Left or Right: Should You Play the Off Wing? – CrossIceHockey.com

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Attempt taking part in the off wing for a change of tempo

When new gamers hit the ice, the very first thing we regularly ask them is, “Do you shoot left or proper?”

Primarily based on their reply, we determine if they need to play on the left or proper aspect. The overall recommendation is that in case you shoot left you play left, and vice-versa for the proper. There are some clear benefits to this method, however there are additionally good causes—notably for forwards—to strive taking part in on the other aspect. Listed here are some benefits and downsides of every method.

On the Defensive

Within the defensive zone, taking part in in your robust aspect places you in a greater place to assist clear the puck out of your finish. That is particularly essential for defensemen, who wish to maximize the quantity of management they’ve when the puck is in a harmful house.

For wingers, it’s the same story. Within the defensive zone, a key function of the winger is to assist transfer the puck up ice. When a defenseman desires to go the puck up the boards to the winger for a breakout, the winger shall be able to obtain the go on their forehand and make the following play. Wingers who play the off wing should obtain the identical go on their backhand; it is a tough talent to grasp, which may weaken the breakout. To offset that, the winger on the off wing ought to put their again to the boards to obtain the go.

For many who could also be left- or right-eye dominant, taking part in the off wing generally is a profit. On this occasion, it might assist to compensate for a participant who shoots left however performs on the proper (or vice versa). 

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Offensively Talking

Even within the offensive zone, defensemen are higher positioned on their robust hand as a result of it helps them management the puck alongside the boards on the blueline extra successfully. Plus it units up them for good D-to-D passes.

Nevertheless, wingers skating into the offensive zone usually discover success breaking out once they play the off wing. That’s as a result of they enter the offensive zone with their stick towards the middle of the ice, which creates extra choices for shifting the puck round. Extra importantly, it offers a greater angle for taking a robust forehand shot on purpose from a major mid-ice location. Wingers coming in from their robust aspect can have their stick alongside the boards, which takes extra work (and extra time) to maneuver into capturing place.

Based on nhlspecialteams.com, at even energy nearly all of skilled hockey gamers select to play their robust sides, and for quite a few causes. Nevertheless, those that possess stronger puck dealing with abilities usually elect to play the off wing because it provides extra direct capturing angles.

The trade-off comes alongside the boards, the place a winger on their weak aspect may need extra hassle selecting up a puck. Nevertheless, some would argue that the additional scoring potential is value it.

This beforehand revealed put up has been up to date. Revealed with permission of CARHA Hockey. CARHA works to develop and ship hockey assets that help staff, league and event organizers throughout Canada and world wide.

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