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"His natural side/wing"

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Old
08-09-2006, 11:52 PM
  #26
Impossibles
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Related question...

Say you take an average NHL left winger, who's never scored 20 goals/40 points, and move him to the right wing.

Do you think he will struggle or will perform about the same? Obviously passing & shooting are not a huge part of his game, nor has he had a lot of success on that wing.

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08-09-2006, 11:57 PM
  #27
Happy Pony
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Yea I can play either wing but as a left handed shot I find my game is affected by which wing I am on. I tend to have more scoring chances and therefore goals when playing the right wing, either cutting to the slot for a pass or crashing the net. When playing left wing I find I tend to set up more goals and play better defensivley.

Also on the power play the same holds true, better shooting opportunities on the right wing, and more opportunities to set teammates up from the left wing, but I prefer to be in front of the net so the point is moot.

On the rare occasion I skate as a defenseman I prefer to play the left side, so that I can keep a stick (held in the right hand) towards the middle to prevent players from going inside and making passing towards the middle, while using the free left hand to direct players who try to go outside towards the boards (since it is a non-check league). Another benefit is that if I am clearing the puck there is less angle towards the boards while allows me to keep the puck tighter against the boards.

Yea I think about these things too much...

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08-10-2006, 12:10 AM
  #28
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some guys have trouble protecting the puck on their off wing... and others... are lame on their back hand....

You just have to think about the angles... but it's the elite or talented that can play wherever and perform at the same rate...even though their game is slightly different.

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08-10-2006, 12:21 AM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionHockey View Post
I'm going to go on a hunch, but I think a world class player won't have problems recieving the puck from either side. I really have a hard time buying that a player can't adjust quickly to which side of the boards they recieve the puck from.

I also think using ourselves is a bad example. Depending on your skill level it really is going to be either really hard, or really easy. The competition is not that high (unless your on a travel team and even then I have my doubts).
Try this. Put your butt against a wall(imagine its the boards and your about at the hash marks) now imagine you recieve a pass from the D. Try it on the left and right side. It's not really a question of pass reception but more of what kind of what kind of position you are in once you recieve the puck. In this example if you are a left shot and play on the left wing if you get the puck its going to be arround 6' closer to the blue line then if you were a right shot playing on the left wing.

Left hand shot playing left side.
=======blue line

o (puck)
X (player)


--------- goal line

Right hand shot playing left side
=====blue line


X (player)
o (puck)

--------- goal line


Like I said in a previous post I prefered and was better at the right wing. Because I felt the D was always pinching me when I was on the left. Anyway this is just a small game situation. But there are hundreds of other situations durring a game and when you're brain has been programmed a certain way things come naturaly an d you dont have to think. When you switch positions if you havent been used to it durring your career well you start thinking and that's never good.

An example where it's better to be a left shot and play on the left side is when the puck is cleared along the boards (a pass by the D) and you have to take hold of it while skating paralel to the boards. If you're a left shot on the right side you're totaly exposed because your crossed up. When you're not used to it you can get hurt if you dont know what to watch for.

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08-10-2006, 08:45 AM
  #30
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I'm not sure I quite understand. Are you suggesting that a right handed shot will not be able to have the pass lead in front of him because he is on the off wing? If that is the case, players catch passes on their backhand too, its not that hard, but I'm probably wrong. I think I might have to see the scenario to fully understand.

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08-10-2006, 09:11 AM
  #31
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Switching sides can be very difficult, and even though these are the best players in the world, they're also playing against the best players in the world. Any little thing that costs you any competitive advantage will get exploited.

A large number of the problems have been mentioned here. A lot of it has to do with handedness combined with playing style. Take Kovalchuk and Brett Hull for example, righty shots who plays the LW because their one timer is half their game (or in Brett's case, his entire game). Switch them to the right side, and they have to wait an extra half second to fire off a one timer and it's from a worse angle, which makes for an easier save.

