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Switching from Forward to Defense

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Old
11-04-2011, 04:09 PM
  #26
Lososaurus
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Originally Posted by noobman View Post
What the hell do I do in front of the net? A lot of the time I'll have body position on a guy or I'll have him fronted, but he'll always bang in an errand rebound. Am I really just supposed to goon the guy and lock his stick up??
He can't bury a rebound if his stick is off the ice. Try move him out of the goalie's line of sight of the puck. If they make a pass from point to point, don't allow him to move over and it will keep him from screening your goalie. Even if the puck is in the corner or isn't an immediate threat, continue to harass the opponent in front of the net; Keep lifting their stick or just maintain contact with them.

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11-04-2011, 04:12 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Lososaurus View Post
He can't bury a rebound if his stick is off the ice. Try move him out of the goalie's line of sight of the puck. If they make a pass from point to point, don't allow him to move over and it will keep him from screening your goalie. Even if the puck is in the corner or isn't an immediate threat, continue to harass the opponent in front of the net; Keep lifting their stick or just maintain contact with them.
I'll give that a shot. I play pick up so I feel bad playing guys really hard. Pound for pound I'm also one of the weaker guys I play with, so that's something I have to work on too.

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11-04-2011, 05:23 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by noobman View Post
I'll give that a shot. I play pick up so I feel bad playing guys really hard. Pound for pound I'm also one of the weaker guys I play with, so that's something I have to work on too.
Give them a mischievous grin and tap on the shinguards when the puck leaves the zone

Even if it isn't contact in the pickup, it doesn't mean you can't horse around and have a laugh.

Also: By harass, I don't mean cross check and all that, but keep them from getting a moment to think.

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Old
11-06-2011, 01:04 AM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noobman View Post
I'll give that a shot. I play pick up so I feel bad playing guys really hard. Pound for pound I'm also one of the weaker guys I play with, so that's something I have to work on too.
Pickup is a different deal. Sometimes when you battle a guy in front of the net he wil get genuinely upset. Other guys you'll push and shove with them and when the puck gets cleared you look at him and he's grinning. All depends on how they like to play hockey I guess.
In a league game though, do everything you can get away with to mess with him, that's YOUR goal HE came and stood in front of. Make him want to leave.

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11-06-2011, 10:13 AM
  #30
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Pickup is a different deal. Sometimes when you battle a guy in front of the net he wil get genuinely upset. Other guys you'll push and shove with them and when the puck gets cleared you look at him and he's grinning. All depends on how they like to play hockey I guess.
In a league game though, do everything you can get away with to mess with him, that's YOUR goal HE came and stood in front of. Make him want to leave.
Exactly. Are you supposed to just let him park right in front of your goalie? Even in pick-up, get the guy out of the way, turn him around, tie up his stick, whatever, just make him work for the space. You don't need to rough him up or be a jerk about it. Most of the time, like madmutter said, if you're a decent guy about the whole thing, you'll share a grin when the play goes the other way.

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11-06-2011, 04:30 PM
  #31
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Excellent points by pogform and madmutter. Whenever I play forward, I appreciate a little grit when it comes to battles in the corners/in front of the net; though nothing excessive obviously.

Kudos to the OP and the mods for pinning this thread, excellent advice all around, seeing as I'm playing D in game situations for the first time this year.

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11-06-2011, 06:37 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by AIREAYE View Post
Excellent points by pogform and madmutter. Whenever I play forward, I appreciate a little grit when it comes to battles in the corners/in front of the net; though nothing excessive obviously.

Kudos to the OP and the mods for pinning this thread, excellent advice all around, seeing as I'm playing D in game situations for the first time this year.
This. So far it's nice to read through. What type of style do you guys have when you play? I am more of a puckmover, join the rush, trigger-man. Once problem I have with this though is when to pinch in the offensive zone rather than hang around the perimeter for a backdoor pass. I always fear the pass will get tipped or the rebound will kicks out or something to where an odd man rush happens.

