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Switching to Center

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Old
05-09-2007, 04:23 PM
  #1
slade
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Switching to Center

ive been playing the off wing my whole life (RW LH shot)- and have been hearing a ton lately that i am a natural center and should try it out. been considering moving to the middle...



thoughts/ concerns/ tips?


preferrably from people who have made the move. (5ft 10 180lbs- finesse type game).

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05-09-2007, 05:15 PM
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johnny golightly
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I made the switch from centre to wing, and the thing that i found is that playing centre is a lot more skating and ultimately more draining. Generally the centre has to come back deep in the defensive zone to cover a forward, while wings cover point men, and centres have to play on both sides of the ice, while wingers stick to their lanes for the most part. In a lot of cases breakouts are run through the centre as well, but that depends on the system and your linemates.


I'm sure some people will disagree, but playing centre in my mind is a lot harder, especially from a physical standpoint.

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05-09-2007, 05:29 PM
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TaiMaiShu
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MUCH more responsiblility. In front of your own net you really have to keep your head on a swivel.

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05-09-2007, 06:14 PM
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i stared out playing wing then after some time moved to defense. After a brief hiatus I came back and the captaing asked "Can you play center tonight?" I said i've never done it but I'd try anything once. I found i actually prefer it. If you find you're a "wanderer" it's a good position for you as you need to be everywhere. I have a tendency to go deep in the zone to help out and even when I'm on wing, if I see the other side of the ice is not covered i'll bust over there (unfortunately leaving my spot uncovered, but hey you've got to take away that time and space). I'm also 5'10" about 170-175. I'm more of a grinder than a finese player though as I started really late in life.

It is a heck of a lot more skating than either wing or defense. I'm not in particularly good shape but I somehow manage to hang in there. SHORT SHIFTS!!!!

In a nutshell, give it a shot. What do you have to lose? it sounds like your teammates are behind you and the idea. If you like it you may jsut prove your teammates right. If you don't like it you can always go back to wing.

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05-09-2007, 06:23 PM
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On odd man rushes, you gotta come back and pick up the trailer. In your zone, head on a swivel(is that how you spell it?). One thing that I recently learned is always stay in motion in your zone(never stand still) so when the puck comes to your wingers you can join the attack and not be late on the play.
For me, thats what i do but im 15 years old, 5'11 153 lbs and a really speedy finesse type center who likes to go on the offence alot.

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05-09-2007, 06:47 PM
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If your fast, thats a plus.

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05-09-2007, 07:14 PM
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sc37
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I'm semi-moving over there. I started on D, then went to W, now I'm filling a hole or have been filling a hole in C. It's worked well since it's a combo of all the positions I've played so far. But like everyone has said, keep your head on a swivel...gotta keep finding that open man to cover and help your D out and also look for the open spaces to feed your wingers on the rush.

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05-09-2007, 07:17 PM
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I'm accustomed to switching between the Wing and D (Right side) but I take facoffs and Play Centre on the PK and occasionally even strength. I'm not fast, but I have (what I consider) pretty good timing, hockey sense and anticipation. I can safely say that mobility is your friend, and you have to be able to play well without the puck a lot more than you would on the Wing.

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05-09-2007, 07:45 PM
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slade
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great tips guys...id say skating is my strong point- hence alot of the recommendations...alot of the wingers on my squad are big and prefer to stay near the net- so alot of down low cycling and getting the puck deep has beed working well.


i have a tendency to dangle big time...i love one on one situations- and i feel like getting the puck deeper in the opposing zone is giving me more time and space to size up the d-men.


keep the tips coming!

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05-10-2007, 12:16 AM
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PMP5030
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I've always been a center, lots of good tips on this thread; here's one more I haven't seen mentioned yet:

It's really important when you have the puck to be as good of a passer on your backhand as your forehand. You need to be able to distribute the puck to your wingers no matter which side of you they're on. I spent a lot of time when I was learning to play practicing my backhand passing. It can be devastating in the offensive zone as good backhand passes can set up goals for teammates that may be unaccounted for by the opposition. It's also useful in transition through the neutral zone to hit a streaking winger.

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05-10-2007, 12:40 AM
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Be prepared to backcheck very hard as the center acts almost like a 3rd d-man in the defensive zone. I did a transition from LW to Center about 4 years ago. At first my stamina wasn't up to par but my instincts for the game (vision/head on a swivel) allowed me to adjust a lot quicker than I initially thought. Try to stay up as the 3rd man high in the offensive zone. As a winger the tendency is to go right into the corner.

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05-10-2007, 07:41 AM
  #12
slade
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im usually paired with pretty big wingers that like to play down low/ and screen the net....in terms of creativity and creating scoring chances (whether passing or shooting) that i where i come in. so far playing center has been a real good fit. i do tend to favor the right side however- so many more options.


i can control much more when i am out there at C- whereas on the wing i had to almost wait for opportunities- rather then create them.

