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Further Hockey insights from the Noob...

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Old
04-22-2010, 12:35 PM
  #1
nystromshairstylist
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Further Hockey insights from the Noob...

In continuation of my earlier "hockey thoughts" thread, which was painfully hijacked by the flamers, malcontents, and those just jealous of my solidified status as "America's Worst Hockey Player" - some further ideas came to mind recently:

1) why is "finishing one's check" important?

It seems rather stupid, as it takes you out of the play for that much longer. This isn't the NFL, where the play stops when you crunch the RB and they fall down. Oftentimes, the d-man has sent the puck up the ice by the time a forechecking forward arrives to check them against the backboards, so that forward/center is just wasting his time rather than turning quickly to get back in the play. Given how hockey is endless motion, with getting back into the right positioning is so critical, why would a coach actually think that "finishing a check" like that is of any usefullness?

2) NHL motion offense - it seems when looking at alot of NHL teams, particularly on the power play, some Doug Moe-style offense (for those non-geezer NBA fans, he was an iconic Denver Nugget head coach in the early-mid 80s) would be helpful. For instance, on the power play especially alot of players just stand around waiting for the guy on the point to decide whether to shoot/pass, then react.

Why don't more teams use set motion/offense plays with quick passing to move the puck around, and get the other team moving one direction - and then a quick pass to the other side of the goal mouth? I did it in open hockey last week a few times and it worked well.

3) Open hockey is open hockey, but I went to one recently where there were actually players worse than me, it was shocking. They weren't all that interested in concepts like positioning, who is on defense and who is playing offense, etc. Really was an eye opener.

4) Hockey is a passing game, and I would rather make 1 nice pass for a goal than score 3 times - just like my b-ball days. Another thread mentioned that everyone wants to score in the scrimmage games - not me, I firmly believe I am the second coming of Adam Oates, though it might take 40-50 years more to attain his skill level...where was that Stamm skating book...

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04-22-2010, 12:59 PM
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Jarick
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It's been a while since I played checking hockey, but it usually was important in terms of hurrying up the puck carrier. If you come at the defenseman full speed, he's going to want to get rid of the puck sooner in order to avoid the check. If you play the puck instead of the body, he can make a move and you might have an odd man situation, but by playing the body, his only option is to pass. After that, hit him hard and sometimes you can draw retaliation penalties, get his mind off the play on ice, and physically wear the opponent down. Of course, none of this matters in no-check hockey.

Oh yeah, and one other thing that Cal Clutterbuck does a lot is rotate his torso and hit guys into the boards from an angle...if you hit them straight on the boards will bounce both of you right off, but if you hit them with rotational force into the boards at an angle, you will stay on your feet while the opponent goes down. So you can create an odd man situation in your favor...and really tick off the opponent.

Seems to me the most effective power plays would utilize a lot of passing to open up shooting lanes and get the goalie moving. Blasting into shin pads while stationary doesn't work. But it depends on the skill level of the team...the Wild for instance pass-pass-pass-pass-pass but don't have anybody to finish off the plays. They actually had more success just blasting bombs from the point last year and hoping for deflections/rebounds. It depends on the skill level of the team.

It's amazing how people don't get the concept of positions...I've got a guy on my rec team who's been playing the same wing spot for four years and still has no clue how to play in his end, even though we've had countless practices and coaching sessions.

As Brett Hull (my hockey hero) said, you can't score unless you shoot the puck. I don't understand you passing mentality guys, but I do appreciate when you give me the puck

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04-22-2010, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nystromshairstylist View Post
In continuation of my earlier "hockey thoughts" thread, which was painfully hijacked by the flamers, malcontents, and those just jealous of my solidified status as "America's Worst Hockey Player" - some further ideas came to mind recently:

1) why is "finishing one's check" important?
Finishing a check is important as it sets a tone for the game and for how the game will be played. If you finish your check and put a good one on the defender, the next time he goes into a corner to dig out the puck, he'll be thinking about getting hit and he may fumble the puck, he may throw it up the boards before he's ready to not get hit, or he may do any number of other things while thinking about getting hit.

Its a great way to create turnovers and get the defense thinking more about their well being than what they're doing with the puck. Its a huge part of the game in check leagues.

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Originally Posted by nystromshairstylist View Post
2) NHL motion offense - it seems when looking at alot of NHL teams, particularly on the power play, some Doug Moe-style offense (for those non-geezer NBA fans, he was an iconic Denver Nugget head coach in the early-mid 80s) would be helpful. For instance, on the power play especially alot of players just stand around waiting for the guy on the point to decide whether to shoot/pass, then react.

