Takeaway Skills – Pavel Datysuk

Pavel Datysuk is the master at taking the puck away from opponents.

He uses three primary methods.

  1. The Canoe Stick Lift. This is a stick lift with a flat, horizontal blade (so it doesn’t get stuck) just under the hands of his victim.
  2. The Blindspot Takeaway. Watch how he gets in the blind spots of his victim and then waits for the moment.
  3. The Stick-to-Puck Poke Check. He suddenly extends his stick, usually with one hand on his stick to extend his reach, and jabs the puck off his opponent.

Most importantly, his feet never stop moving so he can quickly accelerate away after he gets the puck.

How many examples of each can you find in the video?

The Art of the Fake

Here is a fantastic article on how to add deception to your game. At the core of being deceptive is trying to make your opponent think you are doing one thing but then do another (typically in a different direction).

The Art of the Fake by Rick Traugott

To summarize, here are four simple steps to improving your deception skills:

 1) Work at keeping your head up when you have possession of the puck and when you shoot.

2) Learn to “look off” opponents. An eye fake can be just as effective as a fake pass or shot.

3) Work on tight turns and changing direction. This can begin with no puck and progress to puck handling.

4) Practice faking shots. Sell a shot then do something different. Fake a pass! This can be with a shoulder feint, stick movement, or head fake.

Check out these video examples which are also in the article:

Auston Matthews Goals

All goals scored by Auston Matthews in the 2016-17 season.

Note how many of his goals come from (a) going to the net, (b) making sure his stick is available for a pass and (c) getting the shot off quickly.

Note how different his goals are compared with Conner McDavid Goals.

The Importance of “Good Sticks”

The value of having a “good stick” sounds obvious, but many miss the fact that “good stick” doesn’t involve lunging at the opponent to knock the puck free. By simply presenting your blade in the area of the offensive player’s puck-handling (stick-to-puck) while maintaining your defensive positioning, it’s stunning how often you make them do … Read more The Importance of “Good Sticks”

Steals and Takeaways – Pavel Datsyuk

Datsyuk’s two secrets to stealing the puck:

  1. Relentless pressure tracking into the opposing player’s blind spot.
  2. Quick “canoe” (flat blade face up) stick tap/lift just below the opponent’s lower hand and immediately go after the puck. The stick blade is kept flat so that it doesn’t get tied up with the opponent’s stick.

Plenty of examples of both in the above video.