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Thread: Tales from the beer league part 2

  1. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammer06 View Post
    The big adjustment is getting out of the zone with a proper breakout. Slamming the puck off the boards and winning a footrace isn't going to happen at this level until they get much faster. At the lower level I could usually lob a puck to the cross ice winger or do any number of foolish things from behind my goal line because the opposing centers would never cover the slot. At this level I might try that pass, but I'm looking first and I'm getting it well over someones head if they're there. I know this, but my team hasn't caught up to it yet. The net effect is I put in a little more effort and get a puck from the corner and my options are diminished because my team hasn't reacted assuming I'll win the puck. The winger on the short boards isn't ready for a pass, the center isn't setting to curl up for a pass from the winger (or the opposite winger isn't cutting across yet to take the pass from the board winger.
    Wow. I know this feeling, even at the lowest level. A couple of seasons ago, one of the teams from a level above us moved down, and a well-organized roller team decided to take a stab at ice. Simultaneously, several of our best skaters moved up, and we struggled mightily on the breakout. This is when I finally had to research what my responsibilities would be at a more advanced level on the breakout, and, unsurprisingly, what I found is similar to what you said. Haha. So, that's what I do now. Of course, that still creates the problem that when I am in the right position, there's no guarantee I'll be able to receive the pass.

    Also, on the short side, I'll frequently curl to the top of the circle to create a shorter pass and more options, but I'm slow enough that sometimes when I do that, the defenceman has already dug the puck out and races past me up the boards. In this case, I just try to subtly (or not so much) open a lane for him.

    Even though I'm still not remotely useful on the breakout, moving around to help the play develop is a lot more interesting, both mentally and physically, than standing around waiting for the play to develop.

    Quote Originally Posted by jammer06 View Post
    trying to use your stick to take the puck off the boards instead of your skate
    This is very useful to me, and I'm going to put it to work. Thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by jammer06 View Post
    The net effect is that they start looking to me to "do something" at times because they see me skating harder and faster than I did in the lower level, but I'm just doing it to win the puck and then set up for the play. I'm not doing it to try and turn around into a one man team for several reasons (one of which being I'm honestly probably not good enough at this current level to be anything other than a puck hog). LTI probably has it right that I need to encourage the incremental improvement. They know how to do it at the lower level, they just need to keep the confidence they can do these things and get game reps so they don't spaz and realize they've got time to do it. The rest of the team needs to learn to anticipate as if it will be done correctly instead of waiting. Trust is a hard thing to keep going when it seems like you're gonna get pounded, but playing the right way is a lot better in the long run than just collapsing to the net all the time.
    I used to get a lot more advice from several of my teammates. Most of my teammates will not say anything, and for some it took several seasons before they realized they could feed me some criticism, and I would listen. However, for the few who have been helpful, I am extremely grateful. One of my teammates in particular is very good at this. He usually first tells me what I'm doing well and then adds just one thing I need to improve. Occasionally, he has no feedback, and then I find something to work on for myself. This is easy, because there's always that play or two (or more) every game you know you could have executed better.


    Quote Originally Posted by beedee View Post
    Another thing I have chalked it up to is that not everyone gives a crap as much as we might.

    This past rookie season I found myself wanting to help people learn the game that might not have really wanted the help. As the season went on, I grew frustrated that many players appeared to not give a **** that we just lost our 4th game in a row, no one asked questions in the locker room, etc. I was the only one speaking up about it, then again it was only rookie league, but then again I would think that people would want to learn and ask questions.
    Quote Originally Posted by jammer06 View Post
    That definitely happens, but I'm usually the guy that doesn't give a crap. I just want to make some good hockey plays here and there.
    The team I'm on is not particularly fiery. We do want to win, but mostly we want to have fun. We've had a few players from time to time who were competitive hotheads, and they did not get over very well. We've had some (and still do) who are competitive and passionate but not out of control, and that's okay. Mostly, our attitude is similar to jammer's. Of course, the caveat there is that we are so full of beginners that we are bound to show improvement, which is more difficult at higher divisions.

    For me personally, when we get players who have never, ever skated before, I'm actually a good player to have around, because I'm proof one can go from super terribad to only terribad.

  2. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by LetTigerIn View Post
    Wow. I know this feeling, even at the lowest level. A couple of seasons ago, one of the teams from a level above us moved down, and a well-organized roller team decided to take a stab at ice. Simultaneously, several of our best skaters moved up, and we struggled mightily on the breakout. This is when I finally had to research what my responsibilities would be at a more advanced level on the breakout, and, unsurprisingly, what I found is similar to what you said. Haha. So, that's what I do now. Of course, that still creates the problem that when I am in the right position, there's no guarantee I'll be able to receive the pass.

