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beating defenders 1 on 1

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02-08-2012, 04:30 PM
  #1
Capathetic
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beating defenders 1 on 1

Hey fellas just looking for some advice in not only beating guys 1 on 1, but also advice on boosting confidence and adding offensive creativity to my game.

Id say about 8-10 times a game I have the puck flying down a wing,and more often than not I just dump it far corner and go get it. Sometimes im tired because my team only has two forward lines,but other times im afraid of trying dekes or anything fancy because I could turn it over. My team plays a pretty defensive style 1-2-2 but more like a 2-2-1 when im on the ice so not getting the puck deep can bite you at times.


Im fine with beating guys to the outside,and entering the zone then stopping or a tight turn to back off the defenders...but what else do you guys do to beat defenders?

Thanks in advance.

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02-08-2012, 05:10 PM
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Ozz
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The ol' slide the puck sideways under his stick trick works well if you can put it there and beat him to it, and know you won't get caught up by the defender playing the body.

You can also use the defender's positioning to my advantage. I find myself often being given plenty of space on the outside of the circles because they're expecting me to be looking for a path to the net. If you have have a cannon wrister and can snipe well, you can surprise a lot of people. I can't even count how often I'm given that opportunity and bomb one right on the short-side. I've hit goalies in the mask and bounced it in, squeaked it through tiny holes, exploited their lack of tightness against the post, even knocked a goalie on his ass (thus knocking the puck in - lol) by surprising him with a bean right in the torso. That might not work well if you don't have a heavy shot or can't place it where you want, but if so then it's worth giving a go. If you're prone to missing the net from sharp angles all together then that's another bad idea because it'll hit the glass and possibly exit the zone.

Using the defender as a screen is great too, especially if you're racing up and change your speed quickly right before getting the shot off. Again it mostly helps if you can place the puck where you want it, or at least if you plan to shoot through the defender's legs (I usually do, and I don't seem to not score when I get the chance to do it). They always expect you to come right at them, but the change in speed is tricky. Knowing you're going to do that to gain a couple feet and him as a screen and lay a shot on the net is going to surprise the goalie more often than not. If you don't go through his legs it doesn't hurt to cut one way and shoot back the other. You'd think that'd be easy to stop as a goalie but I'll be darned if that doesn't work a hell of a lot, too.

Last idea I have at the moment is racing up the wing and stopping quickly, cradling the puck behind you to to find and hit a trailing teammate. That extra space you gain on a defender can be big for finding a play.

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02-08-2012, 05:48 PM
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Droid6
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I like to come at regular speed or fein a stop and just when the D player matches my speed blow past 'em. It also helps to be able to puck handle with one hand while making space with your free arm.

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02-08-2012, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Droid6 View Post
I like to come at regular speed or fein a stop and just when the D player matches my speed blow past 'em. It also helps to be able to puck handle with one hand while making space with your free arm.
That's another good one, just keep skating hard around him and shove 'em!

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02-08-2012, 08:25 PM
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shawn1331
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Slow up and cut to the middle while simultaneously flipping the puck up about half a foot and hopping over his twig, works wonders on less mobile Dmen.

Fake cutting to the middle then put it back through your skates and beat him on the outside to the net, if your really feeling fancy when you cut to the middle and he turns to the inside slide the puck back through his feet and step around him, chances are he'll stumble or even fall. This is all based on coming down the left wing as a righty, because thats what I play. Obviosuly can be done on the right wing but it has to be your off wing.

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02-08-2012, 08:28 PM
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ponder
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I think a key thing to work on is smooth crossovers in both directions, at full speed, stick handling quickly the whole time. A lot of guys either just try to go wide, or go right at the defender and try to toe drag or something like that, but personally I have the most success by getting the defender moving side to side and off balance while I'm coming at him (with full speed crossovers), then just looking for an opening, whether it be cutting accross him while he's a bit off balance or out of position, or simply going wide while he's a bit off balance or out of position. I think beating dmen is more about getting the defender out of his comfort zone, and beating him with a well timed move (and quick stick handling) rather than FANCY stick handling like toe drags and whatnot.

Basically, watch Forsberg from the 5:28 to 5:40 mark of the video, that's how I try to beat defenders, with lots of smooth crossovers at full speed that get them moving laterally and off balance/out of position:


Also, this may seem obvious, but many people don't do it: skate for open ice. Too many people skate right at defenders, force defenders to be mobile from side to side by skating to open ice and they will often make mistakes.


Last edited by ponder: 02-08-2012 at 08:35 PM.
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02-08-2012, 11:32 PM
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I just try to beat them with speed, never go directly towards a defender, just skate for open ice if you can. Dangle as a last resort. I spent a lot of time practicing to stick handle with one hand, well worth the time invested. I even have a tiny shot!

