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Choosing Positions?

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Old
11-18-2010, 01:25 AM
  #1
Corey Perry*
 
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Choosing Positions?

How does one chose what position he plays? Is it based on what your good at? your size? what people want you to play?

I'm just curious because I want to start playing hockey and I started to wonder about this.

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11-18-2010, 02:13 AM
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TrollololBoyle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckscrazy View Post
How does one chose what position he plays? Is it based on what your good at? your size? what people want you to play?

I'm just curious because I want to start playing hockey and I started to wonder about this.
A little bit of everything. If you can't do faceoffs well, or are more of a one-dimensional forward, you are best fit at wing. Size plays well at some positions better than others; you don't see many small defensemen. Then what kind of game you play comes into factor, if you don't have much of a scoring touch, you might be a grinder, or maybe a playmaker if you pass and read plays well.

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11-18-2010, 02:37 AM
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Swept In Seven
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depends on what you like and what you are good at

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11-18-2010, 03:03 AM
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doobie604
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if you're just starting, play wing.

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11-18-2010, 03:26 AM
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noobman
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You don't need to be a fantastic skater to play wing, since you play a lot of North/South hockey, and do a lot of work along the boards or near the opponent's net. Defensively you just have to cover the points, and get open on the breakout (either anchoring yourself on the boards or skating up the ice to receive the stretch pass).

A centre needs to be a strong skater since he has to be working hard on both ends of the puck (defensively in the high slot, offensively around the net) and needs to be able to skate well to use the space in the middle of the ice.

Defensemen need to be smart, mobile, and very good at skating backwards.


If you're just starting out, learn to play the wing. As you get better you may choose to shift to centre or move back on D. It's fun to spend some time on D... it gives you a better view of the ice, and you can learn a lot about how forwards should be playing by observing what your guys are doing and what mistakes/smart plays they're making.

Nowadays when I play league hockey I usually play wing, but when I play pick up I will play any of the three, depending on my mood and the skill level of the guys there.

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11-18-2010, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duckscrazy View Post
How does one chose what position he plays? Is it based on what your good at? your size? what people want you to play?

I'm just curious because I want to start playing hockey and I started to wonder about this.
Pretty much everything you posted are the way people choose. There's no definitive reason people choose certain positions, it's a combination of it all. It's mostly common sense about where you'd work best regarding skill, size, speed, your strengths (skating, passing, shooting, etc.)

As mentioned above winger is easiest to hop in and play for beginners. At the beginner level there's not a whole lot of responsibility for winger so if you're not as skilled as the rest of the people on the ice it won't be a big deal.

I've played defense mostly so far since nobody ever wants to play D and I don't mind playing back. Plus I somewhat 'get' how you're supposed to play defense, where most guys starting out are clueless.

I agree with the recommendation of playing winger to start out. Once your skating is up to par and you start grasping what's needed of Centermen/Defensemen you can always switch to whatever position you prefer.

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11-18-2010, 10:05 AM
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Play all of them. It's the best way to get better. I don't like the idea of any new player, kid or adult, getting locked into one position for years and years. On beginner teams, switch up the positions every few games. If you're a more experienced rec leaguer, move from forward to D for a season or two. Try the other side or playing center some games. No reason to specialize unless it's very high level.

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11-18-2010, 10:12 AM
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Lots of trial and error.

I found out that while I am good on faceoffs, I'm not a good center. I love playing the wing, getting the corners, covering the point.

After playing D for a bit, I found out that I am much better on the opposite side (shoot right, play left). Just a lot more comfortable there.

Same goes for game situations. I'm not the greatest on the PP however I will stand in front of the net no problem. I got a lot of garbage goals that way. I do love the PK.

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11-18-2010, 10:44 AM
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Gino 14
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Play all of them. It's the best way to get better.

Agree 100%. Gives you a better appreciation for what's out there and a better understanding for what you need to do to help the others out.

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11-18-2010, 11:37 AM
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If you are going to be playing in a recreational/beer league and are not the strongest skater on the team, the captain may put you on as a wing. Generally (but not always), the stronger skaters are put onto defense and the skaters that are not as skilled may play foward (paired with a good center). A fair amount of beer league players that I have met do not like to play defense as much as forward. Perhaps it's based on their skating skills or perhaps they want the glory of putting the biscuit in the basket (doesn't mean that playing d you cannot score, but the forwards technically should have a better chance at it). If you join a team and want to play a particular position, then I would make sure you voice that before the season starts. However, don't be bummed if they assign you to defense every now and then.

However, I do agree with Jarick; a player should try out all positions to become a well rounded player. The whole idea is to have fun and to learn. And like Jarick said, no reason to specialize unless it's at a high level.

