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Stepping up at the blue line

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10-17-2011, 01:17 AM
  #1
Rebels21
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Stepping up at the blue line

ok so as a defensive man when i step up to the puck carrier i generally have the problem of going for the hit and getting burnt. im solid at playing the guy outside when he skates to the boards and playing him from there but if he goes inside i have trouble doing anything to stop it. i miss the hit when i go to change direction from backwards to forwards. when im transitioning the player will usually step around me or as I said before, ill miss the hit. Any advice?

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10-17-2011, 03:21 AM
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vapor11
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Don't always go for the big hit..Sure the big hit will get the glory but it is up to you to decide when the time to make a hit is and when you should not.. Think about who you are playing against, with, and decide if its worth the risk of missing that big hit and instead just take your defensive position skating backwards


Although I was never a big hitter or defenseman

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10-17-2011, 09:33 AM
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Jarick
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If he's got the puck and skating towards you, I'd just go backwards and try to keep him from cutting to the inside.

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10-17-2011, 09:42 AM
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Steelhead16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebels21 View Post
ok so as a defensive man when i step up to the puck carrier i generally have the problem of going for the hit and getting burnt. im solid at playing the guy outside when he skates to the boards and playing him from there but if he goes inside i have trouble doing anything to stop it. i miss the hit when i go to change direction from backwards to forwards. when im transitioning the player will usually step around me or as I said before, ill miss the hit. Any advice?
A couple of questions. When skating backwards is your top hand on your stick on your inside or outside? Also what skill level is this and what age? My advice will be different depending on each?

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10-17-2011, 02:18 PM
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1stoverall
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Always match the speed of the opposing player coming in this way you can force him on the outside to the boards cutting him off to either make a hit or knock the puck away

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10-17-2011, 05:02 PM
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flyers10
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Play off his inside shoulder. This way you can keep angling him to the boards but if he tries to cut inside you're already a half body width in on him and can match him better or better yet stand him up. Make sure to have proper gap control though. Give him too much room and your toast on the inside cut.

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10-18-2011, 01:04 PM
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SJGoalie32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebels21 View Post
ok so as a defensive man when i step up to the puck carrier i generally have the problem of going for the hit and getting burnt. im solid at playing the guy outside when he skates to the boards and playing him from there but if he goes inside i have trouble doing anything to stop it. i miss the hit when i go to change direction from backwards to forwards. when im transitioning the player will usually step around me or as I said before, ill miss the hit. Any advice?
Probably the best advice I can offer is just for you to change your mindset when defending a player.

Your primary goal shouldn't be to "hit" the guy, or to try to knock him into next Wednesday......it should be just to separate the player from the puck.

If you can do that best with your stick (stick on puck, stick on stick), do that......if the situation gives you the opportunity to apply body contact, then do that.

But the point of the body contact should be to force the player to either lose control of the puck, or at the very least to force him into a direction he doesn't want to go where you have more defensive support and he has less chance of creating a quality scoring chance.

You don't need to knock him off his feet to accomplish this. A relatively light push with your arm, shoulder, or hip (making sure your body is still relatively facing the puck) to bump the player off the puck so that either you or a teammate can pick it up is all you need, and leaves you in much better position to defend more or try again should you miss.

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10-18-2011, 11:29 PM
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Rebels21
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Originally Posted by Steelhead16 View Post
A couple of questions. When skating backwards is your top hand on your stick on your inside or outside? Also what skill level is this and what age? My advice will be different depending on each?
I am a right handed player on the left side. Im 15 in Varsity High School league.

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10-19-2011, 11:14 AM
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Steelhead16
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Originally Posted by Rebels21 View Post
I am a right handed player on the left side. Im 15 in Varsity High School league.

I actually coach high school varsity and have played defense for 30+ years.

Both flyers10 and SJG32 had some great points but I will elaborate a little As has been said, stepping up at the blue line doesn't mean making a hit everytime. You didn't mention if this was a one on one situation or a 3 on 2 type situation so here is something for both. In a line rush situation (3 on 2, 3 on 3) I want my defensemen to make the opponent do "something" at the blue line I want them to make them slow up. make a pass, dump the puck, etc..... I just want them to have their options limited so that the defense has less possibilities to have to defend. I actually don't want my defensemen to make a hit in this situation because it leaves the other defenseman alone.

In a one on one situation your best option is to give the guy something that you want him to take and let him take it. Most guys will take what is the easiest. Like flyers 10 said play your outside shoulder in line with his inside shoulder, or since you are right handed you can even cheat a little further inside and give away more because you have a longer reach on that side. A righty on the right wing 99% of the time will take that route if you give it to him. If you happen to get a lefty coming up that side cheat even further inside and force him to keep the puck on his backhand.

When you finally get the guy between you and the boards and want to deliver a hit, start closing the gap by drifting towards the boards. The guy will either slow up, speed up or coast when you start squeezing the space so you can decide what to do. If he speeds up just crossover hard and pin him to the boards with your hands extended and just control his progress. If he slows up or starts coasting and you want to deliver a hit, start making your move when the guy is at about 10:00. Crossover and change your direction to about 8:00, shoot your stick between the opponents stick and body to gain a little control on him and then fire forward with your left shoulder to the opponent's chest and try and keep your right hand on or near his left shoulder in case he bounces off or you get your feet caught up and stumble a little.

One other thing that you need to take a quick look at is that even if you are one on one make sure that the next player coming down isn't an opposing player as well. If so, you don't want to make a hit and leave a loose puck for their next man coming down. You are better off riding the guy to the corner and giving your back checkers a longer opportunity to catch up and cover that guy.

Hope that makes sense and helps you out.

Good luck with your season.


Last edited by Steelhead16: 10-19-2011 at 11:20 AM.
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Old
10-19-2011, 09:07 PM
  #10
OpenIceHit42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyers10 View Post
Play off his inside shoulder. This way you can keep angling him to the boards but if he tries to cut inside you're already a half body width in on him and can match him better or better yet stand him up. Make sure to have proper gap control though. Give him too much room and your toast on the inside cut.
I was always taught to play the inside shoulder.

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