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#1 Ted Striker

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 03:41 PM

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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#2 goalie13

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 03:46 PM

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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#3 JustJokinen!

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 03:47 PM

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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#4 xkeslerx17x

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 03:50 PM

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?


well i never played rugby but from watching it i guess it doesnt matter since a scrum is a scrum your gonna get in there no matter what. Baseball pretty self explanatory unless its the catcher/pitcher position.

As for hockey. It depends If your a center your main job is to be the low forward on the break out and defensively your supposed to cover the slot. And on the topic of left side or right. That depends on:
-Handedness. - some players can make plays better on one side and some can shoot better on one side.
-Position. Some feel more comfortable in a certain spot.
-Some like going down certain wing for a certain shot

. With me i can play center since im a defensive forward/ playmaker.
When i play wing(LW)i end up leaving my point guy open since im so used to covering the slot.
I play defense occassionaly. Which is left d

I wont touch the Right side. Just feels awkward and im guessing thats how other players feel if they cant switch sides
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#5 elvis15

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 04:02 PM

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?

First off, welcome to the boards.

Next is while it's a good question, it doesn't need to go in the Canucks Talk forum (since it isn't specific to the Canucks but rather a more general hockey question), so take your time and have a look at the different ones available before creating your next thread.

Now, my opinion on your question. Players at the NHL level are competing against the best of the best. Consider having Ballard play the right side D position and then send players like Kane, Zetterburg and Kopitar his way. Any bit of being uncomfortable against that level of competition usually results in more chances against.

Also, the players become quite specialized at their positions to make them as good as they are against others. As a 4th liner, if the main thing your worried about is hitting and fighting it might not matter what wing your on so much. Compare that to a top offensive winger who's relied upon to finish one-timers coming to him from one side that would be harder to shoot from the other. Switching Weise and Volpatti won't have the same affect as swapping Burrows and Daniel.

EDIT: Looks like the mods moved it for you to General Hockey. You can see all the different forums by clicking "Canucks Community" at the top of each thread.

Edited by elvis15, 28 November 2011 - 04:16 PM.

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#6 RUPERTKBD

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 04:15 PM

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....

Edited by RUPERTKBD, 28 November 2011 - 04:15 PM.

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Orland Kurtenbach and Dennis Kearns had just been torched 8-1 by the Habs, but they still took time to come out to meet us, some fellow BC boys who were playing hockey in Montreal. THAT"S what being a Canuck is!

#7 Florence

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 05:07 PM

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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#8 Raffi Torres's Smirk

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:20 PM

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.


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



Switching Weise and Volpatti won't have the same affect as swapping Burrows and Daniel.


It's interesting that the wingers you chose to illustrate your example are still a part of this team!
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#9 Erik Karlsson

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:31 PM

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


I'm sure most d-man are more comfortable hitting people too on the side that they're used to.

For example, I'm right handed and I like playing the right side when I play d. I can hit or angle people into the boards using the right side of my body too which is a lot more comfortable.

If I switch to the left I'm hitting people against the board with my left side and I'm not close to as strong or as comfortable as on the other side, and then on top of that receiving passes on the backhand and other little things.

Hope that makes some sense. (I usually play forward not d)
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#10 Raffi Torres's Smirk

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:53 PM

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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