Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 03/25/08 at 04:07 PM ET
From Erik Erlendsson at The Tampa Tribune,
Experience and instincts are a large part of reading the situation. Knowing angles to avoid the hit, knowing where your defensive partner is to make a quick play on the puck, even putting on the brakes to minimize the damage, are all factors. Decisions are made in just a few seconds.
Many times, the option isn’t going to be pleasant.
“You are not scared, but you take a look to see who is breathing down your neck,” Lightning defenseman Shane O’Brien said. “You know your job as a defenseman is to get to the puck first, but if he is right on you, sometimes you can slow down a little bit and let him get right on your back. That way he doesn’t have that stride-and-a-half to bury you.”
more… on all the strategies of being—and checking—a defenseman.
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