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Old
03-20-2008, 01:05 PM
  #1
FiveHole23
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Face Offs

Ok so about a year ago I started playing in an adult beginner Roller Hockey league in town. I have kind of been avoiding the face off circle. For a couple of reason but mainly because my lane mate was pretty good at them.

The problem im having is im kind of a smaller guy and there seems to be no skill what so ever in the league at face off. The basic "face off" goes something like this.

The two biggest guys line up.
Puck Drops.
2 Guys Golf swing as hard as possible.

I watched faceoff vids on Sportskool.com, but the problem seems to be im a smaller guy and im pretty much overpowered by these huge guys.

The best solution I have found to this is to cheat and hit the puck in mid air before it hits the ground between their legs and then go get it. This is not great because it leaves me very little options with the puck and if i miss it in air its pretty much a clean win for them. So any tips or anything? I would like to be able to win some in the offensive zone to toss back to my D guys.

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Old
03-20-2008, 01:18 PM
  #2
frito
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A lot of it is really just a timing thing more than pure strength. Some of it is leverage too. If they are taking golf swings at it you have a ton of options, and being a smaller guy will actually be to your benefit.

First, keep a very close eye on the puck from the time you line up. Watch it and try to time your movement.

Second, get down low vs. a more upright position. This will get you closer to the actual point of contact.

Third, and this goes hand in hand with the second point, get a very low grip on your stick. Don't use your normal skating grip, or worse a golf club grip. get your lower hand way down low, just a few inches above the top of the blade. This will give you far more leverage than somebody holding their stick higher up.

Be ready to start swiping from the time the ref starts to drop the puck. Move your stick a bit forward and then pull back. If you both get there at the same time, you will likely win with a lower grip than your comepitor with the higher grip.

The other thing you can do is reverse your grip - put what is normally your top hand at the bottom of the stick. This places the power hand down close to the puck and once again gives you more leverage. It can also be used if you want to guide the puck to a particular corner. For example, I normally shoot left. If we're lining up in the right wing circle in the defensive zone, I will use my normal grip of right hand on top left hand on bottom so I can direct the puck to the corner. If we're on the other side of the goalie I will switch my hands with my right hand on the bottom, once again so I can direct the puck down into the corner.

Other than that, just try mixiing it up. i have found that the other team may catch onto your tendancies after a period or two so you need to mix it up. I genarlly try to win the puck back, but once the other team knows I am going to try that every time I mix it up and try to win to the side or way ahead just to throw them off.

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Old
03-20-2008, 01:46 PM
  #3
Fixed to Ruin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frito View Post
A lot of it is really just a timing thing more than pure strength. Some of it is leverage too. If they are taking golf swings at it you have a ton of options, and being a smaller guy will actually be to your benefit.

First, keep a very close eye on the puck from the time you line up. Watch it and try to time your movement.

Second, get down low vs. a more upright position. This will get you closer to the actual point of contact.

Third, and this goes hand in hand with the second point, get a very low grip on your stick. Don't use your normal skating grip, or worse a golf club grip. get your lower hand way down low, just a few inches above the top of the blade. This will give you far more leverage than somebody holding their stick higher up.

Be ready to start swiping from the time the ref starts to drop the puck. Move your stick a bit forward and then pull back. If you both get there at the same time, you will likely win with a lower grip than your comepitor with the higher grip.

The other thing you can do is reverse your grip - put what is normally your top hand at the bottom of the stick. This places the power hand down close to the puck and once again gives you more leverage. It can also be used if you want to guide the puck to a particular corner. For example, I normally shoot left. If we're lining up in the right wing circle in the defensive zone, I will use my normal grip of right hand on top left hand on bottom so I can direct the puck to the corner. If we're on the other side of the goalie I will switch my hands with my right hand on the bottom, once again so I can direct the puck down into the corner.

Other than that, just try mixiing it up. i have found that the other team may catch onto your tendancies after a period or two so you need to mix it up. I genarlly try to win the puck back, but once the other team knows I am going to try that every time I mix it up and try to win to the side or way ahead just to throw them off.
That's probably the best advice anyone can give on face-offs. If you look at NHL players. When they are in the face-off circle they aren't looking at the face-off dot (Probably the worst thing you could do IMO) they stare at the referee's hand. The exact moment that refs hand starts moving is when the players react.

Also positionning your stick is important as well.

That's basically what you have to replicate if you want to win faceoffs.

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Old
03-20-2008, 02:41 PM
  #4
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Lots of good points made already...the importance of watching the referee's hand can't be stressed enough. It's also important to take into account where the face-off is taking place and whether your opponent is a left or right-handed shot.

One additional note...sometimes, it's important to realize that your opponent is better on face-offs than you are. I've watched guys with perfect technique lose face-off after face-off because they keep trying to win the puck back against someone who's faster on the draw. Don't keep trying the same thing on the eleventh draw if you've lost the previous ten.

In the defensive zone, if your opponent is trying to win the puck back, you can use his own tactics against him by "helping" him win the draw so hard that the puck ends up in the neutral zone. In the offensive zone, perhaps try changing things up by lifting your opponent's stick and kicking the puck either forward or back to the point...or simply tie your opponent up long enough for a teammate to fish the puck out.

Whatever you do, don't just skate up to the dot, flip your bottom hand over, and expect the same results again and again.

