If you are looking for a new move to try out during practice or shinny then todays deke of the week is a great one to practice. This is a shifty move that I like to use when I need to gain the center and there is a pesky defencemen in my way. Usually this works the best if the D-man is a few feet in front of you, and a few feet to your side (the side furthest from the blade of your stick) and he is trying to keep you to the outside. I have used this move a lot in games, it looks great and it works! If you want a full explanation of how to do this move visit our article and video on how to do the backhand toe drag.
Backhand Toe Drag Video On the Ice
Backhand Toe Drag Tips
Practice a lot before trying it in a game
You need to pull the puck in close to your feet to protect the puck
Don’t be afraid to try variations of this move and come up with your own style / moves
Make sure you have enough room to do this move otherwise the d-man will stop you every time
Keep your head up (especially if you play contact hockey) so you can read the defencemen and tweak the move if you need to
In the latest deke of the week (or month :P) we bring you the toe drag. The toe drag is a very effective move IF you can master it. This is one of those moves that you don’t want to try in a game unless you have done it flawlessly 10 times in a row during practice. The first video shows you the deke of the week version with in-game scenarios, and the second video is our “how to toe drag” video that we shot last year. (If you are from the United States of Amurica remember, it’s called the toe drag, not a curl and drag)
On Ice Toe Drag Video
How To Toe Drag
Tips for performing the toe drag
You have to practice this move a lot before you can master it, I recommend using a nice smooth surface like the roll-up shooting pad and a puck instead of a ball, for the most ice-like feel try a shooting pad and the green biscuit
If practicing at home or on the ice start with a wall behind you, that way if you miss the puck you don’t have to go and get it each time
When gripping the stick with your top hand loosen your grip while rolling the blade over and let it fall into your fingertips. Hold it in your finger-tips while you start to pull the puck back, then while pulling the puck back and catching the puck tighten your grip and hold the stick in your top hand how you normally would
Practice pushing the puck out and toe-dragging back in on your side and in front of you.
During the game try toe-dragging the puck in towards your feet, that way if you don’t catch it, or a defender knocks the puck off of your stick you still have the option of kicking it up to your stick with your feet
The trickiest part to learn is actually catching the puck after you drag it back with your toe, you need to quickly roll the blade over and catch the puck, if you practice a lot you will get it!
Last summer I showed you how to toe drag and this summer I am going to show the backhand toe drag. The toe drag is a great move to use and very deceptive, if you can perfect the toe drag you will be able pull a few really nice dangles and have the guys on your bench cheering. A lot of people know about toe drag, but not as many people know about the backhand toe drag.
What is the backhand toe drag?
Basically the backhand toe drag is when you use the back of your blade to pull / drag the puck in close to your feet so you can get past the defenders. This is an effective move to practice because by quickly moving the puck in close to your body you will be able to protect the puck and get it out of the reach of other players.
There are actually a few different variations to the backhand toe drag so I have broken each version down in my video. In the video I show you how to practice off the ice, but once I start the deke of the week up again I will show you an on ice version.
Backhand Toe Drag on the side
In this version you will be stickhandling with the puck to your side. The best time to use this move is when a defender is skating at you and going for the puck. You can pull a regular toe drag and pull the puck in close to your feet, but I find it’s a lot easier to just roll the blade over and catch the puck with the back of the blade, then pull it in and push it forwards (shown in video)
Backhand Toe Drag in Front
This move is great to pull if you are cutting across the center of the offensive zone and looking to get a shot on the net. I usually do this one when I am on my off wing and moving into the center. Leave the puck in front of you a bit and stickhandle, the defense will likely go for a poke check as you cut across, all you need to do is grab the puck with the back of the blade, pull it in towards your feet and then pull it across your body. I usually have about 90% success rate with this move, and it looks (and feels) great
Backhand Toe Drag on your backhand Side
This one is done on your backhand side and is the most like the forehand toe drag. What you want to do here is roll the blade right over and actually use the back of the toe of the blade to pull the puck in. This one is pretty tricky to master but I can certainly see it coming in handy, and is helpful to practice for total puck control around your entire body.
Backhand Toe Drag Video
In this video I show you all the versions of the backhand toe drag that I have used on the ice.