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11-18-2010, 08:13 PM
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Lososaurus
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When it comes to defense: Unless you're on a really good and structured team and/or playing a really bad team, you'll never get to shoot. Your forwards will never backcheck. Your forwards will be in one of three positions when your team is trying to break out.; 1. Below your goal line 2. Already at the other team's blueline 3. Skating with an opposing player directly between the two of you. Regardless of where they are, they'll think you can make the picture perfect pass. Prepare to face plenty of 2-1's as well.

Thus is the life of the defenseman.

I'm bitter, so what.

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11-18-2010, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lososaurus View Post
When it comes to defense: Unless you're on a really good and structured team and/or playing a really bad team, you'll never get to shoot. Your forwards will never backcheck. Your forwards will be in one of three positions when your team is trying to break out.; 1. Below your goal line 2. Already at the other team's blueline 3. Skating with an opposing player directly between the two of you. Regardless of where they are, they'll think you can make the picture perfect pass. Prepare to face plenty of 2-1's as well.

Thus is the life of the defenseman.

I'm bitter, so what.
That perfectly describes every game I've ever played so far. You're not alone.

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11-19-2010, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lososaurus View Post
When it comes to defense: Unless you're on a really good and structured team and/or playing a really bad team, you'll never get to shoot. Your forwards will never backcheck. Your forwards will be in one of three positions when your team is trying to break out.; 1. Below your goal line 2. Already at the other team's blueline 3. Skating with an opposing player directly between the two of you. Regardless of where they are, they'll think you can make the picture perfect pass. Prepare to face plenty of 2-1's as well.

Thus is the life of the defenseman.

I'm bitter, so what.
Sometimes I prefer D, cause atleast I know what to expect.

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11-19-2010, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lososaurus View Post
When it comes to defense: Unless you're on a really good and structured team and/or playing a really bad team, you'll never get to shoot. Your forwards will never backcheck. Your forwards will be in one of three positions when your team is trying to break out.; 1. Below your goal line 2. Already at the other team's blueline 3. Skating with an opposing player directly between the two of you. Regardless of where they are, they'll think you can make the picture perfect pass. Prepare to face plenty of 2-1's as well.

Thus is the life of the defenseman.

I'm bitter, so what.
this post is pure gold

i am totally amazed if i ever receive a pass at the point because 99/100 times, i am totally wide open yelling POINT POINT POINT.

dunno how many hundreds of times i have said this: wingers come down to the hash-marks to support the breakout !!!

forwards always expect us D-men to hit them with a lazerbeam pass from inside our own zone to them at the far blueline as if our name was Lidstrom, Green or Doughty.

sorry for the OT... i can see this thread spirally downwards to be renamed as "Rantings of Disgruntled Beer-League D-men"

as to the original post, start at wing and move around the different positions. what your "natural" position should be is determined by your skill-set and mind-set (offensive-minded, defensive-minded)

i started at D cuz i could skate fairly well and so was able to chase down forwards. i also started at D cuz i had no stickhandling or shooting skillz. the last few seasons i have moved up to play wing and some center. i'm not great as a forward but playing different positions have helped me to understand the game better.


Last edited by ju87: 11-19-2010 at 12:57 AM.
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Old
11-19-2010, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lososaurus View Post
When it comes to defense: Unless you're on a really good and structured team and/or playing a really bad team, you'll never get to shoot. Your forwards will never backcheck. Your forwards will be in one of three positions when your team is trying to break out.; 1. Below your goal line 2. Already at the other team's blueline 3. Skating with an opposing player directly between the two of you. Regardless of where they are, they'll think you can make the picture perfect pass. Prepare to face plenty of 2-1's as well.

Thus is the life of the defenseman.

I'm bitter, so what.
See, on my beer league team, the defensemen just play like they're centers and then get all exasperated with the wingers ("Why didn't you cover my point when I brought the puck up from our goal line then spent all two minutes of my shift camped out in front of the other team's net looking for a tip?!") when we give up odd-man rushes.

The wingers will be back covering about 2/3 of the time, more with some players, but like with many teams, the wingers are not the most skilled skaters, particularly transitioning to backwards, and will get beat in a foot race creating the odd-man rush. It's maddening as a winger because I know I can't stay with 80 percent of our league in a dead sprint (which is what those turn into most of the time), but if I stay back there, Mr. Channeling Niedermayer takes it as tacit approval to stay down low.

I did get to play D in a women's tournament recently, and it was quite the learning experience (and fun getting to shove people who I can actually move around!).