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11-08-2011, 11:51 AM
  #33
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What type of style do you guys have when you play?
Conservative and great defensively with occasional big offensive flash. Oftentimes when I pinch or carry the puck, bad things happen. As in a forward doesn't cover my spot and we have 4 players deep.

The big thing the recognize is to yell at a forward( preferably a center ) to get your spot on the point when you carry the puck. Most forwards at lower levels wont recognize the situation and will skate deep with you.

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11-08-2011, 01:21 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by ATLhockey437 View Post

For pinching; never pinch if one of your forwards is behind the net on the weak side of the play. If one of your forwards isn't in the high slot, don't pinch. If 2/3 of the forwards are between the lower side of the hashmarks and goal line don't pinch.

The art of pinching relies on chemistry with the the rest of your line. Chemistry with your D partner is crucial. If you decide to pinch, trust that your partner is prepared to back out and remain in the middle of the ice and vice versa if he decides to pinch. Imagine there's a rope between you and your partner and always try to keep it taunt. If you know your forwards will back check incase your pinch doesn't work, take the gamble but be aware of where the forwards are at and if it is near the end of a shift.
Sadly in my pick up games all 3 forwards are usually playing really low. Having no support makes the pinch such a gamble. Pinching or straight up intercepting passes is one of my favorite parts of the game. It's all all about reading the play and being deceptive. I will say pinching, do't be weak or shy about it. Like a battle in front of the net you simply must win.

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11-09-2011, 10:19 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Lososaurus View Post
Conservative and great defensively with occasional big offensive flash. Oftentimes when I pinch or carry the puck, bad things happen. As in a forward doesn't cover my spot and we have 4 players deep.

The big thing the recognize is to yell at a forward( preferably a center ) to get your spot on the point when you carry the puck. Most forwards at lower levels wont recognize the situation and will skate deep with you.
My team has it good. We have at least 2 forwards per line (including myself) that will recognize a D pinching or jumping in and cover. I just don't recognize when I should.

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11-10-2011, 12:12 PM
  #36
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When you're passing the puck to your defense partner behind the net, try to bounce it off the boards or don't use the boards at all( when you're both below the goal line ). Try not to ring it around along the boards.

Having to pop a fast moving puck off the boards can be difficult especially when you have a forechecker bearing down and you're receiving it on your backhand. Having to get it off the boards, in a position to pass eats up precious time. Receiving it already off the boards helps you begin moving even before the puck arrives and can help spring you free of an opposing player.

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11-10-2011, 03:52 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lososaurus View Post
When you're passing the puck to your defense partner behind the net, try to bounce it off the boards or don't use the boards at all( when you're both below the goal line ). Try not to ring it around along the boards.

Having to pop a fast moving puck off the boards can be difficult especially when you have a forechecker bearing down and you're receiving it on your backhand. Having to get it off the boards, in a position to pass eats up precious time. Receiving it already off the boards helps you begin moving even before the puck arrives and can help spring you free of an opposing player.
Agreed. Learning angles is hugely helpful in a number of situations, and this is one of the best examples.

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Old
11-11-2011, 08:14 AM
  #38
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Question for offensive D, or offense in general:

How do you avoid tunnel vision and develop better peripheral vision?

I've noticed that when I make my first outlet pass, I focus only on my target. I can't see other options, nor do I consider them once I've made the decision, I can just see the one open forward. This would be fine, except that there are often times when I don't see the opposing forward about to drift into my passing lane. I snap the pass, and it results in a turnover. How do I avoid that?

The same goes when the puck (rarely) comes to me at the point. I often panic and throw a weak wrister at the net, thinking I have no time or other options. But when it comes, I get tunnel vision on the net and just shoot it, even if there's a player open on the half boards.

Any suggestions?

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11-11-2011, 02:10 PM
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukethewhales View Post
Question for offensive D, or offense in general:

How do you avoid tunnel vision and develop better peripheral vision?