    Also, on the short side, I'll frequently curl to the top of the circle to create a shorter pass and more options, but I'm slow enough that sometimes when I do that, the defenceman has already dug the puck out and races past me up the boards. In this case, I just try to subtly (or not so much) open a lane for him.

    Even though I'm still not remotely useful on the breakout, moving around to help the play develop is a lot more interesting, both mentally and physically, than standing around waiting for the play to develop.

    This is very useful to me, and I'm going to put it to work. Thanks!
    2 things about wingers on the boards that I've told people in the past that may or may not help

    1) Holding the back of your skate against the boards is weird until you do it alot. You have to be very patient and you're a bit stuck when you feel like you should be moving, but it's the right play. If you must move slide up and down the boards until you feel confident that you can get your ass and skate back on the boards very quickly. Also if your Dman loses the puck you can use the board to push off if the dman at the point activates.

    2) You can gain a bit of time/space setting up level with the dot if you're worried about the pressure from the point dman (you're closer to the play but their forward is usually tied up with your D). Similarly some nights are just bad puck nights. If you're fighting it set up higher near the blue line to help push the dman out of the play and give your D a better chance of clearing the zone.

    Figuring out how to work the boards is probably the hardest thing for us adult learned beer leaguers. You can't go to a stick time and work on it without help unless you just do 5 -10 minutes along the boards without your stick. It's more beneficial to have someone wrapping pucks around the boards for you though. Skills classes almost never work on it. It's probably the most valuable skill that's developable though.

  3. #313
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    Playing down a level is always tough and can be very frustrating and also rewarding if you
    see players develop and get better including yourself. There has been many good ideas and
    suggestions on how to advance oneself while playing down. We all want to win. But if you can
    approach the lower level as a skill development and make it game within a game you can spur
    your competitive edge while working on skills.

    You won't get better unless you learn to play the position at a slower pace. Jumping into
    the deep-end may work for swimming but not ice hockey. Playing at a higher skill level will
    help you but if you are getting out classed too much you will not learn or develop good
    positioning.

    1) Start slower and work yourself up.

    2) Forwards (Non-centers) are the easiest positions to play. They have 2-3 spots to cover
    in the D zone. Side to side passes, shot coverage, and north and south passes.

    A)Toughest part about playing forward is wanting to help your team mates and leaving your
    position. 80-90% of the time if you leave that D-man to go help. That D-man gets the puck
    and gets a shot off or helps generate a scoring chance.

    B) Most of the time it is best to stay in between the current play and the D-man you are
    covering. Keep that pass option unavailable by keeping your head on a swivel between the
    play and your the D-Man you are covering. You should keep your stick moving as the play
    moves to help provide pass deterrence.

    C) If you can tackle A and B throughout a couple games then you will be good. A is tough
    because the draw and hunger to get in the play is strong like the Dark-side of the force.

    3) Center is the next toughest position. Center acts as the 3rd defense and supports the
    D-man in front of the Net.

    A) Work on faceoff win and body placement (Win and loss body movement)
    B) In most instances of D zone play a defender always plays the player along the deep
    boards and the Center takes up the position between that play and the open Center or
    Forward. 2nd Defender has his hands full with the other open forward or Center depending
    on who's in front of the net.
    C) Learn to help Positional switch. (IE: puck goes from west to east side corners of the
    ring while going behind the net). In most cases the Defensmen(A) playing the puck should not follow behind the net
    chasing the forward A/center with the puck. This Defensmen(A) should move to the front of
    the net and the Defensmen(b)/Center should be in communication for who takes up the defense
    of puck carrying forward.

    3) Defensmen

    A) Defending a Rush - Learn to use the side faceoff dots as your lines of north and south. If
    player is rushing in outside of the line try to keep them outside. If a player is rushing inside
    the line try to force them to move outside the line. The farther out you meet the attacking
    player the better. Also, don't backup all the way to your goalie. They hate that. Do something
    if you see the top of the circle because that means you are at the Faceoff dots and quickly closing in on your goalie.
    B) Never be side by side with your defensmen on a defense attack rush. The D-Man without the puck
    should be a little behind his partner (IE: Stagard so if he gets beat you can swing across). Protect
    the pass if you can.
    C) Forward covering and play transition from east to west along with Center (see above).

    4) Communication - One of the most important aspects and helps make the game easier when players
    communicate

    A) The toughest thing to do in all of sports in any sport you play is communication. The first thing
    new skaters do when the game starts is they stop talking.
    B) Learn how to communicate while being involved with the play in the O-zone or D-Zone.
    C) Communicate with the Goalie and Goalies communicate with the Defensemen/Centers

    I side on the best players should be Defensemen if they can play the position else Center. Typically
    the better players on a team can skate better and get back to good positions.

