Ice Hockey Wiki
 
 
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A '''defenseman''' in [[ice hockey]] is a player whose primary responsibility is to prevent the opposing team to score goals. Two of them are normally on the ice, playing in front of their [[goaltender]].
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'''Defence''' ('''defense''' in the U.S.A.) in hockey is a player position with a primary responsibility to prevent the opposing team from scoring [[Goal|goals]]. Defence players are often referred to as '''defencemen''', '''D''', or "Blueliners".
   
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In regular play there are two defence players and three forwards on the ice along with the [[goaltender]].
==Styles==
 
There are two main styles of defensemen, them being ''stay-at-home defensemen'' and ''offensive defensemen''.
 
   
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The greatest defenceman in NHL history is often considered to be [[Bobby Orr]] who surprisingly managed to win scoring titles while playing defence.
===Stay-at-home defensemen===
 
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Each year the NHL presents the [[Norris Trophy]] to the best defenceman in the league.
Those players prefer staying in their own zone. They don't score much, since they prefer to focus on their defensive duties, but rarely get caught off-position on the ice by incoming opponents. A good exemple of stay-at-home defensemen is [[Brad Marsh]].
 
   
===Offensive defensemen===
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== 'Stay-at-home' and 'Offensive defence' ==
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Defence players are generally divided into two rough groups. ''Stay-at-home'' defence refers to a defender who takes few risks and does not score much, preferring to focus on defending against the opposing team. An ''offensive defence'' player is one who gets aggressively involved in the team's offence and gets used more often as a result. To accomplish this, the offensive defence player often goes deep into the opposing team's zone to get closer to their net. This makes it difficult for the defender to protect his or her own net from being scored on if the other team gains control of the [[Hockey puck|puck]]. This can lead to more odd man rushes and [[breakaway]] opportunities for the opposing team.
As the name indicates, offensive defensemen like to support the offensive, often leaving their own zone to go in the opponent's. Defensemen playing this style do score much more often than stay-at-home defensemen, but this come at a price: they risk more to be caught off-position while they support the attack, which can lead to [[breakaway]]s for the opposite team. Some of the best even managed to win the NHL's scoring title, or even reach the 100 points plateau in a season. Some of the best players who have played this style are [[Bobby Orr]], [[Paul Coffey]] and [[Raymond Bourque]].
 
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===Defensive zone play===
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When in the [[Hockey rink#zones|defensive zone]], the defence player is responsible for keeping the opposing forwards' opportunities to a minimum when they are on a rush, forcing them to the corners and blocking both passing and shooting lanes. When the opposing offence is putting pressure on the defence's team, the defence skater usually plays closer to the goal, attempting again to block shooting lanes but also ensure that the goalie is not screened (i.e. prevented from being able to see the puck at all times).
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===Neutral zone play===
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In the [[Hockey rink#zones|neutral zone]], the defence hangs back towards his or her own blue line, usually playing the puck up to other teammates. According to Jay Leach, who writes for NHL.com's "learn to play hockey" section, the defence must "Move the puck hard and quick to the open man. Join the rush, <nowiki>[but]</nowiki> do not lead it."
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===Offensive zone play===
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In the [[Hockey rink#zones|offensive zone]], the defence skaters "play the blue line." It is their duty to keep the puck in the offensive zone by stopping it from crossing the blue line that demarcates where the offensive zone begins. Defence players must be quick to pass the puck around, helping their forwards to open up shooting lanes, or taking open shots themselves when they become available. The defence must also be able to skate quickly to cut off any breakaways, moving themselves back into the defensive zone ahead of the onrushing opponent.
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Essentially in all three zones of the rink, the defence is the backstop for the puck. It should never go behind the defence, unless the player lets it. The defence keeps the momentum of play squarely directed towards the opposing goal
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===Backchecking===
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The [[Checking|backcheck]] is a play in hockey where a non-defence skater moves back to play defence by keeping an opposing player out of a play through means of checking, stick control, and/or body positioning.
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===Faceoffs===
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During [[faceoff]]s in the defensive zone, most teams have their defence players pair up with opposing forwards to tie them up while leaving the team's forwards open to move the puck, though this is at the discretion of the individual coach. In the offensive zone, the defence player acts in his or her usual role, keeping control of the puck as the forwards fight for position.
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In the first organized hockey, (see [[Amateur Hockey Association of Canada]]), defencemen used to line up in an "I" formation behind the rover(defunct) as ''point'' and ''coverpoint''. Defence is still referred to as "playing the point".
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==See also==
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*[[Centre]]
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*[[Winger]]
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*[[Forward]]
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*[[Goaltender]]
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*[[List of NHL players]]
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==External links==
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*[http://www.forecaster.ca/cbc/hockey/playerindex.cgi?position&x_option=d List of NHL Defencemen, present players and recently retired ]
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{{IceHockeyPositions}}
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[[Category:Positions]]
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[[Category:Ice hockey personnel]]
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[[Category:Terminology]]

