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I honestly have no idea how to play defense

I have no clue how to get the puck from someone, I check them and bounce off, or I check them and they get knocked and still end up with the puck, I stick left and they still keep ahold of it, even when you can hear it makes contact and of course I barely use poke check, I only try to use it in situations where it seems like it should work but I still end up getting penalties, any tips would be super helpful because it’s super frustrating

Replies

  • Poke check when you are square to the puck carrier, in front of them, and with a little distance between you and the puck carrier.

    For more body contact, try a bigger build, try adding hitting or strength traits if your playing EASHL

    For most defensive plays, just close the gap on the puck carrier, let him skate into you, and the puck will dislodge. It's not like the old days anymore where the puck carrier can just skate right through you without losing possession.
  • Thanks! Been trying this out all day, still aways away from getting good but lol
  • Try watching some streams or gameplay videos as well.
  • Mattius14
    58 posts Member
    edited September 2018
    I was insanely spoiled to be able to grow up watching Nick Lidstrom play hockey in the NHL. Everything I know about defensive play I learned from watching or listening to him.

    My attempt to summarize would be this: A good defenseman always tries his best to disrupt the plans of the offense -- that doesn't always mean taking the puck.

    The more you play, the more you'll start to pick up on the flow of the game, like when people usually pass, or usually shoot. The real trick is getting yourself in a position that would make it difficult for them to do those things. Almost always that position will be between the puck carrier and your net, but remember that you have a defensive partner out there. That's his/her job too. So think about where you should be on the ice to best prevent the offense from getting the pass they want, or the shot they want. After a while, the more you do it right, the more it just becomes habit and you can focus on the other parts of your game. Take that same approach for when to poke check, when to stick lift, or when to use a body check.

    Get those fundamentals down and you'll be miles ahead of most players online. Most players don't bother trying to get good at the sport.

    Example: Sometimes the best play is to let the puck come to you. Lots of people just try to skate right at the puck and get it, but for a defenseman, your game is patience. Sometimes you only need to get in their way, or slow them down so that your teammate can take the puck. Be mindful and you'll start getting the hang of it.
  • Gap management is key and try changing the build to a defensive dman. I find that the other builds are just to light, can't move anybody, but that's just me and I only play D. After using the defensive dman build switch back to the others and see which one works best for you.
  • I used to think "Okay I'm a D-Man, I need to get the puck off this guy RIGHT NOW!"

    But over the years, especially at higher levels, I've learned that's not really what being a D man is about. If I try and strip and steal off every single forward who is trying to enter the zone in front of me, I'm going to end up getting burnt, or leaving a hole somewhere, or take a penalty.

    I've learned over time my main job is to simply slow down the forward, make him go where he doesn't want to go. Worry about those things first and getting the puck off him after. Also, just getting in a forwards way will allow your backchecking forwards to easily come in and strip/hit the guy.

    tl;dr
    Playing D is more than stripping the puck off of people every chance you get.
  • Don’t listen to any of these guys.. if you make your guy bigger you’re going to get burned. TWD is good for 6v6 but make him no bigger than 6’0 unless you want to sit at center ice all game. I use PMD for 3v3 with a 5’10 build

    The speed benefits will increase your hitting like in every other year. Poke check broken regardless
  • Don’t listen to any of these guys.. if you make your guy bigger you’re going to get burned. TWD is good for 6v6 but make him no bigger than 6’0 unless you want to sit at center ice all game. I use PMD for 3v3 with a 5’10 build

    The speed benefits will increase your hitting like in every other year. Poke check broken regardless

    Or you can just listen to this guy, he must know.
  • When you get the back skating trait too, that really helps. I run a 6 foot twd as well and pretty much let the play come to me but playing d isnt about solo play either. You can only be as good of a d as your team will allow. If you have no backchecking from your forwards, you will struggle for the most part and if the opposite side d is bad, you will struggle usually too.

    Some of it also depends on how your team will play. If they like to be aggressive on the puck carrier, you will have to adjust to that as well.

