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Need help on positioning

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Old
06-24-2007, 11:39 AM
  #1
Senor Rational
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Need help on positioning

i just started playing Ice hockey around this time last year. Ive been playing competitive roller hockey up until then. Last January I joined a semi competitive ice hockey league in my area. I always feel like Im out of position. Ive searched youtube and hockey stores here, but have found no videos on helping it out.

I'm trying out for a Div 3 school next fall. I feel my skills are up to speed, but if I cant learn positioning, then I really do not have a shot. I havent had any coaching in Ice hockey and my teammates say just fall back, double team, or get in a lane. Problem is, I dont know where that is. I cant find the shooting lane without trying to think where the passing lanes would be. When we get the puck, I dont know if i should go to the boards or in the open. I have alot of trouble reading the play and the situation and it takes me too long to react to it.

My main concern is on the backcheck. I sometimes play center but mostly play on the LW. In roller hockey, I always followed my man back until we were deep in the defensive zone, and then we played a zone/man the guy in your zone defense. I have no idea where to go since half of my teammates enter my zone and i just dont now where to go. We dont have a coach persay, and none of my friends play ice hockey. I need help!

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06-24-2007, 02:31 PM
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lotus
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I hear ya man, I need help here too. The most I can offer is the basics. As a winger in the defensive zone make sure you're watching the point man. He's your guy. In the offensive zone it's all communication. I find that if i just move around alot, (sometimes just circle my side) I'll draw people to me, they will try and shadow me and i'll open up a lane or see a chance to make myself open for a few seconds.

That's just what I do, and by no means can I say it's correct but i guess if it sounds right. I personally just make sure in defensive zone that I'm watching up high, and that I'm spread out in the neutral zone. In the offensive zone I keep moving, and drive the net hard off the rush. Keeping those things in mind I just wing it. (no pun intended )

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06-24-2007, 03:23 PM
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Idk if this site might help...but a teammate found it usful: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/hnic/thinkhockey/

When backchecking...just hustle and take an open man until everyone is back then go to your spot, if needed cause sometimes your linemates might already have it covered. Main thing is to take away any easy chances. As the person above said, wingers want to take the point man and make sure he isn't open for passes or shots. Also when the puck gets rimmed along the boards, make sure it get outs. D...one guy who be near the crease while the other guy is out covering the opposing team cycling- be sure to communicate switches, etc. C is usually out to help out the D, but covering the slot is a big part while the D are down low.

Shooting, passing lanes are just the open areas. Best thing to do is to keep your stick on the ice . It'll help block off those lanes when your out covering someone.

When you get the puck...best thing to do is to put it up the boards. Think safe...you generally want to keep out of the middle of the ice on your own side to prevent any mishaps. Don't pass up the middle unless you are sure it's clear and safe. And work on putting the puck off the glass too as the other team does catch on when you put the puck up the boards repeatedly and they start to cheat that way. It's much harder to stop a puck off the glass.

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06-24-2007, 05:42 PM
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Keetz
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Hey Good Luck.

Let me say a friend of mine made a D-3 team and he never play organized hockey in his life. We grew up in Minnesota and would just play at the park and rent our school rink on fridays and saturday nights for pick ups.

The most important thing is to be willing to learn and be totally coachable!!!! His skill wasn't all that great but he was 200% heart and a all around likable guy.

Go for it and work hard. Don't ever hang your head or show any disappointment in yourself and your ability after a bad or stupid play. just keep on going on, and learn from it and don't do it again. the coaches do not want anyone who's going to give up while the puck is in play. Do you know what i mean? those guys that hang their head or stop skating after they do something stupid and are like " oaww man!!!" arms at thier side not watching the play just focusing on thier stupid play? You know the type. They are not team players. They are selfish.

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06-24-2007, 10:42 PM
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Senor Rational
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I appreciate all the help and Im sure to check the website real soon.

Seeing as there is no real system on the team, everyone usuallly just plays in position and I get lost from time to time. Its tough and I get mad when I waste two or three strides just to get in position.

Here's a situation that confuses me:

A winger on the other team has the puck down low. Our centerman attacks, one defensemen covers the near post, and the other one is slightly more in the middle. The puck squirts towards the boards from near the goal line and the center hops on it and pushes it back towards the boards and tries getting it. Should I try to grab it or let the center in motion towards it (but Im closer) grab it. is it my responsibility or his? The league is very offensive oriented, so my center usually tries to grab the puck and tries to head up ice. When I call him off, i usually lift it out of the zone. He always gives me ^^^^ about it, but he usually loses the battle for the puck. I dont wanna walk into try-outs and be seen as dumb. I always see them do it like me in the pro's, what should I do? Obviously if I get the puck, dont stop and try to fling it out and I just hold on to it, Im usually covered and dont wanna try anything to pretty in the defensive zone.