I've noticed that when I make my first outlet pass, I focus only on my target. I can't see other options, nor do I consider them once I've made the decision, I can just see the one open forward. This would be fine, except that there are often times when I don't see the opposing forward about to drift into my passing lane. I snap the pass, and it results in a turnover. How do I avoid that?

The same goes when the puck (rarely) comes to me at the point. I often panic and throw a weak wrister at the net, thinking I have no time or other options. But when it comes, I get tunnel vision on the net and just shoot it, even if there's a player open on the half boards.

Any suggestions?
Detail question: Are you skating or standing still? I've found when making any play I make better decisions when skating or at very least gliding. Skating opens up new options for you to pass or make a decision( this is the key part ) just by changing your direction( or peeling back to try again ).

When you're standing still, it feels like the play is going on around you and it basically is. By staying in one spot, your options basically become known and limited. The other team knows where your guys are, where they're moving and where the lanes will be. If you want to join the play or do *something*, you need to begin moving your feet from a standstill and the time that takes can be enough for the opposing team to cut off the lane or a forechecker to pounce.

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11-12-2011, 12:26 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukethewhales View Post

Any suggestions?
I think the "panic" you describe will subside the more you play and your confidence/patience is raised higher.

Decisions must be made in split seconds and this is the dilemma every player faces, making the easiest and most solid decision.

If there is no pass then get moving the puck out yourself. Even just dump the puck out if there isn't an option and you're under pressure.

The main skill I practice for hours a week is stickhandling, passing, shooting, with my HEAD UP. I've been experiencing lately the head (mind eyesight sense) will be separated from the body. Meaning the body does the work while your head is watching the game like a movie. I float around staring down the ice. Stare at lettering on the boards far away. Turn your head behind you, back and forth, all while not looking at the puck. The more you can keep your head up, the more fun the game gets IMO.

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11-12-2011, 05:01 PM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukethewhales View Post
Question for offensive D, or offense in general:

How do you avoid tunnel vision and develop better peripheral vision?

I've noticed that when I make my first outlet pass, I focus only on my target. I can't see other options, nor do I consider them once I've made the decision, I can just see the one open forward. This would be fine, except that there are often times when I don't see the opposing forward about to drift into my passing lane. I snap the pass, and it results in a turnover. How do I avoid that?

The same goes when the puck (rarely) comes to me at the point. I often panic and throw a weak wrister at the net, thinking I have no time or other options. But when it comes, I get tunnel vision on the net and just shoot it, even if there's a player open on the half boards.

Any suggestions?
Practice stickhandling with your head up at home, once you're on the rink if you use your far sight focused on the yellow on the bottom of the boards. Also practice skating backwards while stick handling, if your regrouping, it's much easier to see all your options. If you don't see anyone open, look to you're partner for a D to D or just chip the puck off the glass torwards were you were inticipating the play, a lucky bounce will happen every now and then with this play.

From the point, just work on slap passing. They're way more effective than wristers. Winding up no higher than your waist gives you much more accuracy and with a good one, it will have more zip than a wrister and its much easier for your forwards to track for a tip in. Keep the shots low by never aiming above the knee pads.


Last edited by ATLhockey437: 11-12-2011 at 07:04 PM.
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Old
11-28-2011, 09:09 AM
  #42
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Just wanted to update this thread as i have now played 7 games as a defenceman. SO far i am loving it. my partner and i havent been scored on in 3 games. and i have 5 assists so far. the change is definetly good. my forward love me on d because i always make quick accurate breakout passes. my positioning in my zone still needs alot of work, i have bailed my self out a few times with lucky sticks but i am learning as we go.