Why don't more teams use set motion/offense plays with quick passing to move the puck around, and get the other team moving one direction - and then a quick pass to the other side of the goal mouth? I did it in open hockey last week a few times and it worked well.
There are teams that incorporate this at times, however, if you watch good penalty kills, the box positioning that is played will offset a lot of movement. With four guys in a box, they have to move very little to cover all five guys, even if they're moving. You're objective when killing is to not necessarily get the puck (though you obviously do so when you can), but its to get into the passing lanes and shooting lanes using the box system so that the other team cannot pass the puck around as easily or get clear close in shots. Moving around on offense can help in some circumstances, but not all the time depending on how effective the killing teams box is.

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Originally Posted by nystromshairstylist View Post
3) Open hockey is open hockey, but I went to one recently where there were actually players worse than me, it was shocking. They weren't all that interested in concepts like positioning, who is on defense and who is playing offense, etc. Really was an eye opener.
Well, you're lucky if you have guys that play position. In our sessions, everyone is out for offense and its true pickup with very little actually placed on playing the game proper.

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Originally Posted by nystromshairstylist View Post
4) Hockey is a passing game, and I would rather make 1 nice pass for a goal than score 3 times - just like my b-ball days. Another thread mentioned that everyone wants to score in the scrimmage games - not me, I firmly believe I am the second coming of Adam Oates, though it might take 40-50 years more to attain his skill level...where was that Stamm skating book...
Have fun with that. I'm more of a passer myself so I play that way during pickup as well, I pick up my junk goals in front of the net after dishing the puck and going to the net for rebounds.

I was told in pickup once that "people dont pay $15 to play defense or pass." That is the mentality around our pickup hockey. Hmmm, unfortunately its the mentality of one of my teams as well.

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04-22-2010, 02:04 PM
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I would add to the "checking" part of this thread. If a forechecking foreward gets a body on his man "a dman in his own zone" it slows him from jumping into the play on the rush. This is where you will see when a foreward on the rush does not have an angle to the net for a shot or a good pass to the net they make an escape move to create some time and space and hit that trailing player coming in to the o- zone late for the shot from the high slot/top of the circles area. By checking this guy in his own end it helps to give your defensmen time in your own end, slowing down the rush.

I also agree with the "setting a tone" make that guy think about getting hit, and he wont hang on to the puck so long and may make a pass that results in a turnover.

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04-22-2010, 03:10 PM
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I hate playing non-contact hockey these days. It makes it way easier for every guy who has the puck to do whatever he pleases as you cannot touch him. The best you can do is angle and try to steal while forechecking as hard as possible to force them to think faster than they want to and make a bad pass.

I mean it is what it is but so many times I let up at the last moment as I still play the body and skate into people on purpose but do not want to hurt people. The point is I have flashbacks from playing contact and know how badly this guy would have been sent into a coma if I had been allowed to clean him out. The old curl and toe drag move with the head down .... cripes you are destined for the DL with your head down like that fiddle diddling if you play contact.

It is especially irritating when they make the pass you know would not have happened if there were checking allowed. But like I said it is what it is .... which is not as good a hockey game as there was in the past.

... in my opinion of course.

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04-22-2010, 03:12 PM
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So go play a check league. They're out there.

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04-22-2010, 03:23 PM
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So go play a check league. They're out there.
... not around here there isn't.

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04-22-2010, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockeyfan68 View Post
I hate playing non-contact hockey these days. It makes it way easier for every guy who has the puck to do whatever he pleases as you cannot touch him. The best you can do is angle and try to steal while forechecking as hard as possible to force them to think faster than they want to and make a bad pass.

I mean it is what it is but so many times I let up at the last moment as I still play the body and skate into people on purpose but do not want to hurt people. The point is I have flashbacks from playing contact and know how badly this guy would have been sent into a coma if I had been allowed to clean him out. The old curl and toe drag move with the head down .... cripes you are destined for the DL with your head down like that fiddle diddling if you play contact.

It is especially irritating when they make the pass you know would not have happened if there were checking allowed. But like I said it is what it is .... which is not as good a hockey game as there was in the past.

... in my opinion of course.
I think about that too sometimes when playing, even though I never played ice hockey before Feb, let alone with checking, but you see puck handlers doing all these fancy skate heel drags while pulling the puck between their own legs, etc. - in my mind I am visualizing the only ice hockey I was familiar with for 3 1/2 decades, and that is the NHL.

These people, while clearly able to do these slick moves in a non-checking format, would get annihilated in a contact league. My issue is to avoid doing what my brain has seen so many times on TV - and is almost programmed to do - crunch them.