    Rambled a bit. But it always nice to see players wanting to improve there play.
    Last edited by mudfisher; September 21st, 2015 at 06:17 PM.

  4. #314
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    ^^Great stuff^^

    Thanks for posting. Just trying to shove as much info as I can into my brain.

  5. #315
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    tonight i subbed in Bronze East (2.5 levels above Rookie) and stopped 23 of 24 and got the win, 5-1. only goal came in the 2nd after i stopped the first two shots and the d couldnt clear it. one of their guys roofed it from the middle of the slot, top blocker corner.

    the game was so much fun! much much much faster with quality shots and plays.
    Last edited by beedee; September 24th, 2015 at 11:00 AM.

  6. #316
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    We had our season opener this evening at Lakewood Ice and won 5-1. i Iet in a weak goal in the first (a flutter puck) but was money after that, stopping the next 20 shots or so. (scoresheet isnt posted yet)

    our team played well overall and will only get better as the season carries on. its always so cool to see teammates score their first ever goal in organized hockey, some get really pumped up.

    the rink ran out of "the rinks" logos to put on the front of our jerseys but did put numbers on the back...random numbers ar that. i usually wear 31 but this season i am wearing 30.

    my buddy took this shot of me, pretty sure i had just deflected a shot into the corner.

  7. #317
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    Had only one game last night at the higher level. Broke in a new guy who'd been in london for the last 3 years and actually had gotten to play on the university team there. He was a bit rusty and got winded by the third but is a really solid player. Always nice to pick up a good player that wants to play the blueline.
    The game itself had 2 of my pet peeves.
    1) the guy cutting the ice dumped an absolute lake of water out there. in the first period it was a comedy of people trying to make passes or stick handle and the puck would hit a puddle an come to a screeching halt. Nearly burned us as more than a few passes ended up stopping right in the slot.
    2) catching pucks right on the laces. 2nd week in a row I caught one there, both times on centering passes and not shots thankfully but goddamnit that **** hurts. I think I'm gonna break down and get the guards.

    Otherwise it was a good game for us. got the win 5-2. New D partner picked up a couple of assists, one on a real nice tip in front. We were both active and in the play instead of just hanging out at the blue line. Lots of fun.

  8. #318
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    Get the guards man! I got them AFTER I blocked a clapper with my foot and broke my 5th metatarsal...wish I had bought them before hand.

    That is great about picking up a solid D'man, as a goalie I love having a solid person on each line of D, it is reassuring!!!

  9. #319
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    My first "true" organized hockey game last night as part of the newly christened Lakewood Cat-nucks (name subject to change). I played 2nd line RW and had a blast. As @beedee described above, our team played pretty well. The other team had a couple of real strong individual players but overall I would say seemed a bit weaker and disorganized compared to us. We gave up a soft goal early then dominated zone play for some pretty good stretches, even when on the PK. I obviously had never played with the team before, but both of my linemates commented that they felt good playing with me and there was some chemistry there which should hopefully continue to improve.

    I noticed that in their zone, depending on who was playing D, they usually collapsed down deep towards the back red line, so even though I was cognizant of keeping myself between the puck and the D-man, I would cheat up a bit between the face-off dot and the blue line. So when we were able to get control of the puck I was able to break out of the zone and get on a number of break outs. Biggest problem for me was controlling the puck on a clearing pass. One of our better defenders (Brian) was consistently giving me good passes up the board but I was having a hard time controlling them sometimes since it's on my backhand, or I was pressured. But I think we did a solid job getting the puck out and moving it up at least to disrupt their rhythm. All in all I had about 4-5 decent SOG but nothing got through. One breakout I had my Center on my left, calling for a pass. He was a bit close to me and it looked like a tough angle for him, I thought I should have ripped a shot and put him is position for a juicy rebound, but I deferred and passed and we got nothing. All part of the game. Biggest things for me to work on are probably my endurance mostly, and keeping my stick on the ice and head up. Some of the better skaters are still able to dangle me a bit so working on puck control/movement is also an issue but that will come with practice.

    Just glad we were able to get the win and I was able to hold my own. I don't think I got an assist but someone on our team mentioned a goal where all 3 forwards passed the puck back and forth before scoring so maybe I'll get credit on that one. Of course the Scoresheet still isn't up. Also, we had the same ice issue early on as well there. Definitely a few puddles in our zone to start. Supposedly Rink C will be ready this week so we'll see if it's any better. And of course no logos on our jerseys which isn't a bad thing in the end. I figure it's all part of the DERP that is playing at Lakewood.

  10. #320
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    Just redid my pads last night in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


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