I dont know how else to describe this situation, but just imagine it for yourself. In real game situation, am I responsible for that loose puck, or is he?

Thanks once again for all the input

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06-24-2007, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senor Rational View Post
I appreciate all the help and Im sure to check the website real soon.

Seeing as there is no real system on the team, everyone usuallly just plays in position and I get lost from time to time. Its tough and I get mad when I waste two or three strides just to get in position.

Here's a situation that confuses me:

A winger on the other team has the puck down low. Our centerman attacks, one defensemen covers the near post, and the other one is slightly more in the middle. The puck squirts towards the boards from near the goal line and the center hops on it and pushes it back towards the boards and tries getting it. Should I try to grab it or let the center in motion towards it (but Im closer) grab it. is it my responsibility or his? The league is very offensive oriented, so my center usually tries to grab the puck and tries to head up ice. When I call him off, i usually lift it out of the zone. He always gives me ^^^^ about it, but he usually loses the battle for the puck. I dont wanna walk into try-outs and be seen as dumb. I always see them do it like me in the pro's, what should I do? Obviously if I get the puck, dont stop and try to fling it out and I just hold on to it, Im usually covered and dont wanna try anything to pretty in the defensive zone.

I dont know how else to describe this situation, but just imagine it for yourself. In real game situation, am I responsible for that loose puck, or is he?

Thanks once again for all the input

If he's in motion and will get to it before an opponent it should be his, but if he has to battle for it and you can get it before an opponent it's yours, but you should pass it to him if it's safe to do so since he is in motion. If he then tries to carry it out and loses it consistently instead of making the safe play...

then that's a tough call, the puck should be worked up the boards then to the open after getting it out past the blueline or at least when it's safe.

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06-24-2007, 11:17 PM
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ck26
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Unless your team has a real strategy (not likely considering you don't have a coach), just get open. "Finding a lane" is all about spacing -- making sure all three forwards aren't within 10 feet of each other -- and unless it just comes naturally, you aren't going to learn it without practices / a coach.

If you're playing LW, then pursue the puck when it's on your half of the rink, otherwise, just get open. If you're somewhere above the play (closer to your own goal than the puck is) you'll be a safety valve for the guy with the puck (make sure you're not standing five feet from your defensemen), and if you're below the play (closer to the endboard than the puck is), you'll be a target offensively, but potentially out of position if there's a turnover.

Defensively -- again, as a leftwing, and again, until a coach tells you differently -- stay two-ish strides away from the defenseman you're opposite -- you should be high enough to take him away and low enough to jump into the play if your defenseman gets burned.

When you're backchecking, don't "follow" your man into the defensive zone ... be on the same general part of the ice as him, but beat him into the zone. You should get back defensively before he gets into the zone. It's a hustle thing, and coaches love to see it.

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06-24-2007, 11:41 PM
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One of the question I have is that being a non-contact league, I find it really hard to play defense specially if you're in a one-on-one situation. Tying up the stick is pretty much the only thing to do since you can't really take the body.
Anything else you could do defensively in a non-contact league?

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06-25-2007, 12:27 AM
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Just float around center ice. Lol.

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06-25-2007, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crosbyfan View Post
If he's in motion and will get to it before an opponent it should be his, but if he has to battle for it and you can get it before an opponent it's yours, but you should pass it to him if it's safe to do so since he is in motion. If he then tries to carry it out and loses it consistently instead of making the safe play...

then that's a tough call, the puck should be worked up the boards then to the open after getting it out past the blueline or at least when it's safe.
I completely agree with this. The reason that the guy is *****ing at you is because by throwing it off the boards you're giving up possession of the puck (possession that he worked hard to obtain). Now if both of you are pressured then it's the smart play. At this point, since it's a beer league type situation, just give him the puck if he's in motion and open. If he loses it, that's his problem...your center in the future might make the smarter play and this is just practice for that pass and your vision in deciding if he's really open.

If you're a good skater with a lot of energy that backchecks and is decent defensively, I suggest that you try out center a little more. There's a lot more responsibility and there's a lot more gray area in terms of where you're supposed to be and communication with your defense but after transitioning from roller hockey myself, I just feel at home playing center moreso than at the wing. You're given a lot more leeway into where you can skate and not be out of position so it reminds me a lot more of playing roller.

