How To Hockey

Deke of the Week 2 – Protecting the Puck

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 😀

Coach Jeremy