This is one of my favourite dekes to pull on the defencemen when I am in a one on one situation and the D is matching my speed. If I have speed on the D I will usually pull a simple fake like I have shown in the previous dekes, but if the defencemen is matching your speed and skating backwards I find faking to one side and then tucking the puck under his stick and going the other way is a great way to get past them and freeze them in their spot. Check out the video to see how I do this move
In This Video
Here are a few tips from the video for those of you who like to read
To prepare for this deke either deke to the outside to get the defensemen to make a move and sweep at you with his stick, or leave the puck out to the side like you are going to skate past him on the outside and then pull the puck across and under his stick
You have to avoid the stick and the skates, to avoid the stick make sure you push the puck far enough ahead so it isn’t in the D’s sweep zone. Once the D goes for the sweep pull the puck straight across so he can’t catch the puck in his skates.
This move is easier to pull on an opponent who is the opposite hand of you. A righty going against a lefty will have more success with this move than a righty going against a righty
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If you ever wanted a solid go-to move to break out of your own end, well…here it is. I use this move on a regular basis and it is pretty much fool proof. There is nothing super fancy about this move, but it is very effective and can result in a breakaway in some circumstances.
Bank Shot Video
In This Video
The best time to use this move is if you catch the opposing player standing still, or skating slow near the boards. If you need to get by them you COULD try a risky move, or go with an almost sure thing and just bank the puck off the boards. If you want to be extra sneaky you can fake like you are going to try to squeeze by them along the boards, then just bank the puck off the board and quickly dart the other way and get the puck behind the player.
Best to use if the other player is standing still, or skating slowly
If you bank the puck low on the boards it will come out closer to the back of the player
If you bank the puck high on the boards the angle will be different and the puck will land farther away from you, this is a good way to create more distance, or clear the puck
A tricky move is to fake like you are going to beat the other player along the boards, if he moves to block you or hit you, bank the puck then beat him on the other side
A fun move to try it to skate to the center, drop the puck and stick between your legs and then bank it off the boards, the other player will not expect this and it could throw them off (try it during practice)
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In the third edition of the deke of the week I am going to be talking about fakes. In my opinion a fake is not the same as a deke, but you can use fakes in your dekes. A “fake” is just a slight, or subtle movement that might freeze the opposing player for a slight second, sometimes a simple fake is all you need to get around a play. A deke requires a set of actions, with a deke you are baiting the other player, forcing them to move or opening them up, and then pulling a move on them. So with a deke you have the preperation (set the bait), pull the move, seperate yourself from the player, then accelerate. With a fake it is just a quick movement you do, and you can use them in your dekes. Here are some fakes you can do
Eye fakes (I’m not joking they work!)
Head fakes (usually used with shoulder fakes)
Stick fakes and hand fakes
In the video below I go through each fake and tell you how you can use them in a game, in combinations, and when is the best time to use each fake. I thought it was important to cover all the fakes because I will be mentioning them in future deke of the weke videos.
Deke of the Week 3 Video
Thanks for watching! Next week we will be back on the rink. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog and videos on youtube to stay up to date with the latest hockey training.
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!
Don’t forget to to subscribe to our blog to get notified of the newest videos and the next Deke of the Week
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 😀
The green biscuit is a hockey training puck that is designed to replicate the feeling of stickhandling with a real hockey puck on ice. While many ( too many!) products promise the feel of stickhandling
with a real puck, only a few can deliver. How did it stack up? Read on to find out.
If you just want to know how much it costs, and buy one you can buy it here Enter our Hockeyshot coupon code for $10 off orders over $100 HOWHCKY001
First look at the Green Biscuit
When I first got the green biscuit I thought what most people probably think, oh great another gimmicky hockey training product. You have to admit, it looks a bit funny
Green Biscuit Design
The biscuit is designed to travel flat on irregular surfaces like concrete and asphalt. The idea behind the design is to reduce friction, and vibration that will cause pucks to flip over and normally occurs with other pucks.
The green biscuit is made out of two pieces of plastic with a hollow spot in the middle. The pieces of plastic are held apart by three metal bolts and cushioned with rubber spacers in the middle. According to the Green Biscuit Website this unique design is specifically engineered to stop the it from flipping over. Sounds like a great plan, but for some reason I don’t think that this puck could hold up to my ever improving slapshot, but I can’t wait to try stickhandling and passing.
While there are many pucks that use simple, and often flawed designs in an attempt to achieve an ice like feel, it appears that the green biscuit may actually achieve this. It definitely wins the award for most creative engineering and design. Only one question remains though….
Does the Green Biscuit work?