To the OP, if you're just starting, I wouldn't recommend regularly playing D until you're very comfortable transitioning backwards to forwards and vice versa. Centers will skate a lot more and (should) be more responsible on the backcheck. Ideally, they will have the puck on their stick more and be able to find open teammates with passes. Wing is where the beginners usually start for all the reasons covered on this thread.

Though in your lowest-level leagues, positioning often goes to hell very quickly despite everyone's best intentions.

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Old
11-19-2010, 10:16 AM
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If you're playing beer league, just try out everything. I normally play center or defense.

Lately I've been playing defense and doing well at it. I'm not too good of a backward skater, but luckily, playing C2 hockey, there aren't a lot of guys who are going to burn you. Plus I can twist quickly and keep up with the guy. Once the puck is actually in your zone defense requires smarts, attention to detail and being aggressive. You need to see what the offense is doing, pay attention to who's open in the lower part zone (keep your head on a swivel) and communicate with your teammates to cover the open man (if they're not your man) and aggressiveness to be able to harass forwards and also not allow opposing players to just sit in front of your goalie all day. In beer leagues you can get away with being short as long as you're pretty strong and smart.

I also have the best slap shot on my team, so that's part of the reason why I've been on D .


Center is almost like a mixture of wing and defense. That's kind of how I see it.

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11-19-2010, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lososaurus View Post
When it comes to defense: Unless you're on a really good and structured team and/or playing a really bad team, you'll never get to shoot. Your forwards will never backcheck. Your forwards will be in one of three positions when your team is trying to break out.; 1. Below your goal line 2. Already at the other team's blueline 3. Skating with an opposing player directly between the two of you. Regardless of where they are, they'll think you can make the picture perfect pass. Prepare to face plenty of 2-1's as well.

Thus is the life of the defenseman.

I'm bitter, so what.
Haha, this describes my team pretty well. Can also add in wings who collapse down low and leave the other team's points wide open to take slap shots at you .

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11-19-2010, 12:11 PM
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Haha, this describes my team pretty well. Can also add in wings who collapse down low and leave the other team's points wide open to take slap shots at you .
Forgot about that one...

Back to the topic at hand though, wing is probably easiest to start out. You don't need to play 200ft of ice like a center does. Wingers don't have to skate backwards, transition front->back and clear the crease/slot like defensemen.

Playing on a wing is safe place to start learning. If you have enough beginners, I'd recommend everyone rotating positions to get a feel for each, learn the responsibilities and how they interact with eachother.

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11-19-2010, 12:32 PM
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I don't think there's any real perfect position to play. The skill level of your teammates(are you joining a beginner league?) comes into play as well.

Of the forwards the center has the most responsibility and probably the most skating of the three. Defensemen sometimes get to sit back and watch the play unfold, but there's a lot of backwards skating and lateral movement. If you're not overly confident in your ability in those two, starting as a forward may be nice. Although again, if everyone's a beginner just pick a position you're comfortable with. Do you think you'd like to score goals, or prevent them? Pick one and go from there.

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11-19-2010, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lososaurus View Post
When it comes to defense: Unless you're on a really good and structured team and/or playing a really bad team, you'll never get to shoot. Your forwards will never backcheck. Your forwards will be in one of three positions when your team is trying to break out.; 1. Below your goal line 2. Already at the other team's blueline 3. Skating with an opposing player directly between the two of you. Regardless of where they are, they'll think you can make the picture perfect pass. Prepare to face plenty of 2-1's as well.

Thus is the life of the defenseman.

I'm bitter, so what.
Thats exactly what happens to me. What kills me as well is all the time in an offensive zone faceoff, the winger along the boards will go to the top of the circle infront of the net to block and pass to me. Almost every time the puck is won into the corner and its an easy breakout.

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11-19-2010, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DatsyukSOGoal View Post
A little bit of everything. If you can't do faceoffs well, or are more of a one-dimensional forward, you are best fit at wing. Size plays well at some positions better than others; you don't see many small defensemen. Then what kind of game you play comes into factor, if you don't have much of a scoring touch, you might be a grinder, or maybe a playmaker if you pass and read plays well.
this isn't NHL 11, he's a new player and definitely shouldn't 'specialize' so soon

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Old
11-19-2010, 06:24 PM
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BenchBrawl
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God I hate to play wing & Goalie.I've played Center all my childhood and highschool years but when I started playing as an adult in beer leagues I often play defense , I just like to see all the play , I'm a Paul Coffey kind of defenseman though lol

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Old
11-19-2010, 06:28 PM
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Thanks guys, I'll just take my time and play around and see what I'm better at. Thanks!

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