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Novice Q: Right-Handed Dman?

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10-23-2012, 12:44 PM
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mmarti68
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Novice Q: Right-Handed Dman?

I've followed hockey for 10 years and I've never took the time to learn why this is important lol. Growing up in the south with no opportunity to play organized hockey also doesn't help.

Why is having a right-handed defenseman so important?
Aren't most people right-handed? Why are they rare?
I'm right-handed and can hardly skate.. but I'm a self-proclaimed NHL ready defenseman. Prospect?

Thanks in advance.

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10-23-2012, 01:28 PM
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Jarick
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Not sure exactly what you're asking...

Most people are right hand dominant, but being "right handed" in hockey means having your right hand on the bottom of the stick. Nowadays, it's becoming less and less common since many people want to have their dominant hand on top of the stick for better puck control.

It's not critical but it is pretty nice to have a right-hand shot on the point on the power play, because you can get him on the left point and a lefty at the right point and have a better angle to shoot from.

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10-23-2012, 01:35 PM
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Ozz
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I'm a RH center but began as a defenseman many years ago. I was always on the left side with my stick towards the middle of the ice. It's nice have your shot closer to the middle.

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10-23-2012, 01:39 PM
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leeaf83
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I've studied brain lateralization so i'll give you a little bit of math

Roughly one third of people would naturally hold a hockey stick with their dominant hand on the bottom, the other two thirds hold their dominant hand on top. Roughly 1 in every 11 people are left handed.

So the natural odds would be as follows (1% margiin of error):
3% of people would throw left and shoot left
6% of people would throw left and shoot right
30% of people would throw right and shoot right
60% of people would throw right and shoot left

so 63% of people would naturally shoot right-handed in hockey.

But consider the following; when a hockey player holds a stick in one hand, it would be their top hand; so this puts someone who shoots on their dominant side as a disadvantage because they are holding the stick in their non-dominant hand. Since defenseman are skating backwards more often, they are required to hold the stick in one hand more often hence why the percentage of right shooting defensemen are lower than left shooting forwards.

It is also harder to play defense than forward on one's 'off-side' For instance a left shooting defenseman has an easier time playing the left side; it's easier to clear the puck up that side and they can make and accept most of their passes naturally on the forehand. Put them on the right side and the forehand passes are more awkard forcing them to make more backhands. It's also harder for them to keep the puck in along the boards in the attacking zone.

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10-23-2012, 02:05 PM
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Some great replies, I got it now. Thanks to all three of ya!

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10-23-2012, 02:08 PM
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mmarti68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeaf83 View Post
I've studied brain lateralization so i'll give you a little bit of math

Roughly one third of people would naturally hold a hockey stick with their dominant hand on the bottom, the other two thirds hold their dominant hand on top. Roughly 1 in every 11 people are left handed.

So the natural odds would be as follows (1% margiin of error):
3% of people would throw left and shoot left
6% of people would throw left and shoot right
30% of people would throw right and shoot right
60% of people would throw right and shoot left

so 63% of people would naturally shoot right-handed in hockey.

But consider the following; when a hockey player holds a stick in one hand, it would be their top hand; so this puts someone who shoots on their dominant side as a disadvantage because they are holding the stick in their non-dominant hand. Since defenseman are skating backwards more often, they are required to hold the stick in one hand more often hence why the percentage of right shooting defensemen are lower than left shooting forwards.

It is also harder to play defense than forward on one's 'off-side' For instance a left shooting defenseman has an easier time playing the left side; it's easier to clear the puck up that side and they can make and accept most of their passes naturally on the forehand. Put them on the right side and the forehand passes are more awkard forcing them to make more backhands. It's also harder for them to keep the puck in along the boards in the attacking zone.
This is an excellent point that I have never thought about. I'll make it a point to pay attention to which side they're holding their stick now. Would it be accurate to assume that most teams would place a left handed Dman at LD on 5x5, but place a right-handed Dman at LD when on the PP??

This should help in NHL 13 lol

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10-23-2012, 02:22 PM
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Jarick
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Yes that's typically the preference. But at all levels of hockey, talent trumps dexterity. Typically if you've got a ringer on D, he'll be a ringer regardless of which side he plays.

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10-23-2012, 04:47 PM
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Steelhead16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarti68 View Post
This is an excellent point that I have never thought about. I'll make it a point to pay attention to which side they're holding their stick now. Would it be accurate to assume that most teams would place a left handed Dman at LD on 5x5, but place a right-handed Dman at LD when on the PP??

This should help in NHL 13 lol
I like having my defensemen play their offside if I have the option depending on how many righies/lefties I have. In the offensive end (the point) my defensemen have their sticks in the middle of the ice and have better shooting angles. And making a pass from point to point requires turning and putting your body between the puck and a defender who may be charging at you. Once you turn and face the blue line you can make a hard pass across the ice or spin or your backhand towards the boards while the defender goes by on the other side and out of the zone.
On defense I want them to force a puck carrier to the boards. Having your stick in the hand closest to the boards allows them to "cheat" a little extra toward the middle of the ice forcing the puck carrier towards the boards because he has a longer reach with his stick to sweep or poke check. Or ride a guy into the boards because their shoulders will be open to the boards already.
If your stick is on the center ice side and you drive a guy around to the boards you have little reach for a puck carrier going towards the boards and if you do reach chances are you will be late and he will go by you.
I'm assuming you are talking about a non-checking league Being able to check changes a few of your options and being on either side isn't as big a disadvantage.

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10-23-2012, 05:30 PM
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leeaf83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Yes that's typically the preference. But at all levels of hockey, talent trumps dexterity. Typically if you've got a ringer on D, he'll be a ringer regardless of which side he plays.
for the most part yes. I mean you go with the better player generally. But let's say you get down to the #6 defenseman who will play the right side; if everything else is equal or even close, the team will put a right shot there over a left shot. And of course when you're down to your 3rd pairing D, you're not talking about the best players at your arsenal as it is, so it may not be wise to put an already weak player on his off side. Similar to how player A may be a better player than player B but player B would make a better Left winger than player A, the same applies to defense but at a lesser extent.

Normally if a left shot is paired with a right shot, the left shot will play the left side at even strength. Powerplay gets tricky, sometimes the teams will have them switch right off the bat, other times they'll have them swap during the play because of the tougher time keeping the puck in.

Just for fun, here's a list of norris winners. The trophy began in 1954 but only Chelios, Blake, Macinnis and Karlsson were right shots with Chelios being the only multiple right shooting award winner.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_N...Trophy#Winners

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