10 Tips For Playing Elite Defense

Discussion in 'Leaguegaming Canadian Hockey League (LGCHL PSN)' started by BigClam69, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. BigClam69

    BigClam69 Well-Known Member

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    10 tips for Playing Elite Defense

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    As we are in the start of new season in the LG community I wanted to take the time to educate and acknowledge the few amount of defensemen we have in these leagues. All too often, defensemen are arguably the most valuable but under appreciate players on a hockey team. While everyone sees the highlight goals, most don’t pay attention to the initial play from the defenseman that created that scoring opportunity. Whether it be a turnover and quick breakout pass or a well-positioned low shot on net that created the scoring chance. Oh, and let’s not forget about the net battles. While everyone is watching the puck, you the defenseman are battling hard to protect your slot and goalie.

    With all that aside, I’d like to share a few key tips to take your defensive performance to an elite level, whether it be in LG or in real life. Now I could go on forever on this subject, but I tried to narrow it down to just 10 tips. All these tips will apply to both hockey platforms.

    1. Always support your D-partner!!! What this means is to give your D-partner an outlet pass if he gets in trouble or if they don’t have a breakout pass open. In addition, stagger your d-partner in the neutral zone to avoid breakaway chances by the opposing team. For example, if your D-partner is battling along the boards around the offensive blue, then you should be positioned in the middle of the ice more towards the red line if possession isn’t solid, guarding the breakaway. You are the LAST line of defense.

    2. Utilize D-to-D passes in the defensive zone for cleaner breakouts: While the “quick up” breakout pass to a strong side winger is popular, the opposing fore-check will try and take that away quickly. By passing the puck to your usually wide open D-partner you have now created a different angle on the breakout and thus the opposing team will have to shift their coverage on the forwards in order to defend it. It’s during this transition that your forwards can break for open ice in the neutral zone for an explosive breakout.

    3. Move the puck quickly and decisively: Never hold the puck too long!!!!! That goes for breakouts, penalty kill dumps, and offensive zone passes. I always try and move the puck to “open ice” which is where one of my players will have the most time and space when they receive my pass. Forcing passes creates turnovers in the neutral zone which can lead to pucks in your net. Pass to the player with most open ice around them.

    4. Play within the dots. Essentially this means that you should never get caught on the outside edges of the rink in the neutral zone or defensive zone without the proper support from the Center man. As a defenseman, you are more effective by containing the puck carrier to outside. Think PUCK-YOU-NET. A good rule of thumb is to keep yourself between the net and the puck carrier. However, it’s alright to pressure the puck if the attacking player’s back is turned and they are trying to corral a loose puck.

    5. Shoot low from the point: Generally speaking in most situations, your job as a defenseman in the O-Zone is to setup scoring chances even when you are shooting the puck. Low shots from the point are more likely to get redirected, and create juicy rebounds that goalies cannot stand. Lots of the time even if the opposing team is keeping your team outside and well positioned low shot can penetrate their defense and create a grade-A scoring chance off a rebound or re-direction.

    6. Use your own net for separation to create time and space: The “Quiet Zone” as I call it behind your net puts a barrier between you and an opposing fore checker and it may buy you an extra split second to clear the puck or make a clean breakout pass.

    7. Always clear the puck out past your blue line should be your first priority: Whether it be a safe breakout pass that crosses your blue line, a soft dump into the neutral zone while your team is under siege, or even a full blown icing. The blue line is defensive checkpoint for your team to cross because the opposing team has to tag up and re-enter the zone. Once you clear the defensive blue line then you should move up to it and defend it.

    8. Don’t puck watch when playing 1-on-1: Focus on the opposing forwards body mass and that direction of movement because if you puck watch instead, you will get dangled. Keep the forward to the outside and NEVER GIVE THEM THE MIDDLE! Close the gap and take away the opposing player’s ice.

    9. Defensive Gap Control: When the opposing team is breaking out, stay as close as you can to your forward without risking the chance of getting beat for a breakaway. By doing this, you already are taking away their ice before they even receive the puck. Thus allowing you to shut plays down in the neutral zone before they can even reach your end.

    10. Clear loose pucks from your slot: Anytime the puck is loose in front of your goalie just clear it out of the zone or even into the corner. Never try and make a fancy play when the puck is in such a vulnerable scoring area. It’s ok to take an icing to clear a loose puck in front of your goalie because that defensive zone faceoff is less of a scoring threat then that loose puck was.
    I am not the end all be all for hockey defensive strategy as I still have much to learn. I have learned these tactics through lots of on ice experiences both in real life and in LG. Feel free to share your effective tips and thoughts in the comments below! We can all get better together and make this league even more competitive.
     
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  2. Teamrun420

    Teamrun420 Don't go through life without goals.

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    Great write up!
     
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  3. iHatePoors

    iHatePoors Aka WorkingForMCA (Legend)

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    Watch my past games.
     
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  4. UnboGazebo

    UnboGazebo Well-Known Member

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    a+
     
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  5. King_Formless

    King_Formless Well-Known Member

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  6. gcampbell13

    gcampbell13 Career CHL TC

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    And do the opposite of what he does.
     
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  7. HatrickSwayze8

    HatrickSwayze8 Well-Known Member

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    super helpful, all these steps are what I practice daily within games. This post gives gives me confirmation that I've been practicing correct defensive tactics and gives me a reference point for what I should be aiming for every game. Huge thanks.
     
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  8. BigClam69

    BigClam69 Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. Thanks for taking the time to read. Good luck this season!
     
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  9. BigClam69

    BigClam69 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!
     
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  10. BigClam69

    BigClam69 Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate it! Good luck this season.
     
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  11. van-deezy-

    van-deezy- Right handed, LW or C.. Prefer LW

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    turn towards goalie not towards player if beat as well
     
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  12. GetGerman

    GetGerman Well-Known Member

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  13. Dlcjr75

    Dlcjr75 Well-Known Member

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  14. GonzoArmstrong

    GonzoArmstrong Well-Known Member

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    As someone who has had solid success at the NHL level as a dman in LG. I would say that you should add that 95% of your breakout passes should be to the C who is down low and making themself available to you for the quick and easy pass... not stretch passes to your wingers. This is the most common mistake by dmen in my opinion.
     
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  15. BigClam69

    BigClam69 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I totally agree. It’s a safe option as long as your center isn’t up too high.
     
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  16. Heedlessjem420

    Heedlessjem420 Well-Known Member

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  17. RippedJockStrap

    RippedJockStrap Member

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    Great suggestions and points
     
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  18. BigSaveNabokov

    BigSaveNabokov Well-Known Member

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    11>) never dump and chase, this isnt real hockey dont be a dweeb
     
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    ItsJodach Well-Known Member

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    Esiasonfan Member

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