The OH I've played has been far more physical than my Friday night D-league/adult clinic for obvious reasons, and I've gotten more used to the more physical play of the OH scrimmages, so that I am sort of "rolling-through" people in the adult clinic. Most of the people there are not progressing as much as I have, simply because they aren't putting in the time by playing OH or skating at other times of the week besides the adult clinic. To get better you MUST be on the ice several times per week...

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04-22-2010, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by nystromshairstylist View Post
I think about that too sometimes when playing, even though I never played ice hockey before Feb, let alone with checking, but you see puck handlers doing all these fancy skate heel drags while pulling the puck between their own legs, etc. - in my mind I am visualizing the only ice hockey I was familiar with for 3 1/2 decades, and that is the NHL.

These people, while clearly able to do these slick moves in a non-checking format, would get annihilated in a contact league. My issue is to avoid doing what my brain has seen so many times on TV - and is almost programmed to do - crunch them.

The OH I've played has been far more physical than my Friday night D-league/adult clinic for obvious reasons, and I've gotten more used to the more physical play of the OH scrimmages, so that I am sort of "rolling-through" people in the adult clinic. Most of the people there are not progressing as much as I have, simply because they aren't putting in the time by playing OH or skating at other times of the week besides the adult clinic. To get better you MUST be on the ice several times per week...

I've seen some highschool or younger kids who play Bantam be specifically instructed by their coaches NOT to do these fancy toe drag moves in a game because they can actually get hurt doing them ... not to mention turning the puck over and giving up goals or breakways, 2 on 1s etc.

They just have their head down all the time, by the time they are playing college or whatever it is okay then as they have a lot more experience playing and safety while still an issue is an acceptable risk at that level.

I would be interested in hearing HeadCoach's opinion on this in here since he works with kids and young adult players more than anyone in here I think.

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04-22-2010, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nystromshairstylist View Post
In continuation of my earlier "hockey thoughts" thread, which was painfully hijacked by the flamers, malcontents, and those just jealous of my solidified status as "America's Worst Hockey Player" - some further ideas came to mind recently:

1) why is "finishing one's check" important?

It seems rather stupid, as it takes you out of the play for that much longer. This isn't the NFL, where the play stops when you crunch the RB and they fall down. Oftentimes, the d-man has sent the puck up the ice by the time a forechecking forward arrives to check them against the backboards, so that forward/center is just wasting his time rather than turning quickly to get back in the play. Given how hockey is endless motion, with getting back into the right positioning is so critical, why would a coach actually think that "finishing a check" like that is of any usefullness?
You're thinking, and this is good! Hitting is technically only in the game to separate people from pucks. In reality, it's used as intimidation. Finishing a check will leave a guy second guessing himself throughout the game. He may start trying to move the puck too quickly, leading to turnovers. You have to use your decision making skills to determine when to finish your check, and when to stay in position.

Quote:
2) NHL motion offense - it seems when looking at alot of NHL teams, particularly on the power play, some Doug Moe-style offense (for those non-geezer NBA fans, he was an iconic Denver Nugget head coach in the early-mid 80s) would be helpful. For instance, on the power play especially alot of players just stand around waiting for the guy on the point to decide whether to shoot/pass, then react.

Why don't more teams use set motion/offense plays with quick passing to move the puck around, and get the other team moving one direction - and then a quick pass to the other side of the goal mouth? I did it in open hockey last week a few times and it worked well.
Actually, motion offense is in place. It's just hard to notice sometimes. You see it often during a cycle play, where the point man may jump into the slot to take a one-timer. Sometimes the winger may pass the puck to a player, then follow his pass and cut to the middle to get open. I think either Franzen or Holmstrom scored a goal against Pheonix the other day by doing this.

Quote:
3) Open hockey is open hockey, but I went to one recently where there were actually players worse than me, it was shocking. They weren't all that interested in concepts like positioning, who is on defense and who is playing offense, etc. Really was an eye opener.
Some people are either unaware of or unwilling to do the things you need to do to get better. They just want the excitement of skating around and scoring goals. You're a beginner now, but you may eventually reach a point where you're less concerned about improving and more concerned about having a good night. When that day comes for me I'm hanging the skates up. If you ever see a guy who can't do proper crossovers working on his shooting or stickhandling for 3/4 of an hour, you'll know you've found one of these people.