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12-02-2011, 05:48 PM
  #43
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Just wanted to update this thread as i have now played 7 games as a defenceman. SO far i am loving it. my partner and i havent been scored on in 3 games. and i have 5 assists so far. the change is definetly good. my forward love me on d because i always make quick accurate breakout passes. my positioning in my zone still needs alot of work, i have bailed my self out a few times with lucky sticks but i am learning as we go.
Glad to hear it's working out nicely for you. There does seem to be a lot of luck involved being a D. Like if caught on a 2 on 1, many times the opponents will screw up a pass, if they can even get it through you. I swear half the time all you can do is hope they will fumble the puck, which they usually do!

I want to share some good news as well. After 18 years hiatus I have joined the league again! It is very exciting. The pace, the tension, the battles are much more furious than our family pick-up deal. Learning defense the last year or two is aiding me and my game now. Also last game I played with an outstanding partner who bailed us out a few times and is great at rushing the puck.

I did have one play I don't understand what to do. In our zone, faceoff, the puck came back to me in the corner, but rolling hard. I went to coral it and quickly their center was all over me. I tried to just hold the puck in the corner and get help(?) but the guy stole it from me. I realize I need to be faster making decisions. Thinking now I should have immediately looked behind my net for an outlet. I am not one to blindly dump the puck, but may be this is a case to smash it up the boards or hard around the net?

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12-02-2011, 07:17 PM
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyisforeveryone View Post

I did have one play I don't understand what to do. In our zone, faceoff, the puck came back to me in the corner, but rolling hard. I went to coral it and quickly their center was all over me. I tried to just hold the puck in the corner and get help(?) but the guy stole it from me. I realize I need to be faster making decisions. Thinking now I should have immediately looked behind my net for an outlet. I am not one to blindly dump the puck, but may be this is a case to smash it up the boards or hard around the net?
When in doubt go off the glass and out. If you have time try to take a look and go behind the net/find a forward. A hard rim behind the net is a good play as well as long as you have your winger (who's in front of the net) head to get the puck before it reaches the other teams defenceman. If you can't get it out of the zone (on your backhand, guy right on you) best bet is to do what you did an eat it in the corner. Don't throw it up the boards unless its going to get out. Also, your d partner should head behind the net on an offensive zone faceoff win and should be calling if he's open.

Also, congrats on joining a league again!

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Old
12-03-2011, 06:13 AM
  #45
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Thanks JustGivingEr. I can understand the options you described. " Don't throw it up the boards unless it's going to get out." Funny, I was trying to give advice earlier in the thread to get rid of the puck, but easier said than done when you're really under pressure and don't want a turnover. It can be tough to admit defeat and just let it go, it's something I need to work on. These are the types of things forwards have to learn the hard way. I had no clue how much of a system the defense practice, with positioning and working as a pair, learning the common reactions a defenseman should have. I do want to say though it can be good for a forward to play D because they could bring a creative, unorthodox yet effective method/perspective to the position.

In the case of my blunder I did get mesmerised by the spinning puck and hesitated for an instant, which led to my dilemma. In the league time and space is very limited. You have to be quicker, sharper than ever before. I know as I get a few more games under my belt I will be more comfortable with the speed.

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01-06-2012, 03:15 AM
  #46
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I will be switching to D indefintely for this coming season while one of our normal defenders is out with a hand injury. After three weeks of not playing (but hitting the gym regularly), I felt right at home at pickup and love nothing more than the outlet pass and the view of the ice.

Of course bad habits die hard and I sent two "home runs" across the ice from below my red line for turnovers.

I'm sure I'll be asking more questions in the near future, but so far I was pretty happy to defend 2 on 1s and rush end to end at times.

to all the dmen bc it certainly is not easy. My mind got a better workout than my body.

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01-06-2012, 08:28 AM
  #47
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Quote:
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My mind got a better workout than my body.
Interesting you say that. In my pick-up game last night, I played the second half of the game up on forward, which was the first time I'd done so in literally MONTHS. It was very straightforward and not as much thinking was required (compared to D), but damn was I tired after the game.

