. A lot of the other players told me that's what they wanted, too. I won't do it for an entire game, but as a person with a functioning brain, I know which situations scream out for our best players. Why would I throw out our worst players in a 5-on-3 SH situation or a late-game situation if I have a chance to help make it better? Personally speaking, yeah I want my ice time same as everybody else, but if the difference between winning or losing just means sacrificing one 45-second shift? Everybody remembers our team's record.....nobody remembers exactly how many shifts they finished with 4 weeks ago.

Besides, everybody on our team already knows who the A players are and who the D players are. If I throw out the D players in an EN situation at the end of the game, it's like I might as well just concede the game. Or worse, throw them out there with a slim lead or a tie.....and then just tank their internal confidence as they lose game after game in that situation. I want to give them chances to play, but I'm not going to just set them up to be the catalysts for failure either.

I've played on other teams where the gap between the best and worst players was small and we did just rotate through the lines so whoever was on the ice for the crucial shifts got to play. This isn't one of those teams.

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