The short answer is YES! I was pretty amazed at how well this puck actually worked. After using so many shawdy products, I really expected this one to end up as dog toy, I was pleasantly surprised. Below I will share my experience with the biscuit
Stickhandling with the GreenBiscuit
I tested the Green Biscuit on a nice flat piece of pavement. The biscuit moves nicely back and forth and is definitely better than using a regular hockey puck ( see video) I also tried some other hockey training pucks but the Green Biscuit was definitely my favourite. It slides nicely, and is great for toe drags! (as seen in our hockey shooting pad video)
Does it flip up?
When doing slow smooth motions it is almost impossible to flip the it over. I find the biscuit does come up slightly from time to time, but only during quick, powerful moves. I feel this is a good way to train yourself to have nice soft hands, and it only tilts up a bit, so it doesn’t really interrupt stickhandling too much.
If you want to practice a lot of quick moves you could always pick up a hockey shooting pad. The shooting pad works well with the green biscuit by reducing friction even more, and it will also protect the bottom of your stick. We did a full hockey shooting pad review if you are interested
I really liked passing with the green biscuit. Ken and I tried all kinds of variations; quick short passes, long hard passes, rapid back and forth passes, backhand passes, and even saucer passes. The green biscuit worked great for every type of pass, and really felt like passing on ice does.
If you suck at passing I definitely recommend getting a green biscuit, having a friend to pass back to you helps as well!!
One thing that I did notice was when taking a hard pass, if I cupped the pass and then pulled it in towards my body in a sweeping motion the puck would come up on edge against the edge of the blade of my stick. Not a huge annoyance as it only happened a few times, and I easily corrected the puck and continued passing.
Shooting with the green biscuit
A lot of people ask “can you shoot with the Green Biscuit?” Here is my experience
*Winds up, takes a slapshot, hits post, green biscuit explodes*
The green biscuit is not made for shooting! That’s what regular pucks are for 😀
Green Biscuit Video
Reading about how a product works is good, but seeing it in action is even better, so we thought this video would help show you how the Green Biscuit training puck works.
Green biscuit vs regular puck
As you can see in the picture the Green Biscuit is the exact same size of a normal hockey puck
The Green Biscuit weighed in at 4.4 ounces. A normal hockey puck is usually between 5.5 and 6 ounces. The Green Biscuit is made a bit lighter than a normal puck to replicate the feel of using a real puck off ice.
According to the Green Biscuit website the Green Biscuit was made lighter than a normal hockey puck because the added friction from rough surfaces makes it feel heavier, or just like using the heavier puck on the ice.
Don’t even think about trying to use a regular puck off the ice or on pavement, the rubber grabs onto everything and the puck will flip all over the place
Of course nothing can match a puck on ice, but the Green Biscuit does slide nicely, it travels in a straight line, moves better if you put spin on it, and has a similar bounce as a puck.
Green biscuit compared to stickhandling balls
As you can see in the pictures the stickhandling ball is quite a bit smaller than the Green Biscuit, however it is also taller. The balls are made to have the same contact point as a puck, so that is why it is quite a bit taller, you can see that the middle of the stickhandling ball matches the top of the green biscuit.
The stickhandling ball I use weighed in at 4.1 oz, with the green biscuit being 4.4, not a big difference at all.
Being round, the stickhandling balls roll very easily, the motion of rolling is obviously different than sliding but provides great lateral movement along the ground. The major downfall of stickhandling balls is the passing ability. If you try to pass stickhandling balls for long distances they have the tendency to bounce and change direction.
Stickhandling balls are great for quick movements and repetition because you never have to worry about them flipping over, however real pucks do flip over sometimes so I think it is a good idea to use a product that most closely reflects the properties of a puck.
If I want to practice some serious dangles I prefer the green biscuit. The major downfall of stickhandling balls is their shape. They are designed to feel like a puck, but no matter how you look at it, they are still balls. When I first started learning how to toe drag I practiced with stickhandling balls, but found when I tried the same motion on ice, the puck would get away from me a lot. When I started using the Green biscuit on a hockey shooting pad (even on pavement was good) I noticed it felt A LOT more like a puck on ice.
Price compared to other training pucks
The green biscuit retails for around $10 US, which is right on par with other training pucks.
Green Biscuit Recap
Highlight of the night
I like how easily the green biscuit slides on rough surfaces and also how much it feels like a real puck. I also like how it doesn’t flip all over the place like other off ice pucks. Passing is great with the GB as well. If I send a nice hard pass to my friend, I know it is going to get there, which makes practicing with the green biscuit a lot of fun.