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01-08-2012, 08:54 PM
  #48
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I am almost 30 years old and have played forward for the 25yrs i have played hockey. i have decided i am going to give playing defence a try and really after all these years i dont have a clue how to play defence. I am a good skater so i am not to worried about that i am more worried about when to pinch, which guy to take, when to close gaps, when to stear wide, when to block shots when to transition from front of the net to the corner etc etc. i have the ability to think the game i just dont know the answers.

any help or suggestions would be awesome
I did the same thing last year, the first few games can be tough don't try to be too offensive.

I found it's important to stay square to the attackers hips (i.e. play the body), and use your legs to block the shots it subsequently forces them to take. Against the rush your stick is more to keep them offguard, force offsides and poke pucks away if they get too close but don't lunge for pucks as it will open you up and not allow you to turn. Let the forward make the mistake, you can't force the issue too much or you will get burned if you keep it simple and make it hard for him to make a play he will give it up more often than not forcing the issue, or go wide allowing you to take away his space and pin him on the board.

I find unless you know you will cleanly block a point shot and control the rebound it's better to box out your man and focus on clearing rebounds, again trust your goalie to make plays at times. He has to be able to see it, and it's hard to make the second and third saves. Alot of times the worst thing you can do is drop your man and pressure for a block only to have the guy you left bang in an easy rebound because you missed the block.

If your going to pinch go all in, the worst thing you can do is hesitate, at least if your all in it will be hard for the forward to beat you clean. But the pinching takes time, if i were you i'd avoid it unless your absolutly sure its a no brainer to go for it. Watch your partner and ensure he can back you up, don't be the guy pinching in and giving up a breakaway/2 on 1. Also if your partner pinches be conservative and play the middle of the ice. There will usually be a shot on a 2 on 1 the least you can do is give your goalie the benifit of the angle by taking away the pass. Sometimes you just have to trust your goalie can make a save he can see and be square to.

Talk a lot with your partner and try not to over pursue, on defense you let the game come to you a little bit more and rely on opportunism. When moving the puck up the ice sometimes a couple d to d passes to trap forecheckers or soften the defense is huge as opposed to forcing the puck up the boards, it's important to allow your forwards even to odd man rushes to have sustained success or it's coming right back at you.

On corner to net transitions, unless your center has him first any guy in your corner(i.e. left d has left corner) should be pressured, again stay square to the hips and use a good stick to maintain gap control. The lack of space in the corner can force a lot of turnovers, especially if the other team doesn't have strong support. I find most times it's unwise to purse a guy from one side of the net to the other when behind the goaline, let your parter take him and you rotate to the net.

On dump ins you need strong communication from your partner/goalie/center, either use the net as a pick if you have time, turn it up ice quick with speed or look for a quick outlet to the corner just above the goaline where your parter should be(the center should be backchecking to the net if you will be the first there), and if your partner is covered a reverse(as long as your center is first back) or rush from the otherside of the net is probably your best otion, though sometimes you just have to eat the puck.

Some teams/players do things differently but i find thats what worked for me, and i did fairly well moving up to the defacto top pairing in about 5 games. I thought i would score a lot more though, i was the leading scorer on the team two years prior and had all of three assists, so the offensive game back there i found was very different. By the end of the year i was leading alot more rushes though as i was more confident in my assesments, but i'm glad i didn't force it as giving the puck away rushing it as a defenseman can be sketchy. But do be mindful of your strengths i tried really hard to pass alot when i was more of a rusher, once i found that comfort rushing it a bit more the game was easier.

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01-09-2012, 02:01 AM
  #49
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First game of the season and I felt good out there at D. I made some solid plays including several one-touch outlets to send the play the other way as well as one on one.

We won 4-1 and the one goal was definitely my fault as their best player came in on his off-wing (righty on righty). He faked a shot and I bit and turned to my left and he toe-dragged to my right and turned a 2-1 into a tap in.

My favorite part of each game will be understanding the mistakes and what to do better.

