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When to Pinch in Hockey

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Old
12-09-2010, 03:01 PM
  #1
HowToHockey
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When to Pinch in Hockey

I know there are a few newcomers to the game here so I thought I would share this article that we just posted on How to Hockey it's the defensemens guide to pinching

I'd love to hear your opinions as well about the pinch, when to do it, when not to do it, also any good defensive strategies.

For the forwards you might like how to play wing in hockey

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12-09-2010, 05:29 PM
  #2
Trojan35
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I'm a noob, but that defenseman guide to pinching was pretty vague.

My advice I give to other noobs is this:
If we have the puck in their zone and you have D support, you should pinch/move/give&go to the net.
If it's a loose puck and you can beat the other team to it, you should pinch.
If they have the puck and are stationary, and you have D support, you MAY pressure.
If you don't have D support in any situation (he already pinched, line change, etc), don't pinch.
If they have the puck and speed... never pinch.

Most beginner D think "holding the blue line" means standing still and trying to poke-check their best player as he flies by.

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12-09-2010, 09:46 PM
  #3
budster
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My bro wrote a similar article a few months ago and offered the same conclusion. You gotta give 110%! Hesitation will always cost you.

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12-09-2010, 09:53 PM
  #4
WhipNash27
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If you're not a fast skater, never pinch .

I think it's a skill that a player just figures out on his own. If you get burned repeatedly then don't pinch, you're no good at it .

If I play D, I rarely get burned when I pinch. It's about timing it correctly and having the speed to get back if you fail.

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12-09-2010, 11:08 PM
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dabeechman
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I love my team, they are all really cool guys. But the one thing that literally pisses me off is that they pinch ALL the time, and they get burned 90% of the time because they choose the wrong times to do it.

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12-10-2010, 12:40 AM
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berzark
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thanks jeremy for this ! I'm a winger and I need to improve getting the puck out of our zone. Each time our defense has the puck, I break at the hash marks\near the boards and wait for the pass, but the thing is.. I'm not skating, so the defencemen just pinches and poke checks the puck away from me before I get to turn my head to make a pass.

I guess I got to start skating a bit when I see the defencemen is going to pass it, and look infront of me right before I receive the pass to insure I have time and see where my center is.

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12-10-2010, 06:47 AM
  #7
FootKnight
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Thanks for the article.

I've always had a few rules I try to get a read on when I am deciding to pinch:
1) The other defenseman is at the point. Not a forward covering for him, but the actual defenseman. I always want to make sure at least 1 defenseman is back if things go wrong.
2) One of our forwards is skating toward my point. Wether he's following the puck or just moving around, I want someone who already has momentum toward my point so I know there will be a backchecker on the guy at the very least if I mess up the pinch.
3) I can get there at least at the same time as the opposing player gets to the puck or the puck gets to the opposing player. In other words there shouldn't be enough time for him to grab the puck and get a pass to the middle, or put it off the boards around me, or hold onto it, getting me trapped inside the zone. If an opposing player has the puck, the only time I pinch he is close to me and fumbling the puck. If I can get there before he gets proper control of the puck, I'll pinch.

I play pretty defensive though, so I don't pinch very much.


Last edited by FootKnight: 12-10-2010 at 06:55 AM.
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12-10-2010, 10:09 AM
  #8
Doshell Propivo
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Soccer players pinch all the time. Especially during set pieces. They pinch their opponents in the arms, chest, etc. Very common and useful (though illegal) tactic.


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12-10-2010, 10:18 AM
  #9
BadHammy*
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Probably the biggest factor in whether or not a defenseman should pinch is PUCK SUPPORT. Puck support in this context refers to the location of the potential pincher's teammates. There are two times when this decision must be made, 1) he's leading the rush or 2) his team is already in the zone and he's looking to sneak up. Situation 1 is about how good your teammates are defensively and what you're allowed to do, it's fairly clear cut. Situation 2 is based almost entirely on where your teammates, and the enemy skaters, are. The score also plays a pretty big role.

You can't pinch when there are cherry pickers, obviously, but beside that, it's a judgment call. If two of your teammates are below the goal line, pinching could be fatal or it could result in a goal, it takes team chemistry, experience and judgment to know.

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Old
12-10-2010, 11:43 AM
  #10
Timmer44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berzark View Post
thanks jeremy for this ! I'm a winger and I need to improve getting the puck out of our zone. Each time our defense has the puck, I break at the hash marks\near the boards and wait for the pass, but the thing is.. I'm not skating, so the defencemen just pinches and poke checks the puck away from me before I get to turn my head to make a pass.

I guess I got to start skating a bit when I see the defencemen is going to pass it, and look infront of me right before I receive the pass to insure I have time and see where my center is.
As a defenseman, I find it really frustrating when the winger takes the pass at the hashmarks knowing that i'm coming for him, but instead starts skating back towards his end. It really screws me up because I know that I'm caught deep but I have to continue to engage or else I'm stuck with all my momentum going the wrong way. He's shielding the puck from me as his back is turned.

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12-10-2010, 12:32 PM
  #11
Reverend Mayhem
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Wow. I didn't know you could study this.

When I play defense, it usually just goes to instinct. I do agree that you should never hesitate, but if you watch enough hockey games, it just comes instinctively.

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12-10-2010, 02:17 PM
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Make sure one of your forwards is playing third man high if you're going to pinch for a puck race, or if you're pinching on the strong side. All it takes is one little chip from the winger and the breaking center can pick it up and be gone. Also, pinching on the backdoor when your team has possession of the puck isn't as risky. You can see a lot more of the ice and know when to bail-out of the pinch in a split second if need be.


