Help me learn to play my (video game) hockey position
March 4, 2014 8:36 AM   Subscribe

I'm hoping someone can direct me to an online (preferably free) resource that teach position-based hockey fundamentals. Where to be, when to crash or set up behind the net, how to adjust when your teammates go here or there, how to keep the puck moving and create a solid offense. Basically, fundamental positioning and how to run an offense.

I don't know when the trend in sports video games began where you play a single position (as opposed to the active puck/ball-carrier), but I love it. However, I never played hockey and I became a fan of the sport fairly late in life, so I don't have a strong foundation of hockey knowledge.

I almost always play a defenseman because positioning is much simpler than as a forward. I just have to stay back, don't allow breakaways, don't over-commit to a check and leave the goalie stranded, back up my line mate when he commits, put myself in line to be a pass-back outlet if a forward gets trapped, fire off a slapshot if I get an unobstructed view in the middle etc. Defense is not thrilling, but it's easy to do well if you're not selfish.

But as a forward, I'm helpless. I know we're supposed to be moving around, cycling the puck, looking for a high percentage shot and hopefully a rebound goal. But I don't know where to be or where to go as an offense. It doesn't help that I'm playing on xbox and most of the other online players that I play with would rather fire off low percentage shots and/or dangle in like a hero. I'm not going to learn anything from these idiots.

I feel like I'm a good, borderline excellent, defenseman. But I'd really like to learn how to be a good center/wing and be able to put some pucks in the net, as well.

posted by JimBJ9 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
do you want how-to-play hockey, or specific to the video game ?

If you're coaching first time kids, it's a simple split the ice in 3 - center and wings, and each presses the puck on their respective side (with some flimflam for when it's behind the net). You always want a player in front of the net (screen, rebound, drawing Ds attention for extra screening)

The advanced basics start around the cycle, (though that's controversial itself). Player/puck movement behind the net, to the hashes, to front of the net - it's a circle/cycle, and wingers/center move inbetween all those, looking to draw D off, and keep goalie on a swivel, looking to get someone open for a pass/shot/tip-in, or take a shot on a heavily screened goalie.

More advanced is how to work pointmen into the cycle. Some coaches don't differentiate players - player might line up at wing, but has to be able to play all positions to be an effective cycler (forward,C,D)

Then there's ideas on how to pressure/grind - dump/chase, carry in, grind in the corner for pressure, or set up a trap.

That all might be gobbledygook to you, but hopefully gives ideas on things to google/look for.
posted by k5.user at 8:48 AM on March 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Youtube has tons of video tutorials on this sort of stuff. It's meant for real life hockey but presumably it still applies.
posted by mullacc at 9:32 AM on March 4, 2014

Response by poster: k5.user,

I'm looking for real how-to-play hockey knowledge.

Basically, the part of the game that I struggle with the most is what do when we take the puck into the offensive zone and start cycling it around looking for a good shot. To me, it looks like the forwards are skating all over the place, around the net, switching off with each other, looking for a break in the defense. I don't like playing offense because I never know where I'm supposed to be going. I resort to just skating around trying to get myself a good look and hope that my teammate sees me, instead of working in tandem with the other forwards.

Frankly, that's probably why a lot of less disciplined players take the puck in, fire off a crappy shot right into the teeth of the defense and give up a quick turnover. I'd like to learn how to run a solid office and generate high percentage shots which lead to rebound scoring opportunities. I'd also like to know what I'm talking about when I yell at the TV or our local pro team. :)
posted by JimBJ9 at 10:11 AM on March 4, 2014

Best answer: I play way too much NHL 11 Be a Pro (just got my second dude, a power forward, to "Legend"). I wasn't a big fan of the online play because the RPG elements meant you'd have to play hours and hours to keep pace with the kids who don't have jobs and relationships to distract them. Plus, it was mostly unstructured.

However, offline play does have a lot of structure, and the AI players do stick with the gameplan, which gameplan appears to mimic plays and formations real hockey teams use. So, switch on the directional arrow thing and let the computer point you in the right direction. Soon enough you'll get a feel for where everyone -- including you -- belongs. You'll even start to notice when other players are not where they belong, and you can either cover up for your teammates, or exploit an advantage.

I learned a bit from a couple of books, too:

The Hockey Play Book. Lots of positional play tips and advice.

And Lloyd Percival's classic, The Hockey Handbook.
posted by notyou at 1:20 PM on March 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yeah, that's what I've been doing (NHL 12 here, rats). I guess I'll check out some of those books and keep scouring youtube for tips.

Thanks everyone!
posted by JimBJ9 at 11:08 AM on March 5, 2014

« Older How to find cheap legal services for people who...   |   Student loan lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.