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02-09-2012, 02:14 AM
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for me, i rely heavily on my crossovers and cutting in to the slot, in high speed..
my idea is to try and move/shake him from his ready position, and try to stickhandle below his stick or legs.
but you always have to be explosive, so it can be quite tiring

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02-09-2012, 03:48 AM
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hockeyisforeveryone
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Playing defense I think the hardest thing to stop is the quick deke or headfake and drive past either side. I see forwards swerve left and right and it's such a waste of time and energy. Again, make one quick move and foecefully go past on the side you decide.

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02-09-2012, 08:03 AM
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If you have some skating speed and are playing against relatively weak D-men, sometimes it's easiest to push the puck past them on their weak side (meaning they have to go backhand to try and intercept) then skate past them. Most will lose a step in the transition from backwards to forwards, and some may even have to turn their back on you.

Otherwise, there are three lanes for the puck to move past the d-man and two for you. The puck can go past the d-man on either side or between the legs, and you can go around either side. It's up to you whether you want to be fancy with it and try fakes or just make your move known and go for it. Many times I like to just protect the puck and blow past the d-man, and sometimes I'll just make a quick fake and turn on the jets the second the D-man shows some hesitation.

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02-09-2012, 08:54 AM
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Capathetic
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Thanks guys this is good stuff.

I play second line wing and sometimes center on a B league team. I score goals often but they are rebounds and wrist shots.I have skills and at times I can really hold the puck in the o-zone with quick turn arounds and such. I just seem to have trouble getting over that blueline and creating space to get a better chance then using the defender as a screen. I feel like part of this is my teams defensive style and the other is my own confidence. I need to feel confident that I can beat these guys more often and not always dump and chase/long wrister...even if I have improved it enough to be a threat. I need to work on poise.

How do you guys keep your swagger with the puck and poise?

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02-09-2012, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubynj View Post
How do you guys keep your swagger with the puck and poise?
Here's another who uses ponder's method of trying to bring the D off balance. One thing is very important though, which also helps a lot with poise, and it was not mentioned yet. Learn to do the fast crossovers and side-to-side and quick stickhandling movement head up.

What you have to do is wait until a Dman lags behind on either side, and that's the moment you change to the other (putting the puck under his stick or through his legs). For this you'll need to be able to attack him with your head up. It's easier than you might think, just need to practice it a little.

Also Ozz's advice to shoot using the D as a screen or cutting to the middle and shooting in the opposite direction are both great tips: work like a charm on Rec level (Heck, even Ovi did that his last game).

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02-09-2012, 09:17 AM
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Marotte Marauder
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While on the bench watch the opposing D men. See if any are prone to crossover while guarding a guy and skating backwards. If you find one, work him over.

Come in on him, cross or fake a lateral move and just as the d man begins to crossover/under- snap the other way. He will NOT be able to recover.

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02-09-2012, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeyisforeveryone View Post
Playing defense I think the hardest thing to stop is the quick deke or headfake and drive past either side. I see forwards swerve left and right and it's such a waste of time and energy. Again, make one quick move and foecefully go past on the side you decide.
That's what I do because I'm not a fast skater. The shorter stick helps here.

At my level (C-league), I can stickhandle and skate faster better than most guys can skate backwards and turn, so I go right at them and usually fake one way then quickly go wide the other and past them. Half the time it works, the other half they either poke check it or I chip it in.

Defending that, I'm not a great backwards skater, so I leave a little more gap, get my stick in the middle of the ice, try and get them to think they can cut to the middle, and as they make their move swipe the puck to the boards. That works most of the time, but I'm vulnerable to them stopping short, drop passing (forwards backcheck! ), or if they are good stickhandlers with a short stick they pull in tight and go around and I'm screwed.

If you're a great backwards skater or going against guys that are great, they can keep a tighter gap and you HAVE to go to the open ice and keep the puck in tight to the body (until you're going wide).

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02-09-2012, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rubynj View Post
How do you guys keep your swagger with the puck and poise?
Honestly I think I was born with it Even though I suck on the spectrum of hockey talent, I firmly believe I'm going to score a goal every single shift I take. There's literally never a shift where I think anything else. One track mind. Been like that ever since I scored my first goal. I want to do that again, and again, and again...

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02-09-2012, 09:26 AM
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How do you guys keep your swagger with the puck and poise?
I play my hardest and try not to care if I score or not, it takes a lot of the pressure off. The biggest mistake I see new players make is they are afraid to mess up so they don't push beyond there limits and they never get better. You'll probably fail a lot trying new stuff but eventually you won't.

