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Beer league mistakes and tips

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Old
08-08-2010, 09:52 PM
  #151
Razzmatazz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack View Post
One of my first organized hockey games ever I carried the puck into the zone and left it at the point for my center. He blasted it into the goal. If was probably the worst thing that possibly could have happened, since I tried a half dozen drop passes after that and almost all of them ended up being turnovers



I play very competitively and i don't apologize for it. I do try to be respectful of other people's health and knees, and I don't run around pretending to be Jarkko Rutuu, but I will will dive for a sweep check on defense, I will go hard into the corner on the forecheck, I will take a slapshot even if you are standing in front of me, and Willl battle hard for the puck. I think everyone should be prepared for this in an organized league. If you're just looking to skate around and have some light fun, go to open hockey. Everyone can just go their own speed at open and they don't have to worry about it hurting their "team".

As a guy that's been playing various beer leagues for the last 5 years (since I taught myself to skate). I just have a few general tips.

1. ****. Seriously. Most of the advice I hear is garbage. Except for a couple of people on my team who obviously understand the game, I tune out anything that sounds like advice. Worry about your own game.

2. Stop taking long shifts. This pisses me off more than anything. There's nothing more irritating than listen to teammates in the locker room talk about how much energy you have and how you're always hustling... yeah, it's because I'm out there for 50 ****ing seconds at a time. We had a guy last year that got to the rink late, took his first shift halfway into first period and stayed out there for two and a half minutes. If the other team hadn't finally scored he might still be out there now. I'm also sick of skating back to the bench after a short shift and seeing people waive me back out there because they don't have energy yet. Are you serious? With three lines you should be chomping at the bit to get out there.

3. Please learn to do the following before you attempt to play ice hockey at any level

1. stop
2. stop and take a quick step (usually a backwards crossover) in the other direction
3. skate backwards and pivot
4. crossovers, backwards and frontwards. Crossovers should be strong
If you are in a league with experienced players, meant for experienced players, absolutely.

The one exception is a league intended for beginners...one reason I was able to start playing was because there was a league that required NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. Actually playing hockey is a HUGE motivator for improvement...you can take so many classes, but the lack of organized games can take away some of the enthusiasm and commitment to improve...had that not been available, I probably wouldn't be playing today.

Not that you shouldn't take classes, you definitely need to, I took a learning skating class meant for hockey players at the same time I signed up for the league, and that's where I learned and was able to practice and improve my skating. Without the games every week, though, I probably wouldn't have made the effort to get the most out of the class that I did.

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Old
08-09-2010, 01:35 AM
  #152
Jimmy Carter
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Originally Posted by makbeer View Post
LoL, most goalies I know including myself will never whine at a high shot in a game situation. It's all the better for us, a lot easier to control the rebound.

Which is another tip - don't always shoot to score. Sometimes the best pass you can make is off the goalies' pad on to your teammates stick.
If only I could bang this into my teammates' heads! My bread and butter is screening, banging in rebounds, and generally being a pest for the goalie

But if you're shooting for the upper corner from the blueline, you're just hurting the team. Unless you can see the goalie is out of position and you have a real accurate shot, or you're coming in for a backdoor play, keep them low. Easy for me to tip, bang in for a quick goal, or pass off to a winger to set up another chance. I know when I have to play D, I shoot low. I barely ever score, but I set my teammates up to score easy goals. Team gets more goals then they do when you shoot to score from the point. What's the point in scoring 1 goal if your team only scores 2 because you're going for all the glory?

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Old
08-09-2010, 09:49 AM
  #153
Jarick
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Probably the biggest source of problems on the bench is guys dishing out advice or criticizing other players' games. I can't tell you how many times I've been out there breaking up a play on defense and moving the puck back out and I get back to the bench and my D partner for that shift tells me what I did wrong. Excuse me? I broke up the play and made a good pass to get our guys into their end.

Actually, now that I think about it, the best players on our team never give advice while the worst skaters are always telling everybody what they did wrong.



Aside from that, skate at the level you should be skating. There's nothing more frustrating than "getting stuck" with the guy who can't skate backwards or doesn't ever play defense because he's friends with the rest of the team. And it's also incredibly frustrating when you're playing against a team with a hot dog who can score five goals a night skating and dangling through your entire team.

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Old
08-09-2010, 10:36 AM
  #154
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I'm kind of surprised at the level of disrespect being levied towards beginner players here...

If there is the option of splitting up play by talent in divisions, by all means, newbies can register in a lower division than more experienced players. But some leagues(like the one I play in, for instance) only have a handful of teams and do not afford that luxury.

I've never looked at playing with a newer/inexperienced player as a burden, but an opportunity to be helpful. I remember a time where I was learning, and having experienced players help you out and take you under the proverbial wing, so to speak, was always appreciated.

