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How to succeed on a breakaway - getting past defensemen

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03-04-2013, 06:53 AM
  #1
deeman
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How to succeed on a breakaway - getting past defensemen

I thought I would get some input from you guys in regards to dekeing around the defense during a breakaway. I have seen the videos on toe drags etc, but what has worked best for you guys as you tried to implement these moves?

My biggest challenge is either catching a pass and having a D right on top of me with little time to plan a move or hauling tail on a breakaway and coming up on the D quickly without any planning or thought.

So, how would you guys normally handle a scenario when you catch a pass in the neutral zone or the offensive-end blue line and have either 1 or 2 D to contend with?

Through the legs?
Toe Drag if this, how do you time this move. How close before you execute?
Deke to one side power to the other do you prefer to deke to the boards and power through center ice?
Cradle/ protect the puck?

Just trying to build some moves and need help with what works best and WHEN to execute them.

Thanks!!

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03-04-2013, 07:04 AM
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Marotte Marauder
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Well, if it's you against 2 Dmen, there's a couple of ways to handle it. Depending on the game situation, it may warrant chipping it in and chasing or my favorite, splitting the D and hoping they hesitate on who does what. If that hesitation occurs, you are in clean on the most exciting rush in hockey, IMO.

1-1 you may want to make a move and see if the D goes to crossover and follow you. If he does crossover, go the other way. If you are fairly equal players, he will not be able to catch you at that point.

To execute either move you must be comfortable stickhandling w/o looking at the puck, too often at least.

Good luck and have fun!

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03-04-2013, 02:37 PM
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Bengerm77
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I find that playing defense at a pick up and seeing what moves guys do on me is a great way to learn what to do. I can remember as a kid, some much better kid used the boards on me for the first time and made me look stupid. From then on I would bank the puck off the boards when the opportunity arose. Same with watching for the crossover thing the guy above said, some guy did that to me and I knew exactly what happened and tried to replicate it later.

Also, stick work looks nice, but is hard and less effective than just skating around people when you can. Keep it simple.

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03-04-2013, 02:56 PM
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Jarick
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Skating > Stickhandling. Keeping your feet moving as fast as you can while controlling the puck is more effective than going right at them and trying to do something fancy. If you're fast enough, you'll make them turn around, and then they are toast.

Usually you won't get a full breakaway with lots of time and space because you'll have 1-2 guys on your tail. So it's important to keep the puck in front of you, shoot early, and go to the net for a rebound. If the puck is to the side, you can get stripped.

If you're facing two D-men all alone, you have a few options...

1. Try to go around one side and cut to the net
2. Try to split the D
3. Stop and wait for your guys to enter the zone
4. Dump the puck behind the D and chase it

I usually go for 1 or 2 depending on how tight the D plays me and how much space is between them.

All of it takes practice though.

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03-04-2013, 03:06 PM
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PlayBall
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I know this sounds weird but don't forget about your feet. Cliche to reference Datsyuk but he's one of the best for it, he kicks pokechecked pucks on his feet, he redirects them back on his stick, it's brilliant.

Pay attention to foot speed, angle/direction, and how you can use them to appear as if you're going one way and suddenly turn the opposite way with speed. Or putting it between your legs to give yourself more distance from the dman when they go to pokecheck you.

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03-04-2013, 03:37 PM
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Ozz
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When they let me push them deep enough (middle or circles or below) I like to use speed and quickly slow it down and rip off a shot mid-stride, using them as a screen. Usually I go right through the legs but sometimes I have to go around them. Those plays always result in a goal, but it's not so easy to force all the time. I remember hitting the crossbar once from a shot high in the circles, beating around the D-man, and smacking the puck out of mid-air right into the net as the goalie was looking for it.

At the level I play, I'm not fancy enough w/my stick work to beat these defenders in close while one-on-one. I can do it when I play down a couple leagues w/friends, but my primary league has too much skill everywhere. I still try randomly because it's helpful even in failure, but I'm usually left wishing I'd just kept going full steam ahead. That's my 2nd choice if no teammates are nearby at all and he's not biting on my attempts to walk him in front of his goalie.

