With the return of summer, so returns “Rec Hockey Tips.” You can read more of them by clicking on that category, or checking out specifics like forwards coming back to the puck, communication, proper slapshots, blowout etiquette and five sneaky in-game tricks.
You can’t score unless you have the puck, so everyone knows you have to have the puck, only…not everyone seems aware of what actually “getting possession of the puck” means. “Possession” in hockey, to me, indicates that you’re in a position to dictate what happens with the puck next, if only for a jiffy. Possession is good.
Instead, some rec leaguers only seem aware of the fact that you should get somewhere you can get the puck in theory. Players get open for passes, they get in positions to forecheck, they do many, many right things. Until you pass it to them, or it comes loose in a scrum, or it is delivered to them on a silver platter. Then it all goes to hell.
Handle it, as you so often hear at the higher levels. Just handle it.
Easier said than done maybe, but that’s where going to work to get better comes in. Everyone needs to work on something.
All due respect to rec hockey players who play once a week or so here – it’s hard to be consistently sharp in your semi-occasional outing, and we all make mistakes. It’s kind of like not golfing often – you lose your short game, your hands, first. So listen to me: if you ever get the chance to practice, have someone stand at center facing the boards, and you skate from blueline to blueline while they lob grenades at you. (That’s hockey terminology for bad passes, of course. Lobbing actual grenades would make for a short training session.) Hell, you can do laps around them and have them throw butterflying sauce passes at your ankles while you work on getting them up to your stick blade as quick as possible. Read the rest of this entry »