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Defenseman - Reach vs Stickhandling ?

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Old
03-20-2012, 01:52 AM
  #1
BHDefensiveForward
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Defenseman - Reach vs Stickhandling ?

I'm playing on a ball hockey team this season as a defenseman, however I'm usually a forward but I've always wanted to play defense on a team, as I did well in pickup.

My issue is this, I'm 5ft 6" in shoes and my stick is nose level. I can stick handle very well, toe drag, and slap shot under my body very well, which I don't do as often due to shoulders. I use this stick length as a forward and was very successful.

I've played defense with my stick at eyebrow level, and my reach was amazing because I'm a very fast runner. I use a lot of my aggressive forechecking "talents" to get the ball out of our zone. I do suffer in the stick handling department but can still stick handle alright, but my slap shots and stick play for poke checking/tying up a players stick are greatly increased.

Should I just use the stick at nose level? Or use my previous eyebrow level and loose some stick handling ability for more reach?


Last edited by BHDefensiveForward: 03-20-2012 at 02:02 AM.
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03-20-2012, 02:12 AM
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Wilch
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You should try using different sticks at your drop-in. Get a cheaper stick and don't cut it down as much. If you like it, stick with that length, if not you can always cut it down.

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03-20-2012, 04:40 AM
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izzy3
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I'm small too, 5'8", and honestly I think you can profit more from the shorter stick which makes you a better overall player.

I started out as D, and had the same dilemma, but realized that reach is not a big deal. Also - even though you play ball hockey - "reaching" for pucks/balls is asking for trouble, it puts you in a vulnerable position, where you're head is low. If you get hit, even accidentally, you're toast.

If you play D play the body (even if you don't hit, you can block the forward's path), and be solid on your feet. Before a poke check you should pull your hand back, so the forward thinks you're still out of reach, then strike.

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03-20-2012, 06:30 AM
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hyster110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHDefensiveForward View Post
I'm playing on a ball hockey team this season as a defenseman, however I'm usually a forward but I've always wanted to play defense on a team, as I did well in pickup.

My issue is this, I'm 5ft 6" in shoes and my stick is nose level. I can stick handle very well, toe drag, and slap shot under my body very well, which I don't do as often due to shoulders. I use this stick length as a forward and was very successful.

I've played defense with my stick at eyebrow level, and my reach was amazing because I'm a very fast runner. I use a lot of my aggressive forechecking "talents" to get the ball out of our zone. I do suffer in the stick handling department but can still stick handle alright, but my slap shots and stick play for poke checking/tying up a players stick are greatly increased.

Should I just use the stick at nose level? Or use my previous eyebrow level and loose some stick handling ability for more reach?
i am a d in ice hockey and i dont even use a stick that long, if its at your nose at good, keep it that way, its the best for your all around game.

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03-20-2012, 09:56 AM
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Jarick
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I'll take the shorter stick which makes me a better passer, shooter, and stickhandler than the one that lets me occasionally poke the puck from 2" further out.

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03-20-2012, 01:26 PM
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Dreadnaut
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On the whole a longer stick is IMO a disadvantage. Trying to stick handle around the body is a nightmare if its longer than your nose.

You don't need reach. Just watch the players torso to track his direction not the puck, and then only go for it when its NOT an all or nothing swipe. Just a gentle poke check or lift of the stick is enough to ruin a break out.

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03-20-2012, 02:37 PM
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bp spec
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Go with a shorter stick. You can see the reasons above my post.

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03-20-2012, 02:44 PM
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shawn1331
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Eyebrows is MUCH too long. I'm 5'9" and occasionally use sticks at stock length which comes to about the bridge of my nose(depending on brand) so I can use the full 85 flex and it's good for slapps and snappers. Recently I've started cutting the stick down and I find I can pass and recieve better with almost the same slapper and a better snapshot with the same poke check and same stickhandling.

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03-20-2012, 03:02 PM
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v3rs3
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I play D on ice (6'2") and my stick is at or below my chin. I'm not a fan of long sticks.

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03-20-2012, 03:12 PM
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noobman
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It's whatever you feel comfortable with. A long stick gives you a longer reach and forces the attacking forward to stay further from you, but the 2-3 inches you're adding/losing from moving between your chin and your nose isn't going to make a substantial difference.

What will make a big difference is staying in position, containing your man to the outside, etc etc. Good players are hard to pokecheck in non-contact leagues because they don't have to be overly mindful of a big hit coming.

When I'm skating backwards I like to keep my elbows tucked in order to fool the forechecker into thinking he has more room than he does.

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03-21-2012, 11:37 PM
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BHDefensiveForward
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You guys are right, no point in throwing out my stick handling ability and shooting for 2 inches of reach.

Thanks!

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03-22-2012, 12:39 AM
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nullterm
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I've chopped a few inches off so it's now at my collar bone with skates on, even with the loss of a few inches it's improved my general stick handling alot. I'll stick with shorter sticks.

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03-22-2012, 01:55 AM
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Loyal2TheOil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
I'll take the shorter stick which makes me a better passer, shooter, and stickhandler than the one that lets me occasionally poke the puck from 2" further out.
have to agree. I play both forward and defense, in ball hockey and ice and my sticks have varied a lot in length haha. Through experimenting I've found I like to stick to chin height when I play forward for some extra control which helps stickhandling, shooting, passing etc. I use this same stick when I play forward in ball hockey and its closer to my lips/nose but thats fine.

The reach is always nice but not at the expense of sacrificing control, I'd rather have better positioning and timing of when to make a poke check

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03-22-2012, 07:31 AM
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Logie
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I've been experimenting with mine, being 6'4 i had mine at my mouth, but i prefer it below my chin, playing D or F.

Not often you have to stretch right out to poke check, but you need to pass/shoot a lot more which i prefer

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03-22-2012, 09:42 AM
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Bexlyspeed
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I Like the longer stick! although i would say i am more of a stay at home D man, i have no trouble passing, i usually dont try to stickhandle too much out of the zone, but i can. The reach advantage the longer stick gives me on those 50/50 pucks in the corner and the poke check help me greatly as i am not the fastest of players.

but i guess it all boils down to what you prefer

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03-22-2012, 09:49 AM
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adaptation
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One thing to take in account is the Lie of the stick. A lower lie will means a bigger angle, which means you can have a longer stick. However if the puck goes in your skates your screwed. A higher lie will mean less range but better close to the body.

However one thing for sure - your stick should have the full blade flat when standing, whatever you use. And from experience, most players use a stick thats too big and too stiff. Your better off playing with a short stick and eventually you add a bit.

http://hockeystickexpert.com/hockey-...-puck-control/

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03-22-2012, 10:26 AM
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Jarick
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Thought of this thread last night. Playing against a team full of guys 6'2 and up (one line had a pair of guys at least 6'6), and I was poking the pucks off their sticks all night. Also had two 1-on-4 rushes where I was able to get between everyone to get the puck in deep and/or get a shot on net. Short stick FTW.

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