In this article and video Ken delivers three tips on how to use the boards in the defensive end. The boards are a great tool to have, and as a defensemen you should know how to use them. There are a few ways that you can use the boards or the glass to elevate your level of play. When you get the puck in the defensive end your number one goal is to move it out of your end, and hopefully also maintain possession. In the video Ken shares 3 ways to effectively use the boards and 5 different plays that you can make.
5 plays you can make using the boards
Using the boards as a Defensemen
Here are some of the points that we covered in the video
- You can use the boards when you need to protect the puck, keep your knees bent and have some weight on your stick so you are not easily knocked off the puck. Remember your legs are the most powerful muscles, so keep them moving during the puck battles. You can also use your hands for leverage and support
- Sometimes you need to make a cross ice pass to your defensive partner. If you are close to the net you do not want to put the puck right in front of the net. Use the boards behind the net to bank pass the puck to your partner.
- A hard rim is a good way to get the puck up the ice quickly, but remember your winger needs to know how to handle a rimmed puck, and it usually takes longer to recover than a direct pass. Use a hard rim when you need to clear the puck quickly, it’s usually a safe play, but not always the best one
- A bank pass up the ice is another good play to use, sometimes you want to make a pass to a centermen or winger who is crossing lanes, if this option is taken away then look to the boards. You may see a clear bank pass that will still get the puck to your forwards.
- Another way to use the boards is by clearing the puck high and off the glass. This is usually your last option and only used when you really need to get the puck out. It’s like pulling the cord on the emergency chute
These tips should help you see the ice a little differently. Remember direct passes are great when you can make them, but usually the other team will try to take away passing lanes. You can look to the boards when your direct pass options are taken away, you need to move the puck up ice quickly with a hard rim, you can’t move the puck and need to battle or “eat the puck”, or in case of emergencies, throw it high and off the glass.