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03-04-2013, 06:19 PM
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rbarker26
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as Jarick said, skating > stick-handling. Usually if I'm 1-on-1 with a defender, i will choose a side and try to beat him to it and simply skate around him. Sometimes I will fake going to one side, then quickly switch directions. This usually causes the defender to cross-over, giving you a break to blow past them. Placing the puck between the defender's legs can be effective, but if doing so, try to get the puck a little bit off the ice. It's much easier for the defender to simply turn his skate 90 degrees and block the puck then for him to try to block it with his leg in mid-air. But I would recommend trying to stay away from stick-handling moves and just use power-skating and acceleration

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03-04-2013, 06:42 PM
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Topshelf8188
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I find that a lot of Dmen expect the between the legs, and faking that then putting the puck around their legs works well too.

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03-05-2013, 08:51 AM
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Beezeral
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There is a reason you rarely see 1-1 rushes turn into breakaways after you pass the age of 12 unless their is a huge skill gap between the forward and defenseman. Simple solution is really the best. Protect the puck, go to the outside and wait for a teammate to catch up and get open in the slot area.

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03-05-2013, 09:47 AM
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Jarick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezeral View Post
There is a reason you rarely see 1-1 rushes turn into breakaways after you pass the age of 12 unless their is a huge skill gap between the forward and defenseman. Simple solution is really the best. Protect the puck, go to the outside and wait for a teammate to catch up and get open in the slot area.
This is what I'm trying to do more. Hopefully you have a teammate with wheels so you can turn a 1-on-1 into a 2-on-1.

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03-05-2013, 11:45 AM
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newfr4u
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezeral View Post
There is a reason you rarely see 1-1 rushes turn into breakaways after you pass the age of 12 unless their is a huge skill gap between the forward and defenseman. Simple solution is really the best. Protect the puck, go to the outside and wait for a teammate to catch up and get open in the slot area.
having spent this season with a mites team, i know what you mean. most breakaways in rec league are earned 1-2 seconds before you pass the defenseman, usually without the puck (unless it's a ringer playing way below his level). there are some 1-on-1 drills that illustrate this very well, by delaying the defenseman, or by giving the forward a head start.

however, the basic tactic/athletic movement (catching a defenseman out of position/flat-footed, getting a quick start/going wide then cutting to the middle lane, etc.) is the same, and you can definitely practice and get better at it.

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03-05-2013, 02:50 PM
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SCBruCrew4
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I'll break it down into two scenarios.

1: If trying to score on the breakaway - I would possibly do a spin move since I can do it and have done it.

2: If maintaining possession is move important - I would just peel off of the pressure and maybe go into the corner and await a teamate who I could pass to.

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03-05-2013, 02:53 PM
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Fire Dumboer
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If it is a 1 on 1, I hate watching guys try to go through the Dman instead of around them. If you are a good enough skater you can burn them

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03-06-2013, 11:53 AM
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nystromshairstylist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeman View Post
I thought I would get some input from you guys in regards to dekeing around the defense during a breakaway. I have seen the videos on toe drags etc, but what has worked best for you guys as you tried to implement these moves?My biggest challenge is either catching a pass and having a D right on top of me with little time to plan a move or hauling tail on a breakaway and coming up on the D quickly without any planning or thought. So, how would you guys normally handle a scenario when you catch a pass in the neutral zone or the offensive-end blue line and have either 1 or 2 D to contend with?Through the legs?Toe Drag – if this, how do you time this move. How close before you execute?Deke to one side power to the other – do you prefer to deke to the boards and power through center ice?Cradle/ protect the puck?Just trying to build some moves and need help with what works best and WHEN to execute them.Thanks!!
This is the major item I have spent many hours researching and working on over the past 4-6 weeks; catching a breakout pass from your own d-man as you head up ice and attack.

3 things, assuming you are playing non-checking:

1) it is important both right before and after you catch/control the pass to keep your head up to look up ice and see what the situation is ahead of you overall. Then to look and see if a d-man has picked you up as you skate into his area which way his shoulders and hips are leaning so that you can then skate the other way - if he is leaning left or right, cut sharply to the opposite side to create space. If it is just you attacking 2 d-men, you have a split second to decide whether to try and split them, or go outside of one towards the boards, nullifying the other d-man further away but cutting down your shooting angle as a trade-off. If you opt to split them, you will need to be able to either move the puck quickly left-to-right/right-to-left, or push it ahead and catch it a few feet up ice.