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05-10-2007, 01:32 PM
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WhipNash27
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As been said, playing center is a *****. You have to always get back quick. No skating slow back into the zone because your man is taking his time. You gotta bust your ass back and if you're tired, oh well. When you're a winger, the only time you really have to bust your ass getting back is if the Center or Dmen are trapped or you're covering for either. When you're a winger you don't have to move as much in the D zone. As a center you're all over the place.

I always stay away from playing Center. I'm not fit enough to do it. I mean as it is by the middle of the 2nd period my legs are dead. I get tired enough playing wing. I've tried center a couple of times before and then said never again.

Anyway, that's my take on it. I'm sure people who have played in higher and more organized levels can/have explain(ed) more

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05-10-2007, 01:58 PM
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I had played wing exclusively through my younger years but then was forced to centre my first year playing in a beer league.
I loved it! But you really do have to move your feet more and be more responsible in your own end.
But I found that my game really exploded with the move. I think I scored 25 goals in 30 games that year.

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05-11-2007, 05:15 PM
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Rem
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I'm slowly inching my way to becoming a regular center on my team, coming from both RW and LW (I'm a Left shooter too). I love being a center, because I always felt like I could be more involved in the play. I also enjoy being fast and like to keep myself moving, rather than covering a point man while in our zone. Sure you get tired faster, but if you a speedy player who likes that kind of play then it should be easy for you.

Just make sure your transition game is there. Sometimes I found myself playing to low in our zone and when my wings took the puck out I was too far back to be involved. Rookie mistakes I guess.

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Old
05-11-2007, 05:17 PM
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Rem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slade View Post
i can control much more when i am out there at C- whereas on the wing i had to almost wait for opportunities- rather then create them.
agreed

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Old
05-12-2007, 10:58 PM
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slade
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ive been practicing the position of late- playing in pickup games.......you need to be conditioned like a mofo- but the domination factor is there....center is crazy

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Old
05-12-2007, 11:09 PM
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I play center for my high school team, but I also switch to LW every now and then. I'm a righty.

I'm all over the ice as a center, and usually much more involved in the play. I find myself in nearly every spot of the attacking zone at least a few times throughout the course of the game. However, when I'm a LW there is a lot less flexibility. I also score many, many more goals as a LW. Though I'm not sure if that is an anamoly or not. I rack up assists as a center though.

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Old
05-14-2007, 08:57 PM
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Backstrom #19
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I'm a left shot an i started as a centre but moved to the right wing, i didn't have as much control of the game so i moved back. If you like to control the puck and have it a lot then go for it but if you don't like carrying the puck then stay were you are.

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Old
09-26-2007, 11:10 AM
  #20
Danrik
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I'm starting to play Center this year. Any other tips on positioning? We had our first game last week and I found myself running around a lot in our own end.

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Old
09-26-2007, 01:49 PM
  #21
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I just started playing centre, and I hate it. My stamina is just not up to par right now.

Common problem: I'll be deep in our own zone, trying to help the D recover the puck. Eventually it'll be chipped up the boards where the winger will be almost standing still. Once he gets it, he's looking for a play, but I'm way to deep in our zone.. so his only outlet is the far winger.. which is a tough play.

It's a tough position.

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09-26-2007, 01:58 PM
  #22
Slats432
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The biggest thing is positioning.

In your zone, the trailer is your guy on the rush. Off the face off, the other C is your guy. Down low, the extra man is your guy....you need to help your D in the corners. If one of them gets caught in no man's land, you are the guy that has to cover the front of the net.
(Obviously you know where a winger is supposed to be, at the point.)

Depending on who your wingers are, best for you to be the trailer coming in on the rush. It allows you to curl and pick up their extra guy on the rush. If you go deep and one of your wingers don't have your back, it is the odd man rush going the other way.

You can always work it out with your wingers that if you get caught deep, then someone has to cover your butt on the way back.

Good luck!

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Old
09-26-2007, 02:04 PM
  #23
Slats432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy G Biv View Post
I just started playing centre, and I hate it. My stamina is just not up to par right now.

Common problem: I'll be deep in our own zone, trying to help the D recover the puck. Eventually it'll be chipped up the boards where the winger will be almost standing still. Once he gets it, he's looking for a play, but I'm way to deep in our zone.. so his only outlet is the far winger.. which is a tough play.

It's a tough position.
If I were you, I would work on the reverse. Get the puck and throw it behind the net to the other d man. Have him move it out to the other winger. By that time, you should be able to make a break and give him some support. Also talk to the winger, and if he is stuck in mud at the half boards, tell him to see if he can get his feet moving to push the dman backwards. If you have possession, and he is skating, the dman instinctively should start going back with him.

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