    For me personally, I try to keep myself between the puck and the net. Watch for a cross crease pass and protect the crease and the wraps. Be mindful of hitting because it will take you out of the play. Tie up in front, pin against the boards when you can and just be ready to react to everything that they throw at you
  • I run 6'4 Defensive D-man and I can for the most part keep up as long as I don't let guys blatantly get behind me. Back skating trait is a must but my endurance will never run out. It re-loads so quickly.
  • Don’t listen to any of these guys.. if you make your guy bigger you’re going to get burned. TWD is good for 6v6 but make him no bigger than 6’0 unless you want to sit at center ice all game. I use PMD for 3v3 with a 5’10 build

    The speed benefits will increase your hitting like in every other year. Poke check broken regardless

    I've played DD strictly, and rarely get burned because of my positioning. However, I also get open for the one timers in the other zone without ever giving up my positioning over their wingers. Watch for the pickers, and don't go for the hit every time.

    Your style and how you play determines your effectiveness, not your build. Learn to pick the right build suited for your position and style of play, and you'll be very effective.
  • When you get the back skating trait too, that really helps.


    guacapoli wrote: »
    Back skating trait is a must but my endurance will never run out. It re-loads so quickly.

    Is it really this viable? I've been a long time D-man(Playing more Goalie than D this year so far)

    But i didn't think it would be that useful so I never tried it. You guys see a noticeable improvement when you use it?
  • VeNOM2099
    3178 posts Member
    edited September 2018
    walsh8755 wrote: »
    I have no clue how to get the puck from someone, I check them and bounce off, or I check them and they get knocked and still end up with the puck, I stick left and they still keep ahold of it, even when you can hear it makes contact and of course I barely use poke check, I only try to use it in situations where it seems like it should work but I still end up getting penalties, any tips would be super helpful because it’s super frustrating

    I know this might come as a shock, but here's the truth: you're NOT supposed to get the puck. As a defenseman, your #1 job is to protect the area around the net and prevent the opponent from getting good chances to score. That means staying in position, not chasing the puck. Picking up the open man in front or beside your net when you're not the d-man watching the puck handler. When you are, stay between the puck handler and your net. Try to push him towards the boards while not giving up the inside.

    If you do all of the above, then you don't need to GET the puck. The puck COMES to you.
  • When you get the back skating trait too, that really helps.


    guacapoli wrote: »
    Back skating trait is a must but my endurance will never run out. It re-loads so quickly.

    Is it really this viable? I've been a long time D-man(Playing more Goalie than D this year so far)

    But i didn't think it would be that useful so I never tried it. You guys see a noticeable improvement when you use it?

    Don't need it in my opinion. If the person is about to pass you, spin out of "Vision Control" and stick lift him. If the person cuts back then square up again and take the body or skate into them and lift them. Other option if you feel like your in a bad spot is to just maintain gap and wait for a better chance to come. It's all up to preference, I use one time wonder at the moment.
  • When you get the back skating trait too, that really helps.


    guacapoli wrote: »
    Back skating trait is a must but my endurance will never run out. It re-loads so quickly.

    Is it really this viable? I've been a long time D-man(Playing more Goalie than D this year so far)

    But i didn't think it would be that useful so I never tried it. You guys see a noticeable improvement when you use it?

    Back-skating I feel like makes my transition from forward to back smoother and I can skate side to side with a little bit more speed and agility. I'v e been using it for about 5 days now and I refuse to remove it lol
  • RSall14 wrote: »
    Don't need it in my opinion. If the person is about to pass you, spin out of "Vision Control" and stick lift him. If the person cuts back then square up again and take the body or skate into them and lift them. Other option if you feel like your in a bad spot is to just maintain gap and wait for a better chance to come. It's all up to preference, I use one time wonder at the moment.

    I mean thats pretty much all I do anyway. I think I'm using "good stick" or whatever atm. Run a TWD with good stick and heavy hitter.


    guacapoli wrote: »
    Back-skating I feel like makes my transition from forward to back smoother and I can skate side to side with a little bit more speed and agility. I'v e been using it for about 5 days now and I refuse to remove it lol

    I'll definitely give it a whirl tonight. Never hurts to try something different out. Thanks for the heads up

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