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patience with the puck

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07-31-2011, 06:32 PM
  #1
j cal
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patience with the puck

I have absolutely no patience when the puck is on my blade. I just want to just gun it into the offensive zone without much thought behind it.

Some, if not most of the time, I'll make bad passes/too hard of a pass (thinking I'm pro or something). I could have worked the puck for a wee bit longer and wait for something to open up, but no, I get rid of the bisquit with the quickness.

I've seen much older players than me that I'm sure have years of experience under their belt that handle the puck so slooooow and smoooothh and still thread through many defensemen.

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast!

I may be one of the faster skaters on the ice, but I'd rather be smarter making plays.

Sorry, more of a rant than looking for tips.


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07-31-2011, 07:35 PM
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SERE 24
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Definitely patience with the puck is key. Some players are flashy stick handlers who pull all sorts of dangles on the goalie and look like the clear "best" players, but the ones who hold the puck and move it smartly and calmly (often springing those flashy players for their one on one glory sessions) are really the true hockey players on the ice.

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07-31-2011, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by j cal View Post
I have absolutely no patience when the puck is on my blade. I just want to just gun it into the offensive zone without much thought behind it.

Some, if not most of the time, I'll make bad passes/too hard of a pass (thinking I'm pro or something). I could have worked the puck for a wee bit longer and wait for something to open up, but no, I get rid of the bisquit with the quickness.

I've seen much older players than me that I'm sure have years of experience under their belt that handle the puck so slooooow and smoooothh and still thread through many defensemen.

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast!

I may be one of the faster skaters on the ice, but I'd rather be smarter making plays.

Sorry, more of a rant than looking for tips.

Knowing you have more time is the first step. I used to rush things and sometimes still do, but a head fake or shoulder dip does wonders for adding a few more seconds to find an open pass.

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08-01-2011, 12:03 AM
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I can identify. This is only my 3rd year as a forward(ex-goalie) and it's like I press the panic button when I get the puck. A couple things I notice watching other players:

1) Head up! It's everything. You see your options and you know where the pressure is coming from. It's only then that you can really evaluate the situation and make the proper play.

2) Move your feet. For many players it's skate, get pass, stop skating. Defenders are already getting into position to defend against you the second the pass is made to you. Moving your feet will buy you a couple extra seconds to make a play.

How long have you been playing? I just think it comes with time and making a conscious decision to try and make smart plays. It's a fine line. Holding onto it longer isn't always the best play. Looks cool in a lower level league or pickup, but if someone was open then you should have passed the puck.

Every shift I tell myself. Head up and keep skating at all times. It's been working for me. Slow going, but I keep getting better.

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08-01-2011, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Prustqvist24 View Post
Definitely patience with the puck is key. Some players are flashy stick handlers who pull all sorts of dangles on the goalie and look like the clear "best" players, but the ones who hold the puck and move it smartly and calmly (often springing those flashy players for their one on one glory sessions) are really the true hockey players on the ice.
Agreed. Every kid wants to dangle around the whole team at every open hockey, pickup game, lower level league game etc.

I'm not impressed. That stuff simply wont work against really good players and sadly those kids won't ever become really good hockey players in anything other than a mens league.

Use your teammates, play smart, pass the puck, positioning, play both ends of the ice. I'll take a player like that over a hot dog with good hands any day.

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08-01-2011, 03:15 AM
  #6
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Dude, that's generally a good thing.

Hockey is transitional game where mere seconds in a turn over could result in a game winning goal. The problem is you're just throwing the puck away or turning it over yourself.

Being fast is a good thing, and I'm not just talking about playing fast, it's also about thinking fast. The difference between me and the lesser experienced players in my beer league... is that before I even get possesion of the puck, I'm already tracking where my teammates are, where the opposing players are, and already making decisions.... ALL BEFORE I EVEN TOUCH THE PUCK.

The difference between smart hockey players and plugs.... are players who are thinking ALL THE TIME; not just on plays they are involved in. You have the right idea, u just gotta develop your hockey sense more and you'd be burning players with your passes/plays.



Hockey is the 1 game where it's not about slowing down. This sport at its best levels is just insanely fast; that if you check out for even a sec, be behind even 1 step, fall behind reading the developing play, or even overhandle the puck, can not just cost you the play, but even the game itself.

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08-01-2011, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Noir View Post
Dude, that's generally a good thing.

Hockey is transitional game where mere seconds in a turn over could result in a game winning goal. The problem is you're just throwing the puck away or turning it over yourself.

