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Effective Faceoff Techniques?

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Old
05-24-2009, 10:03 AM
  #1
Devil Dancer
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Effective Faceoff Techniques?

I'm new to playing center, and I'm losing a lot of faceoffs. What can I do to improve my technique?

Right now I'm starting with my stick blade perpendicular to my skates, trying to go over the puck to bring it back to my defender. Should I instead start with my stick parallel to my skates, and try to hit it more to the side without going over the dropped puck first? Is that even legal?

I don't even know the rules.

Please help!

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05-24-2009, 10:26 AM
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i go in really low, with both knuckles over the shaft and with the intent to pull the puck back, having one of my defense pick it up and start the play. i try to not have my stick on the ice as i feel that my timing is better when i'm suspending the blade in the air. if the ref is being a ****** and forces the blade into that white area, i try to hold it in the air still, and then i just go for knocking the other guys stick out of the way, turning my shoulder into him and playing the puck back. recently, i've been freakin' amazing at knocking the puck back before it even hits the ice, so if you can practice that, you'll be gold.

my win percentage is probably close to 80%...


there's likely A LOT of different technique, so keep an open mind and try lots of different stuff until you either see results or find something that you feel comfortable with.

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05-24-2009, 10:39 AM
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Semper Sens
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As soon as the ref drops the puck (ie before it hits the ice), rotate and swing your body so that your back is facing the opposing centre, with the puck in front of you. Then kick the puck back with your skates.

Like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKn7e...ex=54#t=02m35s

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05-24-2009, 11:27 AM
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Devil Dancer
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Thanks for the video. I like Backstrom's technique of using his forehand to slap the puck back instead of trying to pull it back on the backhand. Plus it has the added advantage of leaving your hands with a proper stick grip, so if a shot opportunity develops quickly you can get one off.

I might try that next game. The only problem is if the Ref decides to enforce the pre-faceoff stick placement rules.

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05-24-2009, 11:49 AM
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The Tikkanen
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The most important thing I do is change my style often during the game. You can't just do the same thing over and over again. 1 time I'm coming in deadset on winning it back. The next I'm putting my shoulder into his face, the next I'm winning it forward letting my winger know before the drop that it' coming his way. I find guys who just try to win it back with their hands turned over incredibly easy to beat because before I line up I already know what he's going to do.

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05-24-2009, 12:27 PM
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Gunnar Stahl 30
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in many leagues though the ref makes you put your stick on the ice before he dropes the puck. for a clean win, try making a short circle and draw it back

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Old
05-24-2009, 12:31 PM
  #7
Hockeyfan68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikkanen View Post
The most important thing I do is change my style often during the game. You can't just do the same thing over and over again. 1 time I'm coming in deadset on winning it back. The next I'm putting my shoulder into his face, the next I'm winning it forward letting my winger know before the drop that it' coming his way. I find guys who just try to win it back with their hands turned over incredibly easy to beat because before I line up I already know what he's going to do.
Good advice with the changing technique throughout the game

I don't play center but do take faceoffs during our PKs since I am one of the main penalty killers on the team. I also like seeing the other guy with his hand turned over for the backhand. Pretty easy to ruin that plot I agree.

Obviously on the PK I want to keep the puck out of danger so I take the faceoff accordingly and try to run a little interference after winning it so we can make a good clear so the planting my weight down and curling my body into his and taking the draw on the forehand is a must more often than not.

I'm big so I get the leverage I need easily for that.

Good tips in this thread.

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05-24-2009, 01:49 PM
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AHF
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I'll throw this one out there, as I switched to center last year, and I was losing most of my face-offs...

When getting set for the face-off, look at the ref's hand instead of staring down at the ice waiting for the puck to drop.

It might sound silly, but it took me a while to figure it out.

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Old
05-24-2009, 02:29 PM
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SirJW
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This may or may not be obvious but keep your eye on the puck in the refs hand not on the face off dot and react the moment he drops the puck, it will fall faster than you think.

Also I've talked about this with friends who ref and play and even they say some days are good days for them in the face off circle and other days even they don't have it. Some times it's the refs technique that's the trouble not the opposition.

When in the defensive zone it may not be winning the face off as your key but preventing the other one from wining it clean to the blue line, just tie him up and get your wingers to come in and get it.


Last edited by SirJW: 05-24-2009 at 02:36 PM.
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Old
05-24-2009, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirJW View Post
This may or may not be obvious but keep your eye on the puck in the refs hand not on the face off dot and react the moment he drops the puck, it will fall faster than you think.
Especially obvious when you take into account the fact that I said the exact same thing in the post right before yours...

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05-24-2009, 03:04 PM
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Devil Dancer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHF View Post
When getting set for the face-off, look at the ref's hand instead of staring down at the ice waiting for the puck to drop.
Thanks, I'd never heard that before. I'll have to remember to read over this thread again before my next game.

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05-24-2009, 07:50 PM
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Semper Sens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApogeeRocket View Post
box for where vid would've been removed to save space
Thanks. How do you do that? I tried pushing the youtube button in the bar above the reply box but when I previewed I just saw a blank white box. EDIT: Now that I've quoted you I see it. Thanks again!

