How to Be The Best Defenseman You Can

The other team has possession of the puck and they’re skating towards you through the neutral zone. Is this a threat? No, it’s an opportunity to “knock them off the puck and put them on their butt”.

Watch the puckhandler’s eyes for a possible pass or dump into your end.

While skating backwards you’re going to cross over your blue line.  Let the puckhandler get a little closer to you.
Within one or two strides of you crossing backwards over your blue line you dig in deep (hit the brakes) and skate forward as fast as you can straight at the puckhandler.  Do not look at his eyes once you’ve put on the brakes – this is how defensemen get deked and wingers/centermen get around the defense.

Skating as fast as you can (you’ll only have a couple strides) spring up (don’t let your feet leave the ice or you’ll get a penalty) and drive your shoulder through the center of the puckhandler’s lower chest – just above his stomach.  Remember to hold your stick with only one hand so you don’t get a cross checking or high sticking penalty.

You will have winded and/or knocked the puckhandler on his butt and the puck will be loose.  Through all of this be aware of where your forwards are so when the loose puck shows up you can one time it to one of your forwards.
This move also works in the offensive zone to prevent breakouts by the other team as long as you are physically positioned close enough to the puckhandler who just got the puck by the boards.  Skate as fast as you can right into him and shoot the loose puck at the net so one of your forwards can deflect or pick up a rebound.