Being fast is a good thing, and I'm not just talking about playing fast, it's also about thinking fast. The difference between me and the lesser experienced players in my beer league... is that before I even get possesion of the puck, I'm already tracking where my teammates are, where the opposing players are, and already making decisions.... ALL BEFORE I EVEN TOUCH THE PUCK.

The difference between smart hockey players and plugs.... are players who are thinking ALL THE TIME; not just on plays they are involved in. You have the right idea, u just gotta develop your hockey sense more and you'd be burning players with your passes/plays.



Hockey is the 1 game where it's not about slowing down. This sport at its best levels is just insanely fast; that if you check out for even a sec, be behind even 1 step, fall behind reading the developing play, or even overhandle the puck, can not just cost you the play, but even the game itself.
This is true, and, yet, it's not. Hockey is an extremely FAST game, no arguing that. However, sometimes, it is better to slow the play down. Often times, that slight hesitation that forces the forechecker to do a drive by, opens up a lane to spring a forward for a rush... Often times, holding the puck that extra half second, allows a lane to open up when you have a teammate driving the net. It's really all about knowing the situation, and being able to assess and react on the fly, at full speed. Scored a goal tonight off a wicked one time pass, which, had my teammate not had the patience to slow up, and let the play develop, never would have happened. I was going hard to the net, but the lane was clogged. He recognized, slowed, I slowed down and dropped into a soft spot in the defense, and bam, bam, goal. Sometimes, slowing things down is exactly what you need to get the job done.

TIMING, TIMING, TIMING. Hockey is ALL about timing. Sometimes it requires light speed reaction, sometimes it requires slowing things down. When you master the timing, well, you go play in the NHL.

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08-01-2011, 03:28 AM
  #8
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The most critical point is to know where the defenders who can make a play on you are. A skill you'll acquire is the ability to feel where players are relative to your "puck control zone". People were always impressed how well I did this, I could "see out of the back of my head", it just came from my sense of hearing and is something anyone can do when they think about it.

1) Keep your head up 2) Experience 3) Knowing what to do with the puck before you get it.

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08-01-2011, 03:32 AM
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Anticipate where the puck is going to be played to, the better you get at reading the flow of the game. The easier this trait will become for you. Thus will lead to positioning yourself better so you don't feel rushed.

I've played defense my whole life so it helps that I have only seen the game from a QB perspective.

But it's absolutely key to learn your teammates style of play and the way they cycle in any of the zones. Always be thinking a step ahead in memorizing the previous passes made and where the said passers will be skating to be potentially open.

Always take a quick screen shot in your head of where your teammates are at if you know the puck is going to be played to you. This will help you develop chemistry in that you have a good idea of where they're going to be by the time you have to release the puck.

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08-01-2011, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by BadHammy View Post
The most critical point is to know where the defenders who can make a play on you are. A skill you'll acquire is the ability to feel where players are relative to your "puck control zone". People were always impressed how well I did this, I could "see out of the back of my head", it just came from my sense of hearing and is something anyone can do when they think about it.

1) Keep your head up 2) Experience 3) Knowing what to do with the puck before you get it.
Awareness is probably the most underrated of all hockey skills. IMO, anyways. Seriously. For instance, picking up a puck along the boards, and knowing that the opposition player just crossed over to one direction, so your best "out" is cutting back towards your net. Often times the difference between getting obliterated along the boards, and opening up a nice outlet. You can be the most skilled player in the world, but if you don't have awareness, you're useless against players that do.

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08-01-2011, 03:54 AM
  #11
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Originally Posted by Pez68 View Post
This is true, and, yet, it's not. Hockey is an extremely FAST game, no arguing that. However, sometimes, it is better to slow the play down. Often times, that slight hesitation that forces the forechecker to do a drive by, opens up a lane to spring a forward for a rush... Often times, holding the puck that extra half second, allows a lane to open up when you have a teammate driving the net. It's really all about knowing the situation, and being able to assess and react on the fly, at full speed. Scored a goal tonight off a wicked one time pass, which, had my teammate not had the patience to slow up, and let the play develop, never would have happened. I was going hard to the net, but the lane was clogged. He recognized, slowed, I slowed down and dropped into a soft spot in the defense, and bam, bam, goal. Sometimes, slowing things down is exactly what you need to get the job done.

TIMING, TIMING, TIMING. Hockey is ALL about timing. Sometimes it requires light speed reaction, sometimes it requires slowing things down. When you master the timing, well, you go play in the NHL.
That's just shiftiness which not everyone has the capability of.

Nonetheless to contribute to the thread, faster teams in most cases = better teams. General rule of thumb is still, the more you slow the play down, the more you hesitate, the more you allow the other team to backcheck and the more you allow them to start closing off passing lanes/breakout passes. (edit: and allow their defense to set).