Quote:
4) Hockey is a passing game, and I would rather make 1 nice pass for a goal than score 3 times - just like my b-ball days. Another thread mentioned that everyone wants to score in the scrimmage games - not me, I firmly believe I am the second coming of Adam Oates, though it might take 40-50 years more to attain his skill level...where was that Stamm skating book...
So many new players don't understand that hockey is a styles game... but I think you've figured that out. Simply put, the puck is the fastest moving thing on the ice. The fastest way to get up the ice, and the easiest way to put the goalie out of position is with passing. Typically you have guys who prefer to hold the puck, and guys who prefer to move the puck quickly. On offense, fast puckmovers are either the pass-first guys who will get the puck and send it off quickly, or guys who will get the puck and quickly launch a shot. Guys that hold the puck will usually wheel around with the puck, and will prefer to drive the net, create a hole for a shot, draw attention and hit the open guy with a pass, or just dangle all over the place.

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04-22-2010, 04:13 PM
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... not around here there isn't.
Seriously? I figured up there in the NE they would definitely have something.

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04-22-2010, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nystromshairstylist View Post
4) Hockey is a passing game, and I would rather make 1 nice pass for a goal than score 3 times - just like my b-ball days. Another thread mentioned that everyone wants to score in the scrimmage games - not me, I firmly believe I am the second coming of Adam Oates, though it might take 40-50 years more to attain his skill level...where was that Stamm skating book...
I used to feel that way before my skating and shooting improved. Now I'm a shoot first, pass later kind of guy. Partially that's because at my level shooting is usually a better way to create a scoring opportunity (my linemates can't be counted on to receive a pass properly), but it's also because I love scoring goals.

All of my best hockey moments are scoring goals. There's nothing like it.

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04-22-2010, 05:05 PM
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But how can there be worse players than you, as mentioned in item 3, if your status as "America's worst hockey player" is solidified?

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04-22-2010, 06:01 PM
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But how can there be worse players than you, as mentioned in item 3, if your status as "America's worst hockey player" is solidified?
THAT'S what was so shocking - but then I learned that they weren't from America, so I was very, very relieved.

I had finally achieved being #1 at something, and feared it would be taken away from me before I could truly savor it...

Even more shocking, was that they were Russian, whom you'd think were born with hockey skills...

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04-22-2010, 06:14 PM
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THAT'S what was so shocking - but then I learned that they weren't from America, so I was very, very relieved.

I had finally achieved being #1 at something, and feared it would be taken away from me before I could truly savor it...

Even more shocking, was that they were Russian, whom you'd think were born with hockey skills...

Russians, from birth ( in order )
1) learn to drink a lot of vodka
2) Play Bandy
3) Play hockey
4) Get NHL contract

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04-22-2010, 10:02 PM
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Seriously? I figured up there in the NE they would definitely have something.
There used to be a couple, one was at an outdoor rink with regulation boards and chainlink for glass. Backwoods Jamooks mostly with untrimmed foot long beards and missing teeth.

Think Road Warrior 2 meets Rollerball.

That was about 15 years ago though. Have not seen anything since for contact.

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04-23-2010, 12:37 AM
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I just wanted to add the obvious answer to item #1 that everyone has shockingly overlooked.

Having played four years of NCAA hockey and playing in competitive, checking leagues my entire life, I've never seen the primary reason for finishing your checks being to make your opponent second guess himself or rush his plays. Intimidation, while certainly a factor in finishing your checks, has always been secondary to the very obvious goal of wearing your opponent down. Besides, most good, experienced hockey players understand that they're going to get hit and it doesn't phase them much after a while. It does, however, wear them down - that's unavoidable.

Most of you who play house league won't relate as closely, but for those of you who have played a more competitive brand of hockey, how many times do you want to get drilled by a solid, experienced hitter in one game? By the third or fourth time someone "finishes" their check on you, you're significantly less effective than you were at the start of the game.

How often, even in the NHL, is the team that wins the one that comes out with a ton of energy and starts throwing the body on the forecheck and in the corners right out of the gate? It's how teams that don't stack up on paper take down conference leaders when the odds are against them and underdog teams knock off favorites in playoff series. Physicality and grinding down your opponent is a HUGE part of hockey. Intimidation comes second to wear and tear, and THAT is why finishing your checks is important.

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04-23-2010, 02:06 AM
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I just wanted to add the obvious answer to item #1 that everyone has shockingly overlooked.

Having played four years of NCAA hockey and playing in competitive, checking leagues my entire life, I've never seen the primary reason for finishing your checks being to make your opponent second guess himself or rush his plays. Intimidation, while certainly a factor in finishing your checks, has always been secondary to the very obvious goal of wearing your opponent down. Besides, most good, experienced hockey players understand that they're going to get hit and it doesn't phase them much after a while. It does, however, wear them down - that's unavoidable.

