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Defensemen In the Offensive End
* Be ready to pinch if a forward is in position to cover for you.
* Stand a few feet inside the blue line to prevent the puck from getting out.
* Weak side defense play even with the far post if the puck is in far corner and then adjust to where the attackers are.
* Be alert for breaking forwards and go with them, don't gamble on knocking down the pass.
* Shoot low, just above height of stick blade or on the ice hard, be sure to miss the first man.
* When on your backhand at the point, shoot the puck into the corner.
* Look for forwards uncovered off either post and try a shot pass wide of the net for a tip.
* No unsafe stick handling as the last man, instead shoot the puck behind the net.
* No blind point to point passes, you must be sure they are safe.
* Keep the puck in front of you.
* Jump into the far corner if your forward rims the puck to keep possession.
Hockey Defense In the Defensive Zone
* Cover the front of the net - always one man in front - tough.
* Be alert for opposition face-off plays.
* Finish all checks in the corners and beat your man back to the net.
* On 3 on 3's and 4 on 4's one man take the shooter.
* Avoid backing in.
* When the puck at the point - clear the front of the net and control the opposition sticks by sealing them to the outside.
COACHING PRINCIPLES FOR PLAYING DEFENSE
Neutral Zone - defensively
Diagrams and descriptions of team play.
These are diagrams of many of the systems described below. http://hockeycoachingabcs.com/index-8.html
* Weak side defenseman covers the wide winger unless the backchecker has him.
* Stay up at the blue line if the wingers are covered.
* Try to meet the play before the blue line on a 2 on 2 and 3 on 3.
* Turn and go with an uncovered breaking winger.
* On a one on one always look through the play and your man, eyes up looking at chest or eyes.
* Talk to forwards and defense partner all the time.
* Don't let an opponent coming out of your zone hang behind you uncovered.
A big change in hockey today is that the first back checking forward chases the puck carrier and creates back pressure through the neutral zone. In the old days this player would cover the wide offensive wing.
If the backchecker has a checking angle he/she finishes the check. If the attacker is too far ahead then he will cover a supporting forward.
The wide defender covers the attacker in the wide lane. The last two players coming back must beat the attacking defensemen up the ice and if possible get back quickly to outnumber the attackers by the red or defensive blue line.
The coverage varies depending on the forchecking system being used by their hockey team.
First forward into zone:
* Play 3-3 with defensemen, usually as the support man.
* Maintain defensive side positioning when they have two players fighting your defenseman for the puck in the corner.
* Be in a position to maintain the defensive side and get immediate pressure if they pass to your man deep in the zone.
* Mirror the puck on a breakout.
* Give middle support on a pass to the winger.
* Give close support to the winger and help to get the puck over the blue line on a pinch.
* Back check to the mid slot area and cover the weak side point, with stick in the mid slot passing lane,
* Collapse down and support if someone loses their one on one, the puck is below the goal line or on rebounds.
* On the break out be ready for a quick rim pass to the boards.
* On break out can also go wide or protect the mid slot, stretch or get a dump out.
* On a D to D pass or rim get on the wide boards and get the puck out.
* Cover the strong side point and don't allow a walk through the seam by the low forward.
* Be ready for a quick pass to the boards, fight to get the puck out or freeze it, you cannot lose possession.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|