In the sin bin
The only downfalls I could find with the biscuit is that it is fairly loud (plastic on pavement, who would have guessed) and also it is not made for shooting. The plastic is some-what brittle so if you shoot the puck against something hard it WILL break. Also if you use the Green Biscuit on asphalt a lot it will wear down due to the rough surface.
I definitely recommend the green biscuit to anyone who wants to practice stickhandling and especially for people who want to work on passing. I had a lot of fun using the green biscuit, and it has found a permanent home in my gym bag, right next to my roller blades!
Where to Buy a Green Biscuit
If you want to pick up one of these you can buy it here Use our Hockey Shot coupon code to save $10 on orders over $100 HOWHCKY001
Stickhandling is very important in hockey, many young players may think they know how to stickhandle, but you may be surprised what you are doing wrong!
I used to think I was pretty good with the puck, I could get around players, I could deke and I could score goals. I lived by this notion until I was about 16 years old, and wanted to score even more. I started looking around for information about stickhandling and deking. I started studying the best stickhandlers in the NHL and I began to realize something, I could be a lot better. Don’t make the same mistakes I did, learn the proper way from the start. This article will help you learn the proper way to stickhandle, and how you can control the puck in any situation
When most players practice stickhandling they practice with the puck in front of them and moving the puck back and forth. For beginning players this is fine, you need to get a feel for the puck, and practice stickhandling with your head up. But when you get older, or better at hockey you should practice a lot more. When you first start stickhandling practice moving the puck back and forth. Lift your head and just feel the puck, see what it feels like on your forehand, on your backhand, near the toe of the blade, near the heel of your blade. Get to know these feelings, by registering those feelings in your brain you will improve a lot at keeping your head up and not losing the puck as much. But there is more to stickhandling than moving the puck back and forth….
You can see in the left picture that my top hand is to the side of my body. This reduces range of motion, the proper way to hold the stick is how I am holding the stick on the right. This allows free movement of the stick around the entire body
The Golden Rule of Stickhandling
Many players think that stickhandling is moving the puck back and forth, this is wrong. When you practice stickhandling you should practice controlling the puck every where you can reach with your hockey stick. This means moving the puck side to side AND forwards and backwards, in front of you, on both sides of you, and even behind you. Practice this as soon as you can and as often as you can. Not only will you be able to stickhandle through heavy traffic, and around a lot more players, you will also be able to recover the puck more often when it is knocked off of your stick, and you will also be able to receive more passes.
You can see here that I am practicing controlling the puck within the furthest reach in every direction. Every hockey player should practice this in order to have full control of the puck whenever it is close to them
If you can control the puck around your entire body you will not have to slow down and wait for a pass, you will be able to reach back, tap the puck forwards and take off. Stickhandling around your entire body will give you a huge advantage over other players who only practice stickhandling in front of them, and you will be able to stickhandle around a lot more players.
Practice your Reach
This is very important in stickhandling. A lot of players keep their top hand (the hand on the top of the stick) by their side, this is very restricting and gives you a limited range of motion when stickhandling. The proper way to hold the stick is with your top hand in front of you, this allows you to move your stick (and the puck) all the way around your body. Practice moving the puck as far as you can to the right, and then bringing it back, and then moving it as far as you can to the left and then bringing it back. For even more reach practice let go of the stick with your bottom hand when you are reaching to your backhand side.
You can see here how much ice I can cover, simply by moving the puck from one side to the other. Having this knowledge can help a hockey player in many situations
Practice the Toe Drag
The toe drag is such a powerful move in hockey, you would be crazy not to master it. How often have you seen NHL players embarrass NHL defensemen with a ridiculous toe drag? It happens quite a bit, I have attached a video of a nice toe drag by Michael Ryder .
If players can use this move on NHL defensemen and get away with it, then once you master it you should be able to use it to get around your opponents. For more information on the toe drag see my article and video How to Do a Toe Drag
Here I am practicing a toe drag around another puck. There are many different types of toe drags which I will cover in another article
Take it to the Ice
Now that you have practiced stickhandling and mastered controlling the puck around your entire body you are ready to take it to the ice. Keep in mind you should always be practicing your stickhandling and deking, but try to leave the moves you have not mastered yet to the practice, and only use moves you have mastered during games (especially playoff games)
Always Move the Puck
This is a good general rule, by moving the puck you are always prepared to make a deke or move on the opponent, and the opponent will always be thinking about what you are going to do next. Moving the puck is also known as dribling (moving the puck back and forth quickly) There are dekes that require you to keep the puck stationairy (like the bait and switch, will add article soon) but for the most part you should always be moving the puck.
