Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Three Levels of Puck Control

Paul O’Donnell at Hockey from the Neck Up has recently posted part 1 in a series of in-depth articles on The Three Levels of Puck Control.

These levels of control act as a checklist that quickly and simply assists the defensive player to help decide when a puck carrier is more or less vulnerable to attack. For the puck carrier, this knowledge is of little or no consequence; but for the opposing forechecker or defender this knowledge can be crucial in deciding when to be active or passive.

Knowing when to be active (aggressive) or passive is an essential aspect of the defensive game, because it will “always” be the first decision a player will make during any defensive read.

Which level of control the puck carrier is in will depend on the following three objective factors at the time of the read:
  • The location, movement and direction of the puck.
  • The location movement and direction of the actual or potential puck carrier.
  • The time and space between the combatants.

The three levels of puck control is like a “tell” used by poker players to outguess their opponents. By observing their opponents body language correctly a good poker player can properly gauge whether the other player has a good hand or is bluffing. Their success will depend on their knowledge and understanding of the game, as well as their experience -not unlike hockey players.

Read the full article at:  The Three Levels of Puck Control.

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