Canucks and Beyond

Willie Mitchell's Candy Plan

01/08/2008 at 6:57am EST

From Iain MacIntyre at the Vancouver Sun,

“I call it taking the candy,” Mitchell said Monday, explaining his ability to bait opposing forwards. “The game of hockey is all about putting someone in position where they react, so they’re taking the candy.

“When I have my gap [defending an opposing forward], I hold my stick real close to my body, so it looks like there’s a lot of ice in front of me. The forward wants to make his move as close to the defenceman as possible because he wants the defenceman to bite so [the forward] can go around him. They come in to make a move—they take the candy—but then I move my stick out and poke the puck away. On a rush, that’s how I play it.

“In the defensive zone, it’s the same way. I’ll give them the pass and they think: Oh, I’ll make the pass backdoor. But I gave them that space. Now they make the pass; they take the candy. And I’ll put my stick there and break it up.”

So now you know his secrets.

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