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Old
03-20-2008, 03:17 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frito View Post
Third, and this goes hand in hand with the second point, get a very low grip on your stick. Don't use your normal skating grip, or worse a golf club grip. get your lower hand way down low, just a few inches above the top of the blade. This will give you far more leverage than somebody holding their stick higher up.
I persoanlly say get low, but not that low. If you get too low, you bend over too much and wind up falling into the circle sometimes when you get caught up in the fight for the puck, and leaving a little bit of shaft is helpful when lifting the other guys stick to win the puck. The second effort matters a lot, especially if the pucks are bouncey as both of you'll most likely miss the puck and have it bounce around a little.

But watching the puck is the biggest thing, and each ref is different too so when you're on the bench, keep taking mental notes and watch for tendencies.

Also taking faceoffs is alll about cheating a little Try to move as close to the middle of the dot as possible without the ref chastising you, also try to keep your stick moving a bit. Don't go in and hold your position for like 10 seconds waiting for the puck, cause personally I find it harder to get a good jump when my arms and hands are kinda just limp waiting for the drop. I go in and keep my blade semi-tapping the ice, like I got Parkinson's Disease or something, just so I'm not at a standstill.

If plain ol' winning it fails, just go after the other guy in the circle. Do a little stick check when the puck drops or go and just lift/tie up his stick and get some help from your teammates.

I have to brag a little, as I make my living doing the little things like winning faceoffs and winning board battles I won every single faceoff, think like 14-for-14 (I lost track)during our league game last Sunday!

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Old
03-21-2008, 09:44 PM
  #6
Sean Garrity
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14-14 is not very good...

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Old
03-21-2008, 10:54 PM
  #7
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YHAEz08u7U

This is a video i have been showed a few times at camps.

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Old
03-22-2008, 02:37 AM
  #8
SSM12
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I cheat so bad and the refs dont call it, right as they drop the puck I lift the other players stick then have a free go. and when they catch on they try and I just move my stick out and while they move up and miss my stick i have a free go. I've only been caught once cheating like this and was tossed out of the dot. I'd say quickness is key though. Im normally good at them so i'll take em and then drop back to wing

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Old
03-22-2008, 11:46 AM
  #9
WhipNash27
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I hate taking faceoffs in the defensive zone when if I win it back it will go towards the goalie. When the defenseman isn't paying attention there are times when the other team just skates in and scores and that stinks.

So now I just try for a draw instead of winning it because I suck at winning a draw on my forehand the opposite way. Anyone got any tips on winning those?

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Old
03-22-2008, 05:59 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBJrumble View Post
Ok so about a year ago I started playing in an adult beginner Roller Hockey league in town. I have kind of been avoiding the face off circle. For a couple of reason but mainly because my lane mate was pretty good at them.

The problem im having is im kind of a smaller guy and there seems to be no skill what so ever in the league at face off. The basic "face off" goes something like this.

The two biggest guys line up.
Puck Drops.
2 Guys Golf swing as hard as possible.

I watched faceoff vids on Sportskool.com, but the problem seems to be im a smaller guy and im pretty much overpowered by these huge guys.

The best solution I have found to this is to cheat and hit the puck in mid air before it hits the ground between their legs and then go get it. This is not great because it leaves me very little options with the puck and if i miss it in air its pretty much a clean win for them. So any tips or anything? I would like to be able to win some in the offensive zone to toss back to my D guys.
I would like to add one thing to "frito's" comments. One of the most important thing you can do when you line up is to see where the opponent places his stick on the ice. In fact, you want to place your stick down first. This will force the opponent to place his stick on the wrong side.

Let say you shoot left. This will force him to place the stick on the right side of you on the face-off dot. When the puck drops, the first thing you want to keep in mind is that you want to draw the puck back to your defensemen. So this means that you will win the draw on your backhand side of the blade.

Once the puck hits the ice, the first thing you are going to do is hit/push the opponents stick blade with the heel of your blade. This is going to accomplish two things.

One, it's going to throw the opponent's timing of his stick off. And two, it will place your stick into position to draw the puck back to your defensemen on your backhand.

If you get up to the line and the opponent has his stick on the left hand side and it forces you to move your stick on the right side of face-off dot, don't worry.

Once the puck hits the ice, you need to make a deep sweep behind the heel of your opponents stick and pull towards you. This deep sweeping move will lift his stick from behind and then you continue to move the puck back to your defense on your backhand.

Headcoach

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Old
03-22-2008, 06:15 PM
  #11
Wooty
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Most of these are mentioned above but I will give you my thoughts

1. Face offs go back - roller hockey players who are playing ice always try to go forward for some reason.
1.1 turn your bottom hand over so it is reversed
2. Spread your legs a little over shoulder width - BEND YOUR KNEES
3. Watch the ref's hands - do not look down at the dot
4. As soon as the ref goes to drop the puck you go
5. reach out to control the dot area and pull back, hopefully with the puck
6. Pivot on your skate towards the low hand (if you are left handed, pivot your hips to the left or counter clockwise).
7. Move your body into the dot to control the zone. That way if the drop is fanned on or hit by both players at once, you should control your area.
8. Hit lose pucks BACK to your D. A forward should step up to help you (though they very often won't)

Keep practicing. Some refs are harder then others, they are too high, too tall, they throw it down hard etc. I will actually talk to a ref that is not doing it right

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Old
03-23-2008, 04:36 AM
  #12
JannikAtTheDisco
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If you are a smaller guy, you gotta get down and time it well, winning it forward won't do you a lot of good...

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