Now I'm just suggesting that for the future, just try to get a few shifts in at center here and there. If you're trying out at a D3 school I'd go in as a winger. There's less responsibility defensively and the positioning is much more clear and easier to learn. When you're in the defensive zone and the puck is on your side of the ice, just watch your point man, keep them from passing the puck back to him or allowing him a clean look at the net. Don't try to block the passing lane for D to D passes because that opens up a lot of space on the boards behind you, just try to position yourself between him and the net. If your point man gets a pass, it's more important to get between him and the net than getting close to him (if this is unclear, essentially don't always skate straight at him depending on where both of you are located).

When the puck is on the other side of the ice, keep an eye on your point man but also take a look to see if the opposing center or winger slides into the high slot unnoticed. At that point he's a bigger priority than the point man because if a pass gets to the point man you'll have time to readjust.

When the defense gets the puck back down low, go to the boards to provide an outlet to them. If they pass it up to you, don't worry about carrying it out all by yourself because your centerman will probably be skating up the ice. At this point your point man will probably drop back so just take a quick look. If he drops back you have time, if he's coming on you just chip it off the boards into the space he opened up. Your centerman should be able to pick this up and turn it into an opportunity. (don't ice it, just make sure you chip it by the pinching dman). Look to make a pass to your centerman in stride and then follow the play. He should try to get himself open for a pass but if he isn't, just chip it off the boards/glass and out.

I hope this helps, I haven't had any ice hockey coaching, this is just what I picked up from watching/knowing what I want my wingers to do. On the breakout I usually try to skate up towards the wingman who has the puck's boards so that way he can try to hit me going across the middle or just wait a bit and have him throw it off the boards behind his pointman where I can track it down.

If any of this is wrong, please correct it more schooled hockey guys, plus I play in beer leagues so it isn't as quick or as skilled as you'd find in college.

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06-25-2007, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jacoh15 View Post
Just float around center ice. Lol.
Good idea

Go to google and watch a recent hockey game from 06-07 and just pick out one center to watch for. Always follow him and note where he goes and figure out why he goes there.

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06-25-2007, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pangolin View Post
One of the question I have is that being a non-contact league, I find it really hard to play defense specially if you're in a one-on-one situation. Tying up the stick is pretty much the only thing to do since you can't really take the body.
Anything else you could do defensively in a non-contact league?
Just play the lanes, don't worry about the puck. Keep your eyes locked on his chest and use your peripherals to pick up where you are on the ice. Stay relatively close to him, and if he goes left, you follow him. Making sure to always stay between him and your goal. Keep him close too, so that he isn't comfortable getting a shot off, but not so close that he can blow by you. When he realizes he can't get around you, he will try to shoot and then you throw in a quick poke check, just to throw off his shot. Ideally, you want to force him wide, so your outside shoulder should be lined up between his inside shoulder and the middle of his body.

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06-25-2007, 01:37 AM
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Non contact means you cant stevens some one. You are allowed to bump them off on the boards and rub them out of the play. Body contact is allowed just not checking.

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06-25-2007, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Zubrus15 View Post
Non contact means you cant stevens some one. You are allowed to bump them off on the boards and rub them out of the play. Body contact is allowed just not checking.
I think that's no checking...

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06-26-2007, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by crashlanding View Post
I completely agree with this. The reason that the guy is *****ing at you is because by throwing it off the boards you're giving up possession of the puck (possession that he worked hard to obtain). Now if both of you are pressured then it's the smart play. At this point, since it's a beer league type situation, just give him the puck if he's in motion and open. If he loses it, that's his problem...your center in the future might make the smarter play and this is just practice for that pass and your vision in deciding if he's really open.
these types of players are in EVERY league- they get very nervous once they have possession and will always make the safe play off the boards.

DONT BE THAT GUY

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06-26-2007, 09:31 AM
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I play a wing position too...

Don't think there's any easy answer to this, but my problem is when I'm in the offensive zone, and the other team get the puck. I'm torn between trying to maintain a good goal position in the case that we're able to get the puck back, or covering my player who is floating around free for a pass.

Any tips?

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06-26-2007, 10:28 AM
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WhipNash27
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The worst part about playing wing is when your center doesn't support you. I get that crap all the time on the team I play on. I'll be along the boards getting double teamed and no one helps me out. I'm lucky I'm pretty quick so i can win those battles a lot, but it's very tough when it's 2 on 1. Then I'll be open and people don't look up and pass and don't hear when I yell their name or say pass or across, or raise my stick in the air and yell random sounds, etc. It's very frustrating being one of the better players on the team and then getting stuck with the crappy players to compensate so that one line isn't weak.
D league hockey is annoying, I liked playing C more, but I like the guys I play with, so oh well.

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