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Hard/soft ice, fast/slow game pace

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11-22-2011, 07:01 PM
  #1
RoninNYR
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Hard/soft ice, fast/slow game pace

I have two separate but connected dilemma's; My game is bipolar, a little background and i will explain;

I am not an amazing player just travel, h.s. and adult leagues, play couple times a week, 26yo (playing since around 10 iirc)in excellent health & conditioning. 6ft 200 lbs (~10%fat but all leg strength), 1/2 inch hollow on skates.

I am not a finesse guy, however I am an excellent skater, i can go maximal effort for entire shifts, very tight on turns, skate backwards better than a lot of guys do forwards, i think i just have genetically strong legs and was always forced to do skating drills by my coaches lol.

My game compeltely relies on speed, when the game is fast i don't think, i just react. My breakout passes are tape to tape across 2 lines, my shots are rockets, i am in position, i can skate like the wind. MY 1 on 1 D coverage is phenomenal.

So now i have 2 problems, one serious; slow pace of game, the other not so much; slow ice.

1. Slow pace

As i stated, my game relies on speed. I play D and when i am flying i can dominate games, everything falls into place; d, shooting, breakout pass, skating it out etc... This is when it's a fast dynamic, fluid game with everyone back checking, breaking out quick, and fore checking. My legs are constantly moving and i am skating very efficently..

Now when i play w/ a team that is very slow skating my whole game falls apart. I start to hesitate that extra second before i make the play because no one is moving their legs/open. If i hesitate i am no longer on balance, my passes are inaccurate, i can't line up the O properly to defend the 1 on 1 because they dont feel the pressure to skate hard and it leaves me stuck either waiting for them to catch up or it leaves me skating too hard back then waiting but i am already out of position.

When i try to skate in my fast efficent manner, i am always in the wrong spot because the puck is moving so slowly, i am basically gliding around full speed waiting for the play trying to conserve my energy. If i slow down my play i am not NEARLY as effective in this style game, i fall into the slow pace of everyone else and i play as ****** as everyone else..

Basically I cant play hockey unless my legs are bent, and constantly moving. When i am standing around i get burnt, and embarassed.


2. Soft, slow ice.


If the Ice is slow, i am nowhere near as quick and fast as i should be. Slow ice causes me to slow my game down, i get tired from stops and starts quicker, and i start making some of the mistakes i make as if the game was slow. I know my mid stride acceleration is nowhere near what it is on hard ice, i can move my legs just as fast but i dont move with the same speed.


sorry for the long winded post, just hoped to cover any bases.

Cheers, Happy Thanksgiving and TIA for any help.

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11-22-2011, 07:19 PM
  #2
JustGivingEr
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If your playing D you just have to get used to playing a slow game without the puck. A forward can always go flying in on a forecheck or go for passes through the neutral zone where a defence man obviously cannot.

My advice without the puck is too play further in the offensive zone. Take a few strides inside the blue line and play tight to the other teams forwards. If you're a good enough skater you should be able to play tighter and not get beat. Hopefully you can even pick off some breakout passes. Also don't just go flying back if you don't have to, keep the gap nice and tight and try to check the guy with the puck in the neutral zone if you can.

Offensively, try skating the puck up if your teammates are too slow. Wheel out from behind the net if you can and see if you can at least make it past the red-line. If you can obviously try to skate it in, but if not dump it in and go after it. If you've got speed and your headed up ice you might as well chase it as your in the best position to do it. If your team has the puck in the offensive zone head to open ice and maybe look for a backdoor pass. You can also even get the puck at the point and try to skate down low and get a cycle going. Try not to just stand around and watch your teammates, always try to be looking for somewhere to go/something to do.

I also hate playing on soft ice. It just makes the games so much worse in my opinion. Best thing for me to do on soft ice is to always try to keep moving. It takes a lot more effort to be starting and stopping that it does if you just do some pivots to change direction and just always keep gliding.

I hope some of that helps. I know exactly what you mean about playing in slow conditions or with a slow team. However, if you've got speed you can always take the puck and just go with it if need be.


Last edited by JustGivingEr: 11-22-2011 at 07:25 PM.
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11-23-2011, 01:43 AM
  #3
RoninNYR
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Definitely analyzed some of my D flaws well, especially in the neutral zone which is my trouble spot.

Taking strides closer in is definitely a great point, same for try to stop rush in neutral zone.

Behind the net n up the ice is a forte.. might even say i do this a tad much lol

Yea in the O zone i tend to move around, but it's hard when a team isnt moving themselves.

Awesome advice, thanks.

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11-23-2011, 10:57 AM
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Jarick
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I'm not at your level or conditioning but when I was on D I was a more offensive minded guy and had similar struggles. If my forwards weren't moving and getting open obviously it caused problems.

I have to agree 100% with the advice above, that's what I did. I started pushing deeper into the O zone which got me more involved in the play and kept pressure up. I also started carrying the puck more and shortened up my stick to do that. I'm back at forward now but those things helped when I was stuck in mid-season ruts.