I think OP that problem (with your situation specificaly) is that sometimes people are wayyyy to fast for their hockey sense.

I've seen people who are so fast but they're hockey sense isn't quite there yet, so they're sort of just a wild chicken around the ice, some people are just wayyy to fast for their hands and it's just painful to see them bobble on legitimate chances.

If you're the former, you become a better player if it's not you who slowed down to your hockey sense, rather than your hockey sense catch up on you. For a game like hockey, slow players get eaten alive.


Last edited by Noir: 08-01-2011 at 04:33 PM.
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08-01-2011, 07:23 AM
  #12
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I've seen people who are so fast but they're hockey sense isn't quite there yet, so they're sort of just a wild chicken around the ice, some people are just wayyy to fast for their hands and it's just painful to see them bobble on legitimate chances.

e.
This couldn't describe me better. Not that their aren't better skaters, but my skating is light years ahead of my stick handling and hockey sense. Opportunities that my skating creates are wasted because my hands and decision making just aren't there yet.

How do I change that? As you said I don't want to skate at 80%. Only thing I know to do is keep my head up and keep thinking out there. That and working on handling the puck on and off ice of course.

Thanks for the incite.

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08-01-2011, 11:51 AM
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How do I change that? As you said I don't want to skate at 80%. Only thing I know to do is keep my head up and keep thinking out there. That and working on handling the puck on and off ice of course.
Great advice here, thanks everyone.

I don't want to skate at 80% either BUT I believe if I'm trying to drill it into the zone and there isn't anyone with me, it would be pretty tough for me to make a good play (unless I had excellent puck control). But even if so, that's not exactly what I'm trying to accomplish here.

Where I skate, there are a lot of guys that will backcheck real well, but then go in for a pokecheck/lunge forward trying to make a defensive play. If I had the right awareness, I should be able to make one move and blast right past him in that instance.

I also find myself going way too fast where I'm just making it easier for the d-men because I skate mostly north-south without maneuvering east-west.

I won't even bring up my lack of positioning skills in both zones...


Last edited by j cal: 08-01-2011 at 11:53 AM. Reason: grammer
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08-01-2011, 11:58 AM
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Knowing where your easiest "out" is and try to make a play, "knowing" where the last resort is if nothing else opens up for you.

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08-01-2011, 12:24 PM
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Best advice was by far post #6 by noir.

Think AHEAD of the play, it's too late to think when you have the puck.
You always pass the puck where your teammate will be, not where he is, it's the same thing about reading the play you need to recognize where the play will be and act accordingly. When you have the puck and start thinking it's like passing where the player was.
I don't know if you've ever played baseball, but every player on the field at any moment knows what he will do with the ball if it is hit towards him. They don't wait until the ball is in their gloves to start thinking. They know beforehand. Hockey is the same principle except that the play you know your gonna do changes continually.

It's allright to react to what happens when you have the puck, but you should know already what is likely to happen.

That is especially true when you start knowing the other players and their tendencies, you can predict what they will do. That's what you use your time on the bench for.

When you get good at reading other players and plays you can start thinking 2-3 plays in advance and that makes you a dangerous player.

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08-01-2011, 02:06 PM
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Agreed. Every kid wants to dangle around the whole team at every open hockey, pickup game, lower level league game etc.

I'm not impressed. That stuff simply wont work against really good players and sadly those kids won't ever become really good hockey players in anything other than a mens league.

Use your teammates, play smart, pass the puck, positioning, play both ends of the ice. I'll take a player like that over a hot dog with good hands any day.

I would much rather have a Hotdog with hands on my team

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08-01-2011, 02:21 PM
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I've got the opposite problem. I hang on to the puck too long and get stripped. I need to work on my skating and keeping my head up to see my teammates.

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08-01-2011, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Guffaw View Post
This couldn't describe me better. Not that their aren't better skaters, but my skating is light years ahead of my stick handling and hockey sense. Opportunities that my skating creates are wasted because my hands and decision making just aren't there yet.

How do I change that? As you said I don't want to skate at 80%. Only thing I know to do is keep my head up and keep thinking out there. That and working on handling the puck on and off ice of course.

Thanks for the incite.
Like I mentioned earlier, if it's your hockey sense that's falling behind, you have to be constantly THINKING and ASSESSING the game well before you even touch the puck.

You not only have to track who the puck carrier is, but you have to track where your teammates are, and where the players of the other team is. That way, when u do get the puck/or the puck gets to you, you already know what to do: which pass to make, which open lane to exploit.

When you know what to do before hand, it also saves you from having to make decisions on the pressure (from your backcheckers); which in most cases, hasty decision making are poor ones.