2) Toe drags are cool (been working intensely on mine for the past few weeks) but will often force you to slow down a bit, allowing the other d-man or back-checking forward to catch up to you. It is often better to either try to maintain your speed and go around the d-man and then head back towards the goalie or put the puck ahead of you/behind the dman (but not so far the goalie will beat you to the puck), re-capture your self-pass, and then shoot on net. Going thru the legs is a high risk move, though not as risky as a toe drag; often times unless the d-man is a noob they are able to move one leg and deflect the puck as it goes thru their legs off to one side, ending the attack.

3) M2 Hockey has a Youtube toe-drag video and they indicated you should be about 2 hockey stick lengths (about 10-feet or so) away from the d-man before initiating the toe-drag. Here is the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUh4N4wZMG4

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03-06-2013, 01:19 PM
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jaysoneil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iiTzLaMia View Post
If it is a 1 on 1, I hate watching guys try to go through the Dman instead of around them. If you are a good enough skater you can burn them
+1 for simplicity.

Save the dekes and fancy moves for the goalie.

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03-06-2013, 02:10 PM
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Jarick
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Or if you're me, deke the defender and have the goalie poke check the puck off your stick every time you try and make a move

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03-06-2013, 10:40 PM
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ChrisNI
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Personally I don't like to deke D-men, 1 poke check and you're burned!

Whichever side I come in on I get to roughly the top of the circles and skate to the inside shoulder of the D with the puck on the inside and get quite close, it'll cause the Dman to rotate in slightly, then very quickly throw the puck to the outside and skate hard and fast around the D using your body to protect the puck. Unless you've a Dman who is very light and quick on his feet you'll burn him most of the time.

The downside to this one is by the time you're around the Dman you're on top of the goalie so you need to be able to stickhandle in tight spaces to get around or over the goalie for the goal.

It's awesome when it works just takes timing and a lot of practise.

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03-06-2013, 11:49 PM
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Wilch
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Gauge the situation. If the D is a solid skater and you can't get past him with pure speed, consider the options available to you.

Is anyone trailing the play? If so, look to make a drop pass, stop or create space so you can hit your trailing teammate with a pass or make the D hesitate and shoot.

If no one on your team is trailing you, try to fire a shot between the defender's legs. I managed to sneak in a few goals like that because essentially the opposing D acts as a screen.

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03-07-2013, 07:39 AM
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deeman
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Great input, thanks guys!

I've learned from this thread about risk management. If I try to deke the defensemen it MAY work but it's somewhat likely to fail and the breakaway (and control of the puck) will be a failure. Turnover is likely.

Skating around the D (going wide, if needed) in an attempt to hit a trailer with a pass is much more likely to result in a goal or rebound attempt.

I don't the the risk is worth it and will opt to use speed to go around the D and not thru him. Thanks again!

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03-07-2013, 09:42 AM
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Jarick
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When I'm charging the D 1-on-1, I do like to try and fake going one way and then go the other, as has been said above, try and get him to crossover one way and then skate as hard as you can the other way. But make your move early. When you first start trying, make the move a full stick length between you two. As you get better, you can make the move closer (which gives him less time to react) but there's the greater risk of poke checking as some D-men like to hide their stick length.

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03-09-2013, 03:47 PM
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My decision is usually based on 2 scenarios. I typically try to determine whether the dman know what he's doing or not by seeing if he plays the body or plays the puck. If it's amateur hour amd he's playing the puck I typically put it to some space right behind him, he turns the way of the puck and I skate around, or toe drag. If he has some idea of how to play d, i take it wide on my backhand, get low, and keep my feet pumping. As soon as you get a dman to turn around it's over. I'm almost 6' and 205, so I like to use my size, speed to take a guy wide.

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03-10-2013, 05:03 AM
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If you are on a break away and want to get past a defenceman...don't do it...you are going the wrong way!

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