How To Hockey
when to pinch in hockey

Defensemens Guide to the Pinch

Thanks to Ken for this great post about how to pinch, a great read for any Defensemen! – Jeremy
Sorry for the hiatus everyone summer is a busy time but now its hockey season again and time for some more articles.
This article will be dealing with a Russian roulette of defense, the pinch. When a defense men pinches it can either create a great scoring opportunity or create a dangerous 2 or sometimes 3 on 1 coming back to their own end. For those that are new to the sport pinching is the act of holding or advancing off the opposing players blue line while your team is in their end. This “pinch” gives your team a quick and sometimes decisive advantage in the  the attacking end.
pinch in hockey

When to do a pinch

People think that pinching is a 50/50 chance. In reality it is more like 70/30 if you follow a few key points.
The Score: If your team is up by 2 or three goals it is not advisable to pinch, as it may create a dangerous situation. 2 goal leads are the scariest to  have and maintain. As a defensemen you should shut down the other team and hold the lead. On the flip side if you are losing by 2 then pinching may be in your best interest to give your team the boost it needs to get back in the game.
Your line: It’s an honest truth from pee wee to the pros that teams always have a 1st, 2nd and 3rd line. If you are a defensemen and you are out with the first line then pinching can be done with more confidence then if you’re out with your third line. Vice versa if you are playing against the top line of the opposing team you should think about holding back  more then if your playing against the third line.
Your partner: If you and your partner play great together and read off each other then you can feel  more confident in pinching, the minute I see my defensive partner head down to try to stop a break out I back out of the end and head for the middle of the ice. Knowing that your partner will have you covered will boost your confidence.

When Not to Pinch

Here is a quick list for you to consider before pinching, remember if the pinch does not work you will look be embarrassed!

  • Think twice about pinching if:hockey pinching
    • Your partner is not a strong defencemen
    • Your other team mates are out of position
    • Your team does not have a dominant lead
    • The other team is also important, if you are playing a strong team, or against a strong line then think twice about pinching. If you are playing a bunch of scrubs than pinch your heart out!

How to pinch

The key on pinching is to make sure you do one of two things, take the player or take the puck. If you do not accomplish either of these tasks you put your team at a huge risk as now the breakout is 3 on 1 instead of 3 on 2. The goal of the pinch is to keep the puck in the offensive end and to create an advantage for your team.
When committing to a pinch you must give it 110%, If you hesitate you fail. I hope this has helped you improve your offensive work and make sure to check back soon, we have one on one and how to deke videos in the pipe and ready to roll.
Special thanks to the Chinese Taipei Ice Hockey League for the pictures!

Coach Jeremy

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