What Detroit Has To Do
The Red Wings need to realize that Nashville plays a different game, and adjust in the defensive zone. Nashville plays a scrambly, opportunistic game on offense, not the sort of methodical, possession game that Detroit excels at. Translation: any time there’s a loose puck within 15 feet of Jimmy Howard, the Wings are in danger. They have to learn to jump on those pucks, and play a little more of a dump-out game than they’re used to. Just have to win the puck in the neutral zone before they set up.
Happy Easter from the Skating Guy! More video posts are coming soon, but I just couldn’t get it all edited last week, and I’ve decided to actually take the holiday off (GASP!). So I will be back this week with more great video posts, so don’t go away!
Anonymous asked: Dear Skating Guy, what would you suggest to adults in their late twenties, early thirties who want to start skating again but haven't been on the ice in years? Are there lessons we can take for refreshers or should we just dive on in and pray for a quick arrival from the paramedics?
What a great question! There are two main concerns here: conditioning/general health, and your skating performance. The first one is the most important, because hockey is a very demanding sport on your body. If you think you’re out of shape, talk to your physician about whether you’re healthy enough to play, and if not, talk to your physician, and other appropriate professionals, about a plan to get healthy enough to play at a recreational level. That plan could include playing at a less intense level. Around here in Vancouver, adult co-ed hockey is a great place for that.
Now let’s assume you are, or have gotten, healthy enough to play. Your first concern should be injury prevention, and the best way to do that is by improving your flexibility, and preparing your body properly to play. I’m sure you know what I’ll say next - STRETCHING! I ref men’s league, and I see lots of guys coming out half-way through the 5 minute warm up, and do 40 seconds of stretching, then a couple of passes and they get into the game. It’s a recipe for disaster, and a lot of soreness the next day. If you know you have a game that night, drink lots of water, and show up at the rink an extra 10 minutes early and do 10 minutes worth of stretching in the dressing room. That’s all it really takes; do 10 minutes of stretching for your whole body.
Now, as far as improving your flexibility in general, which will really pay off, not only in hockey, but just in your general comfort all day every day, daily stretching is great, and so are pilates and yoga. And hey, what better way to earn some points with your wife or girlfriend than by saying “hey, why don’t we take yoga as a couple?” You become a better, safer hockey player, and look thoughtful and considerate all at the same time. Win-win!
Now we’ve dealt with the health/safety issues, let’s talk a bit about your skating performance itself. 1. Make sure your skates FIT. A new post on that is coming out tomorrow. 2. Go out and do some work on your edges — finding edge contact and control, and putting pressure on your edges through turns, pivots, stride, etc. 3. Your skating posture! You want your bum down, and your chest up. It’s the easiest mistake to fall into, out of everything I’ve seen skaters do. Rule of thumb to know if you’re doing this - if your thighs and glutes hurt, you’re doing things right. If your back hurts, you’re doing it wrong.
Lots of places (including me, check out www.sps-powerskating.ca if you’re in the Vancouver area) offer adult beginner lessons, and some also offer intermediate/refresher type courses (I do these too). These are a great place to start if you’re unsure of yourself.
I’ll try to get a video post or two up about these things in the next few weeks. Thanks for a great question!