Players like Paul Kariya (lefty shot, LW), who like to carry the puck in and shoot or make a play, tend to play the same side as their handedness, as it makes it easier to protect the puck and get the shot off, and it also makes it easier to pass it since everyone should be on your forehand side.

Someone else mentioned driving to the net, which changes completely depending on which side you're doing it from, most players tend to do it from the opposite side of their handedness, so they can keep their top hand on the stick and use their lower hand to hold off defenders. Bertuzzi, a lefty, as I recall was tried for a while at LW, before breaking out on RW where he could do this more effectively.

People also seem to think what side a defenseman plays is interchangeable, and personally, I find it much more difficult to switch sides on defense than on wing. I'm a righty, and I can't stand playing the left side. For one, it makes clearing the puck much more difficult, as you're either doing it off your backhand (weaker), sending up the middle (stupid) or exposing the puck greatly before you clear it (risky). Half the time I'd end up just carrying it behind the net so I could clear it off the right side. Though, it's much less of a problem when I pinch, it still bothers me as I'm more concerned with not coughing up the puck up high, so I'd much rather be able to shoot and pass on the forehand without having to expose the puck to the middle of the ice.

So yes, side matters. A lot.

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Old
08-10-2006, 09:17 AM
  #32
Hugh Madbrough
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDO View Post
Yeah.. it shows you've never played

A lot of guys can play both wings. Hell, I can play both. I'm a left handed shot, and prefer the right side (my off-wing), but I can play the left as well.

However, there are several things I can only do on one side or the other.

Driving with the puck to the net is entirely different, as the puck is on my backhand on the right side, but I can also use my left hand to fend a guy off and hold onto the puck with my right arm on the right side. My stick is towards the middle of the ice, so I have a much larger angle to shoot from. I have to make several defensive plays on my backhand, which many players have a lot more trouble with. It's a lot harder to make a move towards the middle of the ice, but a lot easier to go wide.

It all depends on the style of game you play... a shooter is generally going to prefer playing on his off-wing, for example.
I'm the same way.

I play with a few guys that can either play left or right. They are terrible when playing out of position (granted we aren't nhler's).

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Old
08-10-2006, 09:52 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seph View Post
Switching sides can be very difficult, and even though these are the best players in the world, they're also playing against the best players in the world. Any little thing that costs you any competitive advantage will get exploited.

A large number of the problems have been mentioned here. A lot of it has to do with handedness combined with playing style. Take Kovalchuk and Brett Hull for example, righty shots who plays the LW because their one timer is half their game (or in Brett's case, his entire game). Switch them to the right side, and they have to wait an extra half second to fire off a one timer and it's from a worse angle, which makes for an easier save.

Players like Paul Kariya (lefty shot, LW), who like to carry the puck in and shoot or make a play, tend to play the same side as their handedness, as it makes it easier to protect the puck and get the shot off, and it also makes it easier to pass it since everyone should be on your forehand side.

Someone else mentioned driving to the net, which changes completely depending on which side you're doing it from, most players tend to do it from the opposite side of their handedness, so they can keep their top hand on the stick and use their lower hand to hold off defenders. Bertuzzi, a lefty, as I recall was tried for a while at LW, before breaking out on RW where he could do this more effectively.

People also seem to think what side a defenseman plays is interchangeable, and personally, I find it much more difficult to switch sides on defense than on wing. I'm a righty, and I can't stand playing the left side. For one, it makes clearing the puck much more difficult, as you're either doing it off your backhand (weaker), sending up the middle (stupid) or exposing the puck greatly before you clear it (risky). Half the time I'd end up just carrying it behind the net so I could clear it off the right side. Though, it's much less of a problem when I pinch, it still bothers me as I'm more concerned with not coughing up the puck up high, so I'd much rather be able to shoot and pass on the forehand without having to expose the puck to the middle of the ice.

So yes, side matters. A lot.
Great post!

One more thing that you didn't mentioned is holding the puck in on the point. Typically, it's much more difficult for a L handed d-man to play the right point (or vice-versa) because stopping the puck against the boards is on your back-hand.