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Old
08-09-2010, 11:02 AM
  #155
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Actually, now that I think about it, the best players on our team never give advice while the worst skaters are always telling everybody what they did wrong.
yeah, but the fun part is when you beat them at practice cause they can't see their own shortcomings and not improve.

i started out pretty unsteady on my skates, but improved to one of the fastest skaters on my team (with the occasional fall lol). my stickhandling still sucks, but i can catch most guys on a backcheck and be a pain just being faster and not giving them time to do fancy stick moves. no better feeling when you beat a guy who were schooling you on the bench one on one.

and the other part, yeah. our best two players never critisize, they just tell you how can you improve and even share their tricks for certain cituations.

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Old
08-09-2010, 11:02 AM
  #156
Jarick
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The league I play in has I think 8 different divisions (Beginner, D2, D1, C2, C1, B, A, Elite) and probably 80+ teams...so there's really no excuse to be playing well out of your league around here.

If there was just one division and everyone piled into it, I wouldn't pay more than $5-10 per game. It'd be glorified drop in. No competition because there's always players 10 times better than you...what's the point?

Anyways, beginners should ALWAYS be welcome to play. Just that if there's a beginner division or league, that's the place to play, not with former high school/college/junior/pros unless absolutely necessary.

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Old
08-09-2010, 11:03 AM
  #157
The Tikkanen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Canucklehead View Post
I'm kind of surprised at the level of disrespect being levied towards beginner players here...

If there is the option of splitting up play by talent in divisions, by all means, newbies can register in a lower division than more experienced players. But some leagues(like the one I play in, for instance) only have a handful of teams and do not afford that luxury.

I've never looked at playing with a newer/inexperienced player as a burden, but an opportunity to be helpful. I remember a time where I was learning, and having experienced players help you out and take you under the proverbial wing, so to speak, was always appreciated.
I think it's more directed to the leagues where talent is spread out. I play at one rink where there are 10 divisions and a few seasons ago we were given a guy who was an absolute beginner. We would have been better off playing shorthanded. I've been playing hockey for 16 years and I DO NOT want to play with beginners. I'm paying $300 or more to play hockey and I am not getting paid to teach nor is learning how to play hockey with players who are much better than you the proper way to do it. I started from the bottom as well, I played a lot of pickup, I played a lot of street hockey to get better. I did not just plop myself on an intermediate team and hope the other 4 guys out there would carry my ass up and down the rink for 60 minutes. Pay your dues, if you're new to hockey simply look at the standings and figure out the lowest league or ask the rink-if they try to place you in any division except the lowest refuse and walk out. As you have read on here the majority of intermediate-advanced players DO NOT WANT to play with beginners. Beginners should play in beginner leagues, is that too much to ask? If you're at a rink where this option is not available again I'd refuse placement, play pickup, hire a personal trainer, play street hockey, take power skating classes, get better and then sign up for a league. These players would be better off paying for power skating classes than league fees in most cases.

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Old
08-09-2010, 11:08 AM
  #158
Jarick
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None of our top players were cocky or gave advice or criticism on the bench. Just went out and did their job and came back to the bench.

Personally I try and just crack jokes and have fun on the bench. I'm really intense on the ice, but if I carry that over on to the bench (like when I'm having a really bad game) I become a pain in the ass. Luckily that's usually only for a game or two per season, every other game I try and be like Brett Hull just having fun.

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Old
08-09-2010, 11:13 AM
  #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikkanen View Post
I think it's more directed to the leagues where talent is spread out. I play at one rink where there are 10 divisions and a few seasons ago we were given a guy who was an absolute beginner. We would have been better off playing shorthanded. I've been playing hockey for 16 years and I DO NOT want to play with beginners. I'm paying $300 or more to play hockey and I am not getting paid to teach nor is learning how to play hockey with players who are much better than you the proper way to do it. I started from the bottom as well, I played a lot of pickup, I played a lot of street hockey to get better. I did not just plop myself on an intermediate team and hope the other 4 guys out there would carry my ass up and down the rink for 60 minutes. Pay your dues, if you're new to hockey simply look at the standings and figure out the lowest league or ask the rink-if they try to place you in any division except the lowest refuse and walk out. As you have read on here the majority of intermediate-advanced players DO NOT WANT to play with beginners. Beginners should play in beginner leagues, is that too much to ask? If you're at a rink where this option is not available again I'd refuse placement, play pickup, hire a personal trainer, play street hockey, take power skating classes, get better and then sign up for a league. These players would be better off paying for power skating classes than league fees in most cases.
Agree 100%.

It's not a slight toward beginners, but it's just not fun playing with guys who can barely skate and turn the puck over a lot. The games here are competitive so it's not like the other team is just going to let up on the weak guy.

Not to mention that when you're putting together lines for a game and you get half a dozen people requesting not to play with the slow guy it causes a mess. So you have your one or two players who are the best team guys who won't complain, and they get stuck with him/her, and it sucks because they never get a chance to play with the top skaters.