Oddly enough the general advice for slumps is to "keep it simple, focus on positioning, etc" but for me it was the opposite, I needed to get the puck as much as possible and play more aggressive.

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11-24-2011, 11:13 AM
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RoninNYR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
I'm not at your level or conditioning but when I was on D I was a more offensive minded guy and had similar struggles. If my forwards weren't moving and getting open obviously it caused problems.

I have to agree 100% with the advice above, that's what I did. I started pushing deeper into the O zone which got me more involved in the play and kept pressure up. I also started carrying the puck more and shortened up my stick to do that. I'm back at forward now but those things helped when I was stuck in mid-season ruts.

Oddly enough the general advice for slumps is to "keep it simple, focus on positioning, etc" but for me it was the opposite, I needed to get the puck as much as possible and play more aggressive.
GFT bro, D is a very psychological position i feel.. I need to be very engaged to break out of slumps/play at my best. Keeping it simple causes me to be more reactive and thinking, rather than just acting on instinct..


Switching to D caused me to spend 15-30 min warming up a couple of hours before a game and a 30-40 minute warm up right before i leave the house (when life allows)

Just shortened my stick because i love leading the rush, shorter stick works great for that.

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11-24-2011, 08:28 PM
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Well, typically on my team I'm the guy who slows the play down to make the fast play if that makes sense.

I get the puck and I have a good look and either keep skating, slow down, or stop. This slows the D down but my teammates are still in full flight and usually breaking for a pass. Don't get me wrong I'm one of the fastest if not fastest kids on my team and I'm up there for the league, but that's just how I've played forever. When I get the puck I tend to see things in slow-mo like all the great players, except I'm not nearly big enough or strong enough to be good so I play House or rep lol.

Point being if it's a slow game and your slowed down try to get your teammates to speed up so you can make that long breakaway pass.

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11-27-2011, 04:37 PM
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RoninNYR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn1331 View Post
Well, typically on my team I'm the guy who slows the play down to make the fast play if that makes sense.

I get the puck and I have a good look and either keep skating, slow down, or stop. This slows the D down but my teammates are still in full flight and usually breaking for a pass. Don't get me wrong I'm one of the fastest if not fastest kids on my team and I'm up there for the league, but that's just how I've played forever. When I get the puck I tend to see things in slow-mo like all the great players, except I'm not nearly big enough or strong enough to be good so I play House or rep lol.

Point being if it's a slow game and your slowed down try to get your teammates to speed up so you can make that long breakaway pass.

How do you deal with the problem of slowing the game down on D when your wings are nowhere near to be found and your facing a fast forecheck?

In the O zone i am all about waiting for my team to come into the zone and setting them up but how could i give them more time on a breakout when getting forechecked?

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11-27-2011, 05:46 PM
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shawn1331
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoninNYR View Post
How do you deal with the problem of slowing the game down on D when your wings are nowhere near to be found and your facing a fast forecheck?

In the O zone i am all about waiting for my team to come into the zone and setting them up but how could i give them more time on a breakout when getting forechecked?
Watch the leafs rookie Jake Gardiner, he's exceptional at taking his time and sucking the forechecker in then passing. you may have to take the hit but if he's hitting you thats one less player you need to worry about scoring on you. Just try to take your time and don't panic with the puck, if it means you have to turn around and try another breakout so be it.

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11-28-2011, 08:53 AM
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elevation
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to point 2

I'm still wondering, why nobody argues about a 1/2 hollow at 200lbs on soft ice...
get a second set of steel with way more glide...

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11-28-2011, 04:49 PM
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RoninNYR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elevation View Post
to point 2

I'm still wondering, why nobody argues about a 1/2 hollow at 200lbs on soft ice...
get a second set of steel with way more glide...

I actually posted this in the sharpening thread...

Quote:
I am an excellent skater, very fast, excellent at balancing edges at speed, great endurance and quick explosive mid stride... except When i play on soft ice... I get exhausted and loose all explosiveness

6ft 200 lbs (~10% bf, all legs) 1/2 inch cut on the hard ice partial outdoor rink and i am flying, i am able to accelerate quick change direction on demand and never get tired..

My league rink has very soft ice and it seems like i am skating in mud. I cannot accelerate and maintain speed like i want, i just get exhausted.

I noticed that when skating on the hard ice i am able to do that one legged glide to stop over 15 ft from a fast speed.

At my league rink where the ice is warm i would tip over and break my neck if i tried that.

I assume my cut is too deep.. What cut should i try?
Any input? 5/8 or should i go higher?

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11-30-2011, 08:43 AM
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elevation
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def. try 5/8 first for your 'overall'...on soft ice I'd go even higher...

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11-30-2011, 09:57 AM
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Jarick
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Also, and this is barely related but having re-read what I posted,

This summer I focused on my breakouts (moving back to wing) and am more focused on moving east-west to open space IN OUR END to give a passing target. I'm getting far more clean passes and rushes/breakaways as a result.

Something I tried to pass on to our other wingers. A lot easier for a defenseman to pass the puck to someone he can see with his blade on the ice than hiding on the other end of the rink.

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