Use Your Body
Stickhandling should not just be arms, stick and puck. Use your entire body in the process. Your body is a great tool to block other players from getting the puck (see protect the puck below) Your body can also be a good tool in deking, remember to use your head, shoulders and legs. Here’s a quick breakdown for you – Use your head for fakes, shift your head left or right when you deke left and right with the puck. Use your shoulder for fakes, you can dip your shoulder left or right when you deke left or right. Use your feet for dekes – You can incorporate your feet in any number of dekes, you can drop the puck back to your skates and then kick it back, pull the puck behind you, then pull it in between your skates and kick it forwards. You can even use your legs for fakes, think about when you fake a shot on the goalie, if you lift your one leg as if you are transferring weight you can really sell the fake. (I will upload a sweet goal by Teemu Selanne where he does this)
Stickhandling Tips Video
This video explains how a player should be able to control the puck and shows a few quick drills you can use to practice being a better stickhandler
How to Get Around the Defense
For more on this check out my deke of the week videos – A good way to beat most defensemen is to beat them with speed. Instead of skating up to them, or waiting for them to come to you and then deking them, just blow past them with your speed.
When skating around the opposing players puck location is very important. Many players will skate with the puck in front of them all the time. To get an advantage over the opponent you should position the puck on the side furthest from the opposing player while stickhandling. This means if the opposing players are on the right side, move the puck to your left side and skate around them.
Another way to deceive the defense is to make them think that they can get the puck from you. For example, say the defense is in front of you and on the right hand side. If I move the puck to the left side to soon then the better defencemen will move with the puck and stop me. Sometimes I will stickhandle with the puck so it appears the defencemen will easily be able to get it off of me (if the defence is on the right side, I stickhandle on the right side). I skate full tilt towards them, so they think all they have to do is knock the puck off my stick. I then quickly move the puck as far to the left side as I can, while turning, or crossing over to the left side, this gives me about a 15-20 foot difference between where the puck was, to where it currently is, and lots of room to skate around the defence.
Protect the Puck
Remember when driving to the net, or trying to push around another player that you should protect the puck. You protect the puck by putting your body in between the other player and the puck. Another good trick is to hold your hockey stick with one hand, and use the other hand to block the opposition from getting the puck off of you. I will add more tips on how to protect the puck soon (man I have so much information I still need to add!)
Well those are all of my stickhandling tips for now. If you have any tips of your own that you would like to add feel free to add them in the comment section below.
If you are reading this article then it is likely that you play hockey. Well I’m here to help; we will get right to the point. We will first look at deking out the opposing team members. Every player should know how to deke, however many players do not deke properly. This article shows the fundamentals of deking a player or goalie.
The first rule is that you should always be moving the puck. Think of it as dribbling in basketball. Basketball players continuously dribble the ball in order to keep their opposing team members thinking about what they will do next. Hockey players should also continuously stick handle the puck so that the players on the other team cannot simply skate up and knock the puck off of your stick.
I’m sure you have watched some players walk around their opponents and you wonder “how do they do that?” well there are four steps that you must know in order to properly execute a deke.
The first step is the preparation.
You must prepare yourself before you can execute a deke. Where you put the puck is dependant upon which move you would like to make. If you are trying to just skate around your opponent then a general rule is that you should protect the puck by stick handling it on the side furthest from your opponent. However If I want to deke my opponent out then I try to trick them into thinking that they are going to be able to get the puck off of me, and dangle the puck right in front of them and wait for them to make a move.
The second step in a deke is the fake or the move.
After you have the puck and the other player right where you want them it is time to make your move. There is an unlimited number of moves that you can make at this point. You must trick the other player or fake him out with this move. Some common moves are putting the puck through the other players legs, putting the puck under the other players stick, or pulling the puck to the other side of your body. One move that I like is putting the puck right in front of the other player, and then when they try to knock the puck off of my stick, I simply pull it away and skate by them.
The third step to a deke is the separation.
After you have made your move, you must separate yourself from the other player. A general hockey rule is that you should protect the puck. After you have made your move try not to stick handle the puck near the opposing player, move it to a safe place. You can use your body to protect the puck by stick handling it on whichever side of your body is the furthest from the opposing player.
The fourth and final step to a deke is acceleration.
Once you have completed steps one through three you are ready for the fourth and final step. For this step you simply must accelerate. You must accelerate in order to get away from the person that you just deked out. Once you have deked out the last player you will be facing the goalie.
Check out my next article on how to score to find out how to put the biscuit in the basket.