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02-09-2012, 10:21 AM
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If you are explosive on the take off, a spin-o-rama is the best thing.

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02-09-2012, 10:47 AM
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izzy3
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BTW Jeremy has some good vids on dekes:
http://www.youtube.com/user/howtohoc...re=g-all-u#p/u

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02-09-2012, 12:05 PM
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tarheelhockey
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More often than not, I have more success just skating at the defender until he backs down to the circle, then looping back away from the net and passing to the next forward who is now bearing right now on goal with the defender in the headlights.

Guarantees you keep possession, gives you control over the direction of the play and usually in a lower league the trailing offensive players are skating a little harder than the trailing defenders.

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02-09-2012, 12:06 PM
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sanityplease
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubynj View Post
Thanks guys this is good stuff.

I play second line wing and sometimes center on a B league team. I score goals often but they are rebounds and wrist shots.I have skills and at times I can really hold the puck in the o-zone with quick turn arounds and such. I just seem to have trouble getting over that blueline and creating space to get a better chance then using the defender as a screen. I feel like part of this is my teams defensive style and the other is my own confidence. I need to feel confident that I can beat these guys more often and not always dump and chase/long wrister...even if I have improved it enough to be a threat. I need to work on poise.

How do you guys keep your swagger with the puck and poise?
Gaining access/space into the offensive zone, you need speed/agility & puck protection/handling ability. Are you panicking a bit & dumping the puck in well before the defenseman gets close to you? If you play with patience & have good puck control, but still can't get away from defensemen, you may need to work on your skating/speed. I play RW as a LH shooter, I wait for the defenseman make a move or commit himself (or back up too far) & react accordingly, think the best overall advice is skate for open ice & keep your head up (seeing all of your options) while handling the puck well.

I think most players don't work on their 'hands' enough. To really improve puck control, look @ dryland Sean Skinner type stuff. When you can confidently move the puck around your body (4 different areas), you'll become extremely difficult/slippery for a defenseman to stop. I train with golf ball wrapped with a few strips of black hockey tape (to reduce bounce & make the colour right) 10-20mins a day.


Last edited by sanityplease: 02-09-2012 at 02:29 PM. Reason: sp
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02-10-2012, 02:14 PM
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Personally I believe the best way to attack a teams net is through a team effort.

Entering the zone through passing and movement. Soviet Style.

So sometimes it behooves you to slow the puck down when entering the zone and go wide... Pick your head up, and look for the pass.

But I understand sometimes you enter the zone and your forced to do something on your own. I prefer the Old Canadian style of simplicity...

Take a low shot and crash the net..
Or force your way to his weak side, blocking the puck with your body and take it deep.

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02-10-2012, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubynj View Post
Thanks guys this is good stuff.

I play second line wing and sometimes center on a B league team. I score goals often but they are rebounds and wrist shots.I have skills and at times I can really hold the puck in the o-zone with quick turn arounds and such. I just seem to have trouble getting over that blueline and creating space to get a better chance then using the defender as a screen. I feel like part of this is my teams defensive style and the other is my own confidence. I need to feel confident that I can beat these guys more often and not always dump and chase/long wrister...even if I have improved it enough to be a threat. I need to work on poise.

How do you guys keep your swagger with the puck and poise?
For me its just confidence. If I am playing I feel completely and utterly unstoppable and my actual play is reflective of that. If the confidence isn't there my moves are less bold and as a result less successful.

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02-11-2012, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by hockeyisforeveryone View Post
Playing defense I think the hardest thing to stop is the quick deke or headfake and drive past either side. I see forwards swerve left and right and it's such a waste of time and energy. Again, make one quick move and foecefully go past on the side you decide.
Yep. Most forwards seem to have that indecisiveness and I'm able to use that millisecond to my advantage to pounce or poke.

But the better and faster players tend to do what you described and that's when I get burned. I hate when that happens.

And I personally vow to specifically target him and stop him when he tries it again. I like the personal challenge in trying to continually improve my game.

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02-11-2012, 12:46 PM
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If you're a lefty coming down the right side (or vice versa), bring the puck to your backhand, flip it over the defenseman's stick towards the slot and go in on the goalie. It's worked a lot for me recently. Bringing it to your backhand will make the defender think you're going to drive wide, so he'll start to pivot. That's when you flip it and hopefully will be in on a breakaway.

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02-11-2012, 03:47 PM
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The Sean skinner type of stuff is great. I have been having a lot of success messing up D-Men with a quick fake and sliding the puck through the triangle (between the D-man's stick on the ice and the skates).

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