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Ted Striker

Position Question

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Yes it's my first post and yes I expect the no threads before 100 posts type answers, however.

I've often wondered why it's so hard for hockey players to play out of position. I played rugby and baseball and had no problem playing different positions.

The Canucks obviously have an abundance of LW's and LD and a shortage of RW's and RD. Other than the obvious, that most hockey players play left handed, why is it such a big deal for Edler, Ballard etc to play the left side only?

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It's easier for wingers to play on the off wing.

For D, it works better for passing back and forth and for picking the puck up off the boards if your stick is on the same side as the side of the ice you are on.

If you were defending on the opposite side you would always be trying to pick up the puck on the back hand and making passes on the back hand.

For wingers, if they are on the off-wing then their stick is in the middle of the ice which gives a great angle for shots at the net.

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For defensemen playing on their off side it's difficult to clear the puck from their zone and hold it in to the offensive zone on the boards, because they are on their back hand. Some players are comfortable with this but others aren't.

I think that's the main issue, I expect others will add to it.

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Yes it's my first post and yes I expect the no threads before 100 posts type answers, however.

I've often wondered why it's so hard for hockey players to play out of position. I played rugby and baseball and had no problem playing different positions.

The Canucks obviously have an abundance of LW's and LD and a shortage of RW's and RD. Other than the obvious, that most hockey players play left handed, why is it such a big deal for Edler, Ballard etc to play the left side only?

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Yes it's my first post and yes I expect the no threads before 100 posts type answers, however.

I've often wondered why it's so hard for hockey players to play out of position. I played rugby and baseball and had no problem playing different positions.

The Canucks obviously have an abundance of LW's and LD and a shortage of RW's and RD. Other than the obvious, that most hockey players play left handed, why is it such a big deal for Edler, Ballard etc to play the left side only?

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It really isn't that big of a deal for forwards, but like JJ said, being on the off wing makes it tough for a defenseman to hold the pick in the offensive zone when it rings around the boards.

In fact, if memory serves me correctly, it was exactly this scenario that cost the Canucks a goal last season against the Penguins.

It was late in a Canucks powerplay, when Samuelsson surprised Bieksa with a short, quick back pass at the Pens' blueline. Having just switched with Hammer, (better for the one-timer from the point) Juice was handcuffed by the puck which went to his backhand along the boards. The puck skipped over his stick, right to Sidney Crosby, who had just exited the penalty box.

Sid put the breakway in the net, resulting in about 50 more pages in the Bieksa thread....

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You face legit talent on all sides in pro sports. The little things count more and weaknesses are attacked much harder.

For example: I used to play basketball and up through middle school I could play any position because I was bigger and stronger then most of the kids plus they weren't that great with their techniques. But around High School I was more limited as everyone else was getting bigger and stronger and started playing with a real strategy realizing I didn't dribble or cut as quickly from the left side so I would almost always look for space on the right side. Little things like that.

Plenty of professional MLB players who field can pitch at an amateur level and plenty of pitchers can play the field and hit like studs in amateur levels.

Same deal with the NHL.

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It's easier for wingers to play on the off wing.

For D, it works better for passing back and forth and for picking the puck up off the boards if your stick is on the same side as the side of the ice you are on.

If you were defending on the opposite side you would always be trying to pick up the puck on the back hand and making passes on the back hand.

For wingers, if they are on the off-wing then their stick is in the middle of the ice which gives a great angle for shots at the net.

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Is it really that simple? Anyone else care to offer their two cents?

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I dont think it can just be preference as so many D men play the same side as their handedness. There must be a strategic advantage beyond just being able to pass it up the boards easier. If it was only that I think we would see more of the opposite, so D men could feed each other one-timers.

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