How do players with amazing battling abilities keep control of the puck in tight situations. How do they emerge victorious, puck on their stick, from almost every corner battle? How does Sidney Crosby effortlessly fend off the best defenders in the NHL? How do smaller players win the puck in the corners against that bigger guys?
One of the best techniques to achieve success in puck battles is by employing the hips. Using the hips to separate opposing player’s hips from the puck creates a wall of protection around the puck.
By creating this wall, the defender’s first option is to try to push the puck carrier forward into the boards. The next option is to steal the puck, but in order to do that, the defender must move around the puck carrier. If the puck carrier uses his feet, knees, and hips to keep moving and prevent the defender’s stick from poking the puck, then the offensive player can make a pass, a shot, or deke to get to a better spot on the ice.
Watch this video to see the full explanation!