Hockey Defensive Positioning
Always Cover the Front of the Net
When playing hockey in the defensive zone, the key to positioning is communication with your defense partner:
Talk to each other.
- Let your defense partner know when he has time, and when he has a 'man-on.'
- Let your defense partner know where you are.
- Call for the puck when you're open for a pass behind the net.
When one D-man is in the corner, the other must cover the front of the net. If you decide to head into the opposite corner that you started your shift, let your partner know. Switching sides is quite common on defense, but you've got to communicate with each other. You definitely don't want to caught out of position with both of you in the corner with nobody covering the slot.
Forwards on the other team will often float in an out of the slot. Often you'll ask yourself; Who should I cover? A good rule of thumb is to cover the most dangerous player. That will usually be the offensive player closest to the front of the net, but it may also be the star player on the other team whose just one stride farther away. Trust your goalie to stop the guy who using his stick to keep himself upright on the ice.
Great video on Hockey Defensive Positioning:
Defensive Positioning Tips:
- Stick to your zone
- Challenge the puck carrier when the puck is in your zone, otherwise cover the open man.
- Wingers: Cover the point. Don't come in past the hash-marks.
- Centers: Don't chase the puck
Check out excellent DVD's on defense at Championship Productions - where the coaches shop.
More Hockey Tips on: Defense and Positioning.