3 Tips for Defencemen when Using the Boards

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

  • hockey-boardsYou 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.

Pass the Puck
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Coach Jeremy
Hi my name is Jeremy Rupke. My goal is to break every hockey skill down into easy to understand articles and videos. I explain everything step-by-step to help others improve. I'm active on Instagram, Facebook and more, you can follow through the links above.
If you want to learn more about me you can read my about page. Thanks for reading and sharing!

  1. Reply Donny August 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Starting playing again at 50 after being in the goal from 6 to 16. Getting beat on occasion by some faster/ younger forwards coming in and drawing me out from the (rink in the rink) lines. I work on keeping my position but feel they are just skating by me faster then I can keep up backwards.
    Is the trick to keep a little more spacing and transition to forward skating for someone really coming in hot? I’m already not crossing over ( backwards) to keep my speed up and one of the better skaters on this get together fri non contact game.
    So whats your ideal set up for one on one fast skater coming in, I’m usually skating forward transitioning to backwards as the pass comes in to their forward/winger
    Thanks Love the sight.

  2. Reply Frank May 3, 2013 at 2:37 am

    I played hockey since I was a boy but when I was 33 I had a terrible accident that required my right hip being screwed and plated. I still played for a few years (about 35% of my past capabilities) until the pain was too much. I was told by my surgeon that I would walk with a cane or walker for the rest of my life. I got a new doctor and within two years I had both of my hips replaced. I gave up hockey, but some nights I would have dreams that I was on the ice making crisp passes and snapping in wrist shots, they were pleasant dreams, but I would awake to reality, that I was not skating and became depressed. I missed hockey so much. After 18 years of this, last May I bought skates and took a spin on the ice. Next thing I did was buy all new equipment and get into a “return to the ice” program at our local rink (it is one hour of coached drills and one hour of scrimmage). Now it is no longer a dream, I’m back! I am only at about 50% of my old capabilities, but I’m having fun and I scrimmage with guys 1/2 my age and skate in an over 50 league, very much holding my own. I will be 60 this May and intend to skate until the day I die.

    • Reply Slavko May 10, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Good luck, Frank!

      Your story sounds very motivating and I wish you score many goals as you improve.

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