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05-24-2012, 02:05 PM
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This was a message I sent to a friend making a forward to defense transition as well:

-First and foremost I'd say is to practice skating backwards in every way possible. I like this drill: http://vimeo.com/7044412
The escape turn in that video can be a lifesaver behind your own net. Like if you're carrying it behind your own net and you have someone on you, escape turn and roll off of them.

-One thing I notice with myself and my beerleague team is poor gap control. You need to stick close to the play. Oftentimes the defense will follow the play slowly up the ice, so your forwards will get the puck in deep, but will have to stay deep and the point positions will be vacant for a few critical seconds as the D skates up. When you stick close to the play you become the second or third wave after the forwards and possible 3rd man high forward and you get a great opportunity to shoot. The same goes for coming back when the other team is breaking out. Don't turn and skate back preemptively. It will open up a big space in the ice for their winger to take and be open to receive a pass and build speed.

-Stick on puck. Stick on puck. Stick on puck. Stick on puck. That's all it takes to breakup a play. You don't have to make the diving play or the blocked shot to stop someone every time. When you're chasing someone down the boards, just get your stick on the puck and break their control. You don't necessarily have to hit the puck hard enough that it will fly 30 feet, but just enough so that they have to settle it down or don't have full control of it again. They usually have to stop skating or stop entirely when that happens.

-In front of the net, you need to be all over the screening player. So much so you can smell what they ate before the game. Whether its getting body position, boxing them out or lifting their stick. Make sure you're always in contact with them and disturbing them. I like to always be messing with their stick so they can't focus only on the play, they'll need to make sure their stick will be ready when a shot comes in. When a shot finally does come up, lift their stick, even above their shoulder if you have to: The can't bang in a rebound if their stick isn't on the ice. If the puck does drop into the crease or nearby and you're not sure what to do, put it hard off the side boards or into the corner. Basically anywhere that isn't in front of the net.

-A little stick lift can make all the difference in a play.

-The invisible rope. For defenders, one is in the corner, the other is in front of the net. When the puck is reversed around the boards as one defenseman goes into the corner, the other comes to the front of the net. The center should cover the short inbetween time. Try to keep an even amount of space inbetween both defenders. Two defenders behind their own net or in one corner leaves the slot open.

-Defending when the puck is behind your own net: This is tricky. Simultaneously you want to be close to the puck in case it jumps out, but you also need to cover the player in the slot. I try to go with player in the slot. When the play is in behind your net, its almost the least important thing; The opposing player in the slot waiting for a golden opportunity shot is the most important thing. When it goes in behind, look for their guy in the slot because that is where they will want to move the puck.

-Keep the shots from the outside. Same with opposing players skating into your zone. The best shots come from within the dots, keep them as far out to the boards as possible. If you can't get the pokecheck or body position on them coming into the zone, force them outside and grind them out in the corner, that will be the best moment you have since they have to turn into you( remember, stick on puck ). If they are protecting the puck really well and you can't get stick on puck, get your body on them and slow them down so they can't start doing laps like Forsberg did.

-When you're penalty killing, stick to the box or triangle formation and try not to get sucked into the corners. Make sure the puck stays on the outside. They might have 2 guys near our net, its kind of a catch 22 since you have to cover the guy in the crease and the one off to the side. Be ready for the pass, that will be your best opportunity to break up the play.

-More penalty killing and general breakout prevention: When they're trying to break out of their zone with the puck, the D will be looking for a pass, they wont always carry the puck themselves. Get on the open players. Open players like wingers. Come as far as even their blue line where the player is waiting for a pass. Just being near him will remove him as an option for a pass. As long as you're within a stick's length of him, he's covered. This basically combines a few things: Gap control, stick on puck, the player with the puck being the least important player. If they manage to get a pass by, be ready to hustle back. Being this aggressive in the neutral zone *can* result in 2-1's, leaving your defense partner out to dry.

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