I think in general for wingers it's easier to shoot from the off-wing (better shot angle, easier one timer) and it's more difficult to pass because it's on your backhand in most cases. I think the more "balance" you're game, the less impactful changing sides is.

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Old
08-10-2006, 10:21 AM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beukeboom Fan View Post
Great post!

One more thing that you didn't mentioned is holding the puck in on the point. Typically, it's much more difficult for a L handed d-man to play the right point (or vice-versa) because stopping the puck against the boards is on your back-hand.

I think in general for wingers it's easier to shoot from the off-wing (better shot angle, easier one timer) and it's more difficult to pass because it's on your backhand in most cases. I think the more "balance" you're game, the less impactful changing sides is.
Also very true. Another thing I left out about playing defense on the right is that I have more reach to the middle of the ice with a poke check, making it easier to take that away from incoming forwards. Basically, I just hate playing LD.

On wingers though, I find it more difficult to get the shot off on my off wing, but when I shoot they tend to be better shots.

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08-10-2006, 01:45 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Impossibles View Post
Of course if you play left wing your entire career and are asked to switch one day, there will be an adjustment period, but shouldn't any player be able play at the same level on either side given enough practice?
I think most responses here are assuming that players are switching from game to game.

I think if most players were asked to play a different side (or centre) and practiced it every practice, and all the plays and breakouts and stuff, they would probably be able to play the other position at pretty much the same level.

Also, once the play is going the players move around quite a bit and are often shooting, passing, etc, from both sides of the ice.

I think the more specific parts of each position, i.e. breakout, PP, faceoff position, can be learned and practiced to make it become more "natural"

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Old
08-10-2006, 02:58 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seph View Post
Switching sides can be very difficult, and even though these are the best players in the world, they're also playing against the best players in the world. Any little thing that costs you any competitive advantage will get exploited.

A large number of the problems have been mentioned here. A lot of it has to do with handedness combined with playing style. Take Kovalchuk and Brett Hull for example, righty shots who plays the LW because their one timer is half their game (or in Brett's case, his entire game). Switch them to the right side, and they have to wait an extra half second to fire off a one timer and it's from a worse angle, which makes for an easier save.

Players like Paul Kariya (lefty shot, LW), who like to carry the puck in and shoot or make a play, tend to play the same side as their handedness, as it makes it easier to protect the puck and get the shot off, and it also makes it easier to pass it since everyone should be on your forehand side.

Someone else mentioned driving to the net, which changes completely depending on which side you're doing it from, most players tend to do it from the opposite side of their handedness, so they can keep their top hand on the stick and use their lower hand to hold off defenders. Bertuzzi, a lefty, as I recall was tried for a while at LW, before breaking out on RW where he could do this more effectively.

So yes, side matters. A lot.
I like this response...combination of playing style and shooting handedness.

But I'm not sure how it translates to defensmen...

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08-10-2006, 04:04 PM
  #37
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One of the only big differences is taking the puck off the boards. It is easier to do it if you are left handed on the left side because you aren't on your back hand. Also on a one on one its easier coming down on your wing then the other I find

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Old
08-10-2006, 04:26 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impossibles View Post
I like this response...combination of playing style and shooting handedness.

But I'm not sure how it translates to defensmen...
It does translate to defense, but it's not always as obvious. Many of the things a player does defensively aren't affected as much. Something like hitting, for example, won't really change depending on which side you're on. If given some time and space in the back end, break out passes aren't really affected either. A lot of neutral zone play isn't effected much either. And since that's so much of playing defense, it doesn't always make the biggest deal.

But it does affect things in other ways. For example, the clearing the puck off the boards example. Or when manning a point, if you are on your off side, the way you have to expose the puck to pass or shoot it, leaves you vulnerable for a more costly turnover than if you were on the opposite side trying to do the same thing, i.e., you are exposing the puck right in the middle so if someone grabs it they have a good chance at a breakaway, whereas if you had it between you and the near boards, it's be a lot easier to just check them into the boards and stop them.

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