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Old
12-10-2010, 04:33 PM
  #13
Jarick
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I was told to not pinch if the other team has the puck or will beat me to the puck, especially if they're facing me at the point (i.e. ready to skate up the ice with the puck when they get it).

Examples:

1. Their D sends the puck around the boards to my side. If their winger is deep and has his back to me, I'll usually sneak behind him and cut off the pass, send it back in or to the slot if I have support. But if the winger is moving up ice to meet the puck, I back off, because if he gets it and has speed coming to the point, it's a breakaway.

2. My winger and their D are battling for the puck in my corner and the puck weekly slides up the ice to me at the point. If their winger can beat me to the puck or is skating towards me with speed, I back off. If I can beat the winger to the puck AND his back is turned to me, I pinch.

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12-10-2010, 08:36 PM
  #14
dabeechman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
I was told to not pinch if the other team has the puck or will beat me to the puck, especially if they're facing me at the point (i.e. ready to skate up the ice with the puck when they get it).
This is the logic on how I base if it was a good decision to pinch or not. Never pinch if it is obvious that you're going to get beat to the puck. Never pinch if it is 50/50. ONLY pinch if you know you can get to the puck first.

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12-10-2010, 11:05 PM
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berzark
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So what do you guys recommend for us wingers?

1.Should I actually break and wait for the pass at the hash marks\along the boards, facing my d-man and turn around after I receive it to look for an option

2.Skate towards my d man when he makes the pass and turn around or go around my net

3. Break at the hash marks\along the boards and start skating towards offensive zone slowly, waiting for the pass?

Because doing the #1 never works for me because Dman pinches and pokes the puck away before I turn around. Need to know my best option.

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12-10-2010, 11:38 PM
  #16
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I usually do it 30 min before the game... don't want to pull a Luongo!



But honestly folks. At lower levels, pinch away. The winger usually has his eye on the puck and has no clue where you are. Asking him to avoid your pinch and make a pass to the curling centre is asking too much. My favourite move is to take one step back as the winger checks me out, and then as soon as his eyes are off me, charge at him like a turtle in heat. And I'm usually watching from the stands!

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12-11-2010, 01:25 AM
  #17
budster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proust View Post
charge at him like a turtle in heat.
Although I've never personally witnessed it, I can only imagine the sense of urgency.

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Old
12-11-2010, 01:59 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berzark View Post
So what do you guys recommend for us wingers?

1.Should I actually break and wait for the pass at the hash marks\along the boards, facing my d-man and turn around after I receive it to look for an option

2.Skate towards my d man when he makes the pass and turn around or go around my net

3. Break at the hash marks\along the boards and start skating towards offensive zone slowly, waiting for the pass?

Because doing the #1 never works for me because Dman pinches and pokes the puck away before I turn around. Need to know my best option.
Breakouts are one of the hardest things to teach IMO. There are so many variables that it's hard to give an answer for any particular situation.

The main key in any breakout is puck support, especially from the center, and in some cases your own defenseman. If your along the halfboards and get a pass from d-man with pressure from the opposing d-man/winger, your going to want your center starting the breakout low so that he can be breaking out with speed. That's true for the center in most cases anyways. You can hit him with a quick pass or chip it around the pressuring player so he can pick it up. Also, it's nice if you have a good skating d-man on your team to give you another outlet. Another option is to have your center loop to the wall while you loop inside, which will also help start the breakout with speed.

But if you get the puck along the halfboards and have some time, turn up ice and LOOK UP. Even before you get the puck, you should be anticipating getting it and taking a quick look to see how much time you have/what options you have. Awareness is key in breakouts.

1. If you have time, yes.
2. If there's a pressuring player, you may have to come down lower along the boards to support your d-man to give him an outlet.
3. If the other team is giving you a lot of room, then you can start breaking early.

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Old
12-12-2010, 02:31 AM
  #19
greyraven8
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In my experience in beer league and "scrub" aka "pickup" hockey I usually try to pinch only if I think I have a very good chance of beating the opposing player to the puck.

I make an exception if I am playing with against a team/group that has players that are slower than myself (becoming a more rare experience), and/or I have some quick moving and thinking forward who I know will attempt to cover me (even rarer). Also will take more risks if playing in the last couple minutes of a game where we are losing by just a goal or two.

If I am playing close enough attention and see the other defenceman is pinching, I will usually skate back a bit behind the blue line in case he loses the race for the puck with the opposing forward.

The best defencemen I see out there are not necessarily the speedier younger guys but some of the older guys who know their limitations, play good positional hockey, and make less risky plays.

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Old
12-12-2010, 03:15 AM
  #20
ju87
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There are so many variables involved in deciding whether or not to pinch and one can only really learn through experience and getting burned a number of times.

As a D-man, I will usually pinch if I am sure I can make it to the puck before the opposing players. That is my primary rule. The article says don't pinch if it's 50:50 which I largely agree with, subject to the following:-

As mentioned above by various posters, communication with teammates is also important. If your D partner knows that you like to jump in to the play and is prepared to stay back a bit, that helps. It also helps to have your high forward ready to fill your position if you pinch and get caught. It's all about teamwork.

A lot of times, pinching can be a simple play. You don't necessarily need to get the puck and drive the net on a pinch. Sometimes all you need to do is chip it back in deep and then get back to your position.

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