Latest revision as of 23:04, 15 August 2010

Defence (defense in the U.S.A.) in hockey is a player position with a primary responsibility to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. Defence players are often referred to as defencemen, D, or "Blueliners".

In regular play there are two defence players and three forwards on the ice along with the goaltender.

The greatest defenceman in NHL history is often considered to be Bobby Orr who surprisingly managed to win scoring titles while playing defence. Each year the NHL presents the Norris Trophy to the best defenceman in the league.

'Stay-at-home' and 'Offensive defence'[]

Defence players are generally divided into two rough groups. Stay-at-home defence refers to a defender who takes few risks and does not score much, preferring to focus on defending against the opposing team. An offensive defence player is one who gets aggressively involved in the team's offence and gets used more often as a result. To accomplish this, the offensive defence player often goes deep into the opposing team's zone to get closer to their net. This makes it difficult for the defender to protect his or her own net from being scored on if the other team gains control of the puck. This can lead to more odd man rushes and breakaway opportunities for the opposing team.

Defensive zone play[]

When in the defensive zone, the defence player is responsible for keeping the opposing forwards' opportunities to a minimum when they are on a rush, forcing them to the corners and blocking both passing and shooting lanes. When the opposing offence is putting pressure on the defence's team, the defence skater usually plays closer to the goal, attempting again to block shooting lanes but also ensure that the goalie is not screened (i.e. prevented from being able to see the puck at all times).

Neutral zone play[]

In the neutral zone, the defence hangs back towards his or her own blue line, usually playing the puck up to other teammates. According to Jay Leach, who writes for NHL.com's "learn to play hockey" section, the defence must "Move the puck hard and quick to the open man. Join the rush, [but] do not lead it."

Offensive zone play[]

In the offensive zone, the defence skaters "play the blue line." It is their duty to keep the puck in the offensive zone by stopping it from crossing the blue line that demarcates where the offensive zone begins. Defence players must be quick to pass the puck around, helping their forwards to open up shooting lanes, or taking open shots themselves when they become available. The defence must also be able to skate quickly to cut off any breakaways, moving themselves back into the defensive zone ahead of the onrushing opponent.

Essentially in all three zones of the rink, the defence is the backstop for the puck. It should never go behind the defence, unless the player lets it. The defence keeps the momentum of play squarely directed towards the opposing goal

Backchecking[]

The backcheck is a play in hockey where a non-defence skater moves back to play defence by keeping an opposing player out of a play through means of checking, stick control, and/or body positioning.

Faceoffs[]

During faceoffs in the defensive zone, most teams have their defence players pair up with opposing forwards to tie them up while leaving the team's forwards open to move the puck, though this is at the discretion of the individual coach. In the offensive zone, the defence player acts in his or her usual role, keeping control of the puck as the forwards fight for position.

In the first organized hockey, (see Amateur Hockey Association of Canada), defencemen used to line up in an "I" formation behind the rover(defunct) as point and coverpoint. Defence is still referred to as "playing the point".

See also[]


External links[]

Positions on the Hockey Rink
Forwards: HockeyRink.png
Left winger | Centre | Right winger
Defencemen:
Left defenceman | Right defenceman
Goaltender:
Goaltender
Power forward | Enforcer | Captain | Head coach | Referee & linesman