Most of you who play house league won't relate as closely, but for those of you who have played a more competitive brand of hockey, how many times do you want to get drilled by a solid, experienced hitter in one game? By the third or fourth time someone "finishes" their check on you, you're significantly less effective than you were at the start of the game.

How often, even in the NHL, is the team that wins the one that comes out with a ton of energy and starts throwing the body on the forecheck and in the corners right out of the gate? It's how teams that don't stack up on paper take down conference leaders when the odds are against them and underdog teams knock off favorites in playoff series. Physicality and grinding down your opponent is a HUGE part of hockey. Intimidation comes second to wear and tear, and THAT is why finishing your checks is important.
Yes. This. Grind them down and let attrition become a factor. The intimidation thing can come along with this, but the main thing is that eventually getting run through the boards takes it's toll no matter how eager you are to stand in there and keep getting run.

As a defenseman, I'm pretty sure that my least favourite part of the position was when you were racing back for a puck dumped into the zone, and your job is basically to go move the puck along and then get thumped by a guy who has been intending to get a run at you since he dumped the puck in from the neutral zone. Playing a team that did this over and over and over and over all game long was a huge strain both mentally and physically, and eventually you're not getting to those pucks as quickly and your passes aren't going where you want them quite as accurately.

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04-23-2010, 07:35 AM
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Yes. This. Grind them down and let attrition become a factor. The intimidation thing can come along with this, but the main thing is that eventually getting run through the boards takes it's toll no matter how eager you are to stand in there and keep getting run.

As a defenseman, I'm pretty sure that my least favourite part of the position was when you were racing back for a puck dumped into the zone, and your job is basically to go move the puck along and then get thumped by a guy who has been intending to get a run at you since he dumped the puck in from the neutral zone. Playing a team that did this over and over and over and over all game long was a huge strain both mentally and physically, and eventually you're not getting to those pucks as quickly and your passes aren't going where you want them quite as accurately.


this is what I would refer to as "intimidation" not a playground esque type of bullying. its the constant hitting over the course of a game that wears you down.

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04-23-2010, 07:50 AM
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Leveling a hot dog in a non checking league is always worth the 2 minutes

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04-23-2010, 08:10 AM
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[/B] this is what I would refer to as "intimidation" not a playground esque type of bullying. its the constant hitting over the course of a game that wears you down.
Having also played football, I enjoyed the contact... when playing running back/or SS, I liked both getting and giving the punishment, it didn't phase me and was part of the game. The team in better physical condition would usually win out in the end, anyway.

As for playing D and getting worn out by the dump and chase game - if the other team is playing dump and chase, isn't the best strategy to lineup 4 players on the blueline, and then stand people up at that line while letting their teammates go back and get the pucks?

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04-23-2010, 09:06 AM
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Hey now, in my reply I wrote "physically wear the opponent down"

I should know, I was the tough guy on my squirt team. I'll have you know I was the biggest kid and used to mow down the opponents.

Who knew I'd only grow another inch or two and everyone else would shoot up a foot?

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04-23-2010, 09:53 AM
  #23
thedonger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nystromshairstylist View Post
Having also played football, I enjoyed the contact... when playing running back/or SS, I liked both getting and giving the punishment, it didn't phase me and was part of the game. The team in better physical condition would usually win out in the end, anyway.

As for playing D and getting worn out by the dump and chase game - if the other team is playing dump and chase, isn't the best strategy to lineup 4 players on the blueline, and then stand people up at that line while letting their teammates go back and get the pucks?
first of all, that's called interference...2nd, if you have 4 guys standing at the blueline, that only leaves 1 guy to go back and get the puck. momentum is in no way gonna be on your side and you can count on at least 2 or more players easily skating around those guys "standing at the blue line" creating an odd man rush inside your offensive zone...not smart at all. this isn't football or basketball.
honestly, you really need to throw the basketball analogies out the window as the 2 sports have incredibly different dynamics.

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04-23-2010, 10:16 AM
  #24
Jarick
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Actually, I saw that 3-4 man lineup at the blueline on the PK work VERY effectively against the Wild...it forced the team to dump and chase, and the goalie would give the puck to a D-man who would easily clear it out. Our PP was terrible because they couldn't cross the blue line with possession and speed.

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04-23-2010, 11:25 AM
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rinkrat22
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Jarick, I think he meant more in a blocking/ lineman sort of way at the blue line, vs the 4 man coverage at the blue line taking lanes away.

And I thought the op was refering to "finishing your check" as in a pro type of game since it is the buzz word every year for playoff hockey.

finishing your check in mens league/pickup WTF is that? Its seen about as often as a backcheck in beer league.

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