Been playing for this season for the first time in like 15 years (just a regular pickup game, no faceoffs/whistles - and just shift into whatever position of the guy coming off was)... and I've sorta picked up some ideas on where I should be from what I could remember from when I was like 10, and of course watching TV...
Generally I get the idea that if you're on D... in the defensive zone - you should be the one digging in the corners, or covering the guy in front of the net. Through the neutral zone returning to your zone - you cover the passing lanes. And then in the offensive zone - you float from the center of the blue line, over to the point, and down to the halfwall to assist the forwards.
For W... you cover the point in your defensive zone, and pinch in to help the D out when necessary? On offense, just find a way to get yourself open - either cycle into the corners or in front of the net.
However, if I happen to get shifted out on C... I have no idea where I should be. I get completely lost out there, and it shows cause eventually someone else seems to end up shifting up and I'll default back to a D position.
So my personal question is where does a center cover... what are their duties in the various areas of the ice...
and more general question would be just what other things am I missing about the other positions?
well as a center make sure in your d-zone if there a tie up in the corner you gotta get down and help out and let the other defensemen take the front of the net. on offense i guess it really depends on the style of off. you run if you plan a guy in front work low in corners or run a cycle.
Ok, here you go, why not play center. Playing center kind of gives you the best of the both worlds. Center is probably one of the hardest positions to play becuase you have to have great vision and beable to read and react as play developes.
As a centerman in your zone, you have a wide range to cover. Lets look at this picture below.
Notice the area in yellow in your defensive zone to the far left. I have place players within the zones within your defensive area. Now, as you can see, there is a box in front of the goalie where the centermen is responsible for. Nowever, it falls within the yellow area which means that this area is your responsibility as well. Your main focus is within the box in fron of the net.
But, if your defensemen is getting doubled teamed in the corner, it is your responsibily to go equal out the strength before he looses possession of the puck.
Every player within your defensive zone has a responsibilty to the team as a whole and that job is to play sub-zone hockey within their defensive zone. However, there are always exceptions to the rules.
So , lets line out some "Rules of the Road" for playing Center shall we.
1. Always win the draw at center ice.
2. Always keep your feet moving through center ice, never coast.
3. Pick up a man coming back into the defensive zone, do not let him enter alone.
4. Play your position within your zone.
5. Assist your defensemen when they are in trouble.
6. Move the on coming winger towards your winger in the trap.
7. If you can't trap, move to center as third defensemen, forcing puck carrier to move to the outside.
8. Puck support your defensemen.
9. First winger to start the breakout.
10. Tape to Tape passing.
11. Have the ability to have great vision and see the play develop.
12. Don't watch the goalie make the save, clear all rebounds.
13. Place your stick under the attacking players stick.
14. Pick one guy in front and stay with him until goalie freezes the puck.
15. Weave in the Neutral Zone.
16. Don't dump and chase, carry it in or regroup.
17. Be the first one to the puck in the attacking zone.
18. Game is won in the corner.
19. Set up behind the net in the attacking zone.
20. Work the "Give and Go"
21. Cycle in the attacking zone.
22. Be the playmaker.
23. On delayed penalties, cycle the puck back to the defensive unit to get the goalie off for the sixth attacker.
24. Stay out of the penalty box.
25. Learn pattern plays.
26. Take skating risks!
27. Do things what other players are not willing to do.
28. Take punishment in front of the attacking goalie.
29. NO retaliation!
30. Screen the goalie.
31. Use your stick to deflect.
32. Don't make saves for the attacking goalie.
33. If you can't screen, move into position for the rebound.
34. Keep your head up!
35. Win every draw in the attacking zone.
36. This needs repeating: "Set up behind the net in the attacking zone!"
If you need any clearity with this list, PM me and I will go over it with you.
Headcoach gave me this one time when I asked. It's a pretty sweet list. That video is great too.
One thing I've learned (maybe you already know, everyone tells me this is really obvious) is that as the puck goes up the boards to your wingers in the defensive zone, the centre needs to start rushing up the middle so the winger has someone to pass to. If there's no centre high in the middle when the winger gets the puck, the winger doesn't have many options to get it out, especially if the opposing defenseman decided to play aggressive/not backup. Even if the defender doesn`t pinch, so long as he`s standing there, alot of the guys on our team end up just giving him the puck.