This week we are going to touch on the different types or styles of dmen.
As you get older players start to develop into specialized roles that suit their specific strengths, and as you get to the higher levels, Dmen start to get categorized and put into certain roles.
Typically, Dmen get categorized as a Number 1 or 2, and then a group known as 3-6.
Number 1 or 2s.
These are guys that play in all situations. 5 on 5, 4 on 4, Power Play, Penalty Kill and log big minutes on the ice. These players are usually very physically gifted and play hard and close to the edge. In my opinion two to the best Number 1’s of all time were Chris Pronger and Nick Lidstrom. Chris was a very nasty and snarly player and was effective that way and Nick was not as physical but both were excellent at every part of playing the position. Usually every great team has one or two Number 1’s. If you look at every Stanley cup winning team they usually have at least two of these types of players.
The next group is usually the guys that fall into Number 3-6 slot on a team. Usually these guys play a regular shift and then contribute on the Power Play or Penalty Kill but usually not both. They are typically good offensively or defensively (shut down guys), but not both. Some are very physical presences or some are very talented playmakers that contribute to the offense. These guys are not as highly revered as a Number 1 guy but there are far more of these players and they are really important pieces of any team.
One of the things you have to try to do is do some honest soul searching and look at yourself and figure out what ‘type’ of d man you are. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What role do you help your team the most in?
More importantly, you have to think about what type of Dman to you want to become. Be realistic and then work your tail off to become the best whether you strive to become a 1 or 2 or a 3 thru 6 guy.
One of the best things any athlete or hockey player can do is visualize and practice visualization. Today everyone prepares and trains off the ice and in the gym. The difference between the good players and the very good players is how they train their minds.
Everything starts with a dream. So dream about what kind of Dman you want to be. Find a player or a few of them who you envision your game being similar to and study them. Watch them play. Absorb all the nuances of how they play, how they act. Become a great actor. Study the part. Become that person. Imitate excellence and you will become excellent. Whether it is a Number 1 like Shea Weber or a shut down guy like Dan Girardi, find a player you want to strive to be like.
“Great athletes train their minds as well as their bodies. There are various mental conditioning techniques many use when preparing for an event. Perhaps the best known technique is visualization, creating a mental image not only of the desired result, a gold medal, a new world record, a hole-in-one, but also of every move that will be taken en route to the ultimate goal.” Michael Jordan.
So think about what type of dman you are or are working to become.
Let me know your thoughts.
Here are some examples that might help you out. The first two videos are of Pronger and Lidstrom. The third is of Shea Weber. All great examples of Number 1s.
The two other links are a list of some other great Dmen. The second link shows you how important the Numbers 3-6 can be to a team.
And the last Video is for all the Dads and Moms!!!!!! Enjoy.
So who are you??
Number 4 Bobby Orr