And if you're that guy, you're going to be constantly frustrated and not having fun because your teammates are all better than you, and you feel like you're letting down the team. Your best isn't good enough, and that's a terrible feeling.

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Old
08-09-2010, 12:42 PM
  #160
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Agree 100%.

It's not a slight toward beginners, but it's just not fun playing with guys who can barely skate and turn the puck over a lot. The games here are competitive so it's not like the other team is just going to let up on the weak guy.

Not to mention that when you're putting together lines for a game and you get half a dozen people requesting not to play with the slow guy it causes a mess. So you have your one or two players who are the best team guys who won't complain, and they get stuck with him/her, and it sucks because they never get a chance to play with the top skaters.

And if you're that guy, you're going to be constantly frustrated and not having fun because your teammates are all better than you, and you feel like you're letting down the team. Your best isn't good enough, and that's a terrible feeling.
Agreed. Plus youre never going to become a better player if you play out of your skill level. If youre significantly below the other players, youre just going to wind up not keeping up with the play, and when you get the puck youre just going to hit it down the ice. Also if youre just gonna dangle the opposition all night, youre not really going to improve upon your game either.

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Old
08-09-2010, 02:47 PM
  #161
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Agreed. I've been playing for about 2 years now. Im 29 and i think I'm learning quickly but still I'm one of the worst players on my team and my advice to ANY beginner is simply to ask for pointers from the team. The first thing I did was ask one of the better players to watch my positioning when he was on the bench and I was skating. Explain that you know its not his job to be your trainer but that its hard to watch yourself and your mistakes-most guys take it as a compliment. If you ask the right guy They'll help you pick up the little things youre doing wrong better than any book or message board. Theres nothing better than having a friend/coach combo on the team especially if its someone who'll pat you on the back as fast as he'll call out your fumbles.

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Old
08-09-2010, 07:32 PM
  #162
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Here's two pet peeves I noticed this weekend that some of my teammates do:

1) If you're driving to the net for a rebound, STOP! in front. Don't just skate right on by after your teammate releases their shot, it's hard to get to a rebound when you're behind the goal line.

2) If your teammate is rushing the puck up the ice, go with them and support the rush! Don't just stop skating and watch them take it up.

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Old
08-11-2010, 12:24 PM
  #163
Kunitziwa
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Learn how to play a 3 on 2!!! Not everyone can be the high guy Its so annoying that the second guy in will rarely go to the net on a 3 on 2.

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Old
08-11-2010, 03:17 PM
  #164
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Headcoach's list rocks. I don't do 90% of those things. I've gone from the bottom of beginner, "walking" on the ice to doing pretty well at the top levels of beginner at my league in a year or so. Here's the key things that differentiate winning teams from losing teams IMO (aside from ringers, but even one or two ringers can't always overcome a team that follows the three things below).

1) Defensive Positioning/Breakout - Wingers stay high! Best skaters/shooters are usually at D, and letting them keep pucks in or fire them at the net is a very very bad thing. Wingers not staying high can lead to those 12-2 games where the puck never leaves your zone.

2) Screen the Goalie - Most beginners stand to the side or behind the goalie hoping for a slam-dunk shot. Listen, if your teammate could pass the puck through the goalie, he'd just shoot it into the net instead. Get IN FRONT of the goalie, and don't leave that spot. If you aren't scoring in a beginner league, you're not doing this.

3) Pucks behind their D - You must make their D turn around to play the puck. If you're dumping it or clearing it and the D can stop the puck, it's effectively a turnover and absolutely kills you. In beginner leagues, it's hard to make 3+ tape-to-tape passes on a 3on2. Lots of your goals are going to come off the other team's mistakes, and if the puck is behind their goal a mistake by them is a lot more likely to lead to a scoring opportunity for you.

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Old
08-11-2010, 06:38 PM
  #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan35 View Post
2) Screen the Goalie - Most beginners stand to the side or behind the goalie hoping for a slam-dunk shot. Listen, if your teammate could pass the puck through the goalie, he'd just shoot it into the net instead. Get IN FRONT of the goalie, and don't leave that spot. If you aren't scoring in a beginner league, you're not doing this.
As a goalie, I'll add that this should be an active screen. Players that just stand there aren't very effective.

- Use your backside to feel where the goalie is without turning your head.

- Don't be afraid to try to tip pucks in.

I say this because players in most of the leagues I've played in are terrible at screening. One reason I don't slash or hit screeners is because they'll know where I'm positioned. If I leave them alone, I can just look around them, over them, or through their legs and find the puck.

In my experience, it's the middle-distance screen that is tougher. If a player is already in front of the net, try a well-timed flyby between the net and the shooter.

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Old
08-11-2010, 07:43 PM
  #166
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Work behind the net more. This is something I do, and better players e.g. semi pro, college etc tend to do but that you almost never see in C or even B level.

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