Also, to OP, let us know what you find effective. I'm going to be going into organized hockey again for the first tim in 7ish years. I used to play defense but I'm thinking of trying centre or maybe a wing. Either way, I'd like to know what is effective for a beginner in case I need to take a faceoff.

Cheers!

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Old
05-25-2009, 11:51 AM
  #13
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Its kind of hard to explain but I'll give it a try...

If the opposing center is really good at faceoffs i try to drop to the ice with my stick blocking him from pulling the puck back and then handpass the puck back to the defenseman... this can only be done in the defensive zone though.

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05-25-2009, 12:32 PM
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The Tikkanen
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If a guy beats me cleanly back a few times in a row and the ref stands to my left and the opposing center is a lefty I'll even jump around him and get the puck he tried to win back to his dman. As a righty I can do it but it's really risky. But when it works it messes with the guys head because even if he wins the puck clean I could end up getting it at full speed with his dmen standing flat footed wiating for the puck. It's not something I would coach kids to do but if you're in a beer league most guys don't really know what they're doing so you can try stuff once in awhile.

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05-25-2009, 12:38 PM
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FLYLine24
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I was really iffy on faceoffs when I first went to center but I noticed that getting really low does do wonders and i jumped from about 35% to 60%(sometimes completetly dominating a game going over 75%)....i'd start there.

Also if your exhausted its probably not a great idea to take the draw, if im really tired its almost a sure loss....but thats just me.

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05-25-2009, 12:50 PM
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I played in a beer league. I found to win face offs was to not go for the puck immediately instead lift the other players stick and use your foot to kick it back. I found I could win a few doing that but could never win one straight up.

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05-25-2009, 01:12 PM
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The Tikkanen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYLine24 View Post
I was really iffy on faceoffs when I first went to center but I noticed that getting really low does do wonders and i jumped from about 35% to 60%(sometimes completetly dominating a game going over 75%)....i'd start there.

Also if your exhausted its probably not a great idea to take the draw, if im really tired its almost a sure loss....but thats just me.
I agree. I get really low as well and I lift weights with the assumption that most beer leaguers are not in great physical condition. If you suck at faceoffs get stronger, most of the times it comes down to a test of strength with the puck smashed in between 2 sticks.

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05-25-2009, 01:50 PM
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Gunnar Stahl 30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYLine24 View Post
I was really iffy on faceoffs when I first went to center but I noticed that getting really low does do wonders and i jumped from about 35% to 60%(sometimes completetly dominating a game going over 75%)....i'd start there.

Also if your exhausted its probably not a great idea to take the draw, if im really tired its almost a sure loss....but thats just me.
also to add, you might want to try keeping your bottom hand really low so the other guy cant hit your stick out of the way

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Old
05-25-2009, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
also to add, you might want to try keeping your bottom hand really low so the other guy cant hit your stick out of the way
Your right, I guess I don't even notice but when I get in a low stance my bottom hand does slide to the bottom, that definitely helps getting a better hold of your stick to prevent the other guy to wack your stick, and to give you a bit more power on your stick to overpower his.

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Old
05-25-2009, 04:35 PM
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JLHockeyKnight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHF View Post
I'll throw this one out there, as I switched to center last year, and I was losing most of my face-offs...

When getting set for the face-off, look at the ref's hand instead of staring down at the ice waiting for the puck to drop.

It might sound silly, but it took me a while to figure it out.
I was going to suggest the same thing. How most refs drop the puck, you don't even have to turn your head. If you react as soon as you see him drop the puck, your chances of winning the faceoff increases.

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Old
05-25-2009, 04:52 PM
  #21
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I like to try different techniques depending on the zone I'm in.

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Old
05-26-2009, 02:38 AM
  #22
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Cheat as much as possible if you can.. learned that one from the Brind'Amour school of faceoffs.

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Old
05-26-2009, 01:52 PM
  #23
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Here is the greatest face off tip ever:

Refs will move their hand slightly up before they drop the puck...react to the up move instead of the puck release. It will simply look like you are reacting quicker.

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Old
05-26-2009, 02:57 PM
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Hockeyfan68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
in many leagues though the ref makes you put your stick on the ice before he dropes the puck. for a clean win, try making a short circle and draw it back
I'm going to try that one when I get the chance to. I liked the other video posted above too where one has their hand way down low almost to the blade for leverage.

Good tips guys ... always looking to improve my game and this forum helps a lot.

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Old
05-26-2009, 03:02 PM
  #25
Johnny Law
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If your getting beat a lot make sure the other guy is squaring up, in beer leagues they don't often check and if your fast you can cheat. If the other player won't square up mention to the ref during stopage when the other team isn't around just a "hey can you watch the faceoffs"

The stick lift is another way to make a guy play you straight instead of going after the puck just immideatley hook and lift his stick right near the blade. You can turn you back to him and kick it back or once you get good at it play it with your stick.

If they are beating you by using set plays were the opposing player plays it forward to a winger who is jumping try the blade push. As the puck is dropped push your blade forward and pin the opposing players blade against their skates, the blades will form a t shape. You can then quickly pull the puck between your legs on the backhand.

Winning faceoffs consistently is all about noticing opposing players tendencies, watch them when your on the bench and use the best technique to get the job done.

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