It really is the better problem than having advanced hockey sense but not the skill to catch up to the game. For people that get old, it's one of their big frustrations.



Now, if its your hand that isn't catching up to your speed, you just gotta do some drills on your own time to work on it. I suggest getting some cones or (whatever obstacles you can find); start slow and build speed negotiating around your obstacles.

The key is of getting that gentle feel of cradling the puck and developing all the micro puck-cradling that goes into fancier stick handling.

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08-01-2011, 06:52 PM
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I would much rather have a Hotdog with hands on my team
No problem there. You can have him. Hot dogs make highlight reels. Complete players win games. Obviously I'm talking at a certain level of play and beyond. Put a D1 or Junior A player against a C league mens team and yeah the hot dog can win games by himself. No argument there.

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08-02-2011, 12:28 PM
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No problem there. You can have him. Hot dogs make highlight reels. Complete players win games. Obviously I'm talking at a certain level of play and beyond. Put a D1 or Junior A player against a C league mens team and yeah the hot dog can win games by himself. No argument there.

No, I'd rather have a complete player then just an offensive tool, I literally mean a Hot dog, like with ketchup and stuff, with hands.

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08-02-2011, 10:59 PM
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I read this before that there are three variables in hockey.
-foot speed
-stick handling speed
-hockey sense
Your play is only as good as the weakest one of the aforementioned. So for example the OP said that skating/foot speed is his strength, then he is only as good as his stick handling and hockey sense which needs work.

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08-03-2011, 03:18 AM
  #22
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You're probably looking down more than you realize, as much as possible you should practice stick handling with your head up. Also, like others have mentioned, you should be very aware of where your teammates and opponents are before you get the puck, this will help you feel much more confident and much less rushed. Finally, even though you're fast you don't have to skate at top speed all the time, speed changes are great, go fast when necessary but don't be afraid to skate slower, even with the puck.

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08-03-2011, 05:22 AM
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Great tip I heard. Say you are the d-man coming back to pickup the puck from behind your net on a dump in. Look around BEFORE you get to the puck.

As opposed to getting the puck, then looking up, and being caught off guard with a forechecker bearing down on you.

Same thing in any situation where you're the first man on the puck. Know what you can do with the puck before you have it, so when you get to the puck, you're already setting up your next step with the puck (skate with it, pass, shoot, protect it, etc).

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08-03-2011, 06:43 AM
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Great tip I heard. Say you are the d-man coming back to pickup the puck from behind your net on a dump in. Look around BEFORE you get to the puck.

As opposed to getting the puck, then looking up, and being caught off guard with a forechecker bearing down on you.

Same thing in any situation where you're the first man on the puck. Know what you can do with the puck before you have it, so when you get to the puck, you're already setting up your next step with the puck (skate with it, pass, shoot, protect it, etc).
Good tip.

Hockey sense to me really means head up and making informed decisions vs. a blind pass or a quick glance then rushed decision. I think their is a genetic component as well. Some of us are just quicker to react/read plays, etc. but you can't change that part.

Great advice in here. I need to improve my stick handling, keep my head up, and be more aware of where everyone is on the ice. I honestly believe that's what's going to make me a good player.

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08-03-2011, 02:42 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by ATLhockey437 View Post
Anticipate where the puck is going to be played to, the better you get at reading the flow of the game. The easier this trait will become for you. Thus will lead to positioning yourself better so you don't feel rushed.

I've played defense my whole life so it helps that I have only seen the game from a QB perspective.

But it's absolutely key to learn your teammates style of play and the way they cycle in any of the zones. Always be thinking a step ahead in memorizing the previous passes made and where the said passers will be skating to be potentially open.

Always take a quick screen shot in your head of where your teammates are at if you know the puck is going to be played to you. This will help you develop chemistry in that you have a good idea of where they're going to be by the time you have to release the puck.
I'd agree with your post for players who are playing with guys who played organized hockey growing up.

I've always played D and have spared for some lesser teams as the ringer D with guys who are newer to the sport or only picked it up as adults (which I believe the OP falls into this category) and it is extremely hard to play in a system and let the play develop because most guys are so unpredictable at that level and don't know how to play in a system and find dead spots, stand in one area where they are completely covered by 2 or 3 guys, etc.

The 2 simplest piece of advice I could give to D at that level are: 1. always make your clearings/transition passes hard because even if they get intercepted the other teams player will most likely fumble it if its hard enough which will buy you and your team time to try and recover and 2. learn how to bank passes off the boards so that it hits your players sticks because players at that level generally group up in the middle of the ice in there defensive zone coverage opening up lanes for your forward to carry the puck in along the side

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