Deke of the Week 2 – Protecting the Puck

Protecting the puck

by Jeremy Rupke on March 13, 2011

Here is the deke of the week #2, last week we talked about skating for open ice and this week we are building on that and teaching you to protect the puck. I know this isn’t really a deke, but it is very important to know the fundamentals of hockey and really the point of playing is to set-up plays, score goals and win games, not be a show-boat that tries crazy dekes and loses the puck. I will be teaching some very effective (and some crazy) dekes later on, but first I want to teach the most effective ways to beat the other players on the ice.

Protecting the Puck In Hockey

This is a basic video on protecting the puck while hustling! There are other methods for protecting the puck that I will likely write an entire article about, but for now here are some tips for beating the D!

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In This Video

Here is a quick summary of what you will learn in the video, along with some additional tips.

  • The easiest way to beat most players is to use your speed / skate around them
  • When you are evading a player on the ice, move the puck to the opposite side of where the player is, this moves the puck into a safe area where the defender can not take the puck from you
  • When protecting the puck you can use your leg, body, arm and shoulder to block the player from getting the puck (see video for a technique I like to use)
  • This technique works best when you have speed, when a player is skating backwards, or if a player is coming at you quickly ( instead of deking you just sidestep them while protecting the puck)
  • While skating past a player do not simply keep the puck in front of you, this makes it easy for the player to knock it off your stick
  • A technique I like to use is the “bait and switch” sometimes if I am approaching a player I will move the puck closer to them (if they are to my right I stickhandle with the puck to my right, if they are behind me I leave the puck a bit behind me) then when they are almost close enough to get it I quickly move it to the other side of my body. This allows me to put about 5 to 10 feet of separation between the puck and the defender.

That’s it for this week, remember to practice a lot and try to remember these techniques while playing. Being a smart player can GREATLY improve your game, all you have to do is think more while you are on the ice and remember what works :D

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Jeremy Rupke

Coach
Hi my name is Jeremy. I LOVE hockey and I am passionate about improving and helping others improve. 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. If you want to learn more about me you can read my about page. Thanks for reading and sharing!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Vicky August 17, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I always lose the puck when I do a one-hander, any tips on preventing that except practice? :)

Reply

MT August 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm

make sure your cupping the puck with your stick and yes practice does help!

Vicky August 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm

OK thanks

MMS August 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I like the video and information. But, in this video, you are playing off wing. Wouldn’t the more common scenario would be you trying to protect the puck on your wing with you stuck between the D and the boards? Just a thought, but maybe give an example of protecting the puck on your wing (RT in your instance) with D pressuring from center, on the inside of you. That is far more valuable to me because most D is trying to force you from center ice (more proximate to the goal) toward the boards anyway.

Reply

Iggy March 27, 2011 at 12:32 am

This deke looks very simple but usually is by far the most efficient way how to beat a d-man. Just have a look at how the NHL guys like Hossa play. His protection of the puck by one hand is probably the best in the league.
Nice video!

Reply

Ben @ Totally Rad Sports Blog March 21, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I think this is a great skill for people to know when trying to get past the defender.

Reply

Bob March 16, 2011 at 7:50 am

Awsome vids man. Just started playing at 24 years so I did not have a chance to get any coaching as a kid. Your site helped me learn a lot and you guys are like my coaches!

One question tho. I can’t really deke too well now so I like to use this puck protection method. I find that when using my hand to fend off sticks and poke checks I do ocassionally grab the opposing players stick. Not long, not even a second. Is this legal?

Reply

Jeremy March 16, 2011 at 8:47 pm

If you do it quickly to move it out of the way then you won’t likely get a penalty, depends on the rules of the league you play in and what mood the ref is in!

According to the NHL rules “A player is not permitted to hold an opponent’s stick. A minor penalty shall be assessed to a player who holds an opponent’s stick (assessed and announced as “holding the stick”).

A player is permitted to protect himself by defending against an opponent’s stick. He must immediately release the stick and allow the player to resume normal play.”

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