Winger (ice hockey)
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Winger, in the
game of ice hockey
game of ice hockey
, is a
forward Forward is a relative direction, the opposite of backward. Forward may also refer to: People *Forward (surname) Sports * Forward (association football) * Forward (basketball), including: ** Point forward ** Power forward (basketball) ** Small f ...
position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. They typically work by
flank Flank may refer to: * Flank (anatomy) The flank or latus is the side of the body between the rib cage The rib cage is the arrangement of ribs attached to the vertebral column and sternum in the thorax The thorax or chest is a part of the ...
ing the
centre Center or centre may refer to: Mathematics *Center (geometry) In geometry, a centre (or center) (from Ancient Greek language, Greek ''κέντρον'') of an object is a point in some sense in the middle of the object. According to the speci ...
forward. Originally the name was given to forward players who went up and down the sides of the rink. Nowadays, there are different types of wingers in the game — out-and-out goal scorers, checkers who disrupt the opponents, and forwards who work along the boards and in the corners. Often a winger's precise role on a line depends upon what type of role the other winger plays; usually lines will have one more goal-scoring oriented winger and one winger more focused on playing the boards, checking and passing the puck to others to take shots (if a larger player, he might sometimes be called a "power forward"). They tend to be bigger than centreman and smaller than defenseman. This position is commonly referred to by the side of the rink that the winger normally takes, i.e. "left wing" or "right wing." The side of the rink the player played on traditionally related to the side of their body they take a shot from (i.e. left-shooting playing left wing) but in recent decades more wingers have played the "off wing" meaning the opposite side of the direction they shoot, which enables faster release shots if receiving a pass while standing stationary in the offensive zone.


Offensive zone play

The wingers' responsibilities in the
offensive zone
offensive zone
include the following: *getting open for a pass from their teammates *intercepting a pass to the opposing
defenceman Defence or defense (in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, Amer ...
*attacking the opposing defencemen when they have the puck


Defensive zone play

Wingers should be playing high in the zone (close to the blue line), typically covering the defensemen of the opposing team, meaning they block passes from going to the defencemen and block shots from the defenceman. Wingers should always be vigilant for a breakout pass or a chance to chip the puck past the defenceman of the opposing team across the blue line. When wingers receive a pass along the boards, they can exercise a number of options: *Bank the puck off the boards or glass to get it out of the zone *Redirect or softly pass the puck to a teammate advancing into the neutral zone who can then choose to set up an attack, or dump the puck into the offensive zone to allow either a line change or for teammates to further attack the defenders *Carry the puck themselves into the offensive zone to attempt a breakaway or an odd-man rush, where the attacking team advances with more players close to the puck than there are defenders Wingers should typically not: *play deep in their defensive zone *help out their teammates along the boards *


Backchecking

Wingers are usually the last players to backcheck out of the offensive zone. On the backcheck, it is essential that they cover the last free opposing player rushing in. Once the puck is controlled by the opposing team in the defensive zone, however, wingers are responsible for covering the defenceman on their side of the ice.


Face-offs

Prior to the puck being dropped for a
face-off A face-off is the method used to begin and restart play after goals in some sports using sticks, primarily ice hockey, bandy in Lappeenranta#Sports, Lappeenranta Bandy is a team sport, team winter sport played on ice, in which skaters use ...

face-off
, players other than those taking the face-off must not make any physical contact with players on the opposite team, nor enter the face-off circle (where marked). After the puck is dropped, it is essential for wingers to engage the opposing players to prevent them from obtaining possession of the puck. Once a team has established control of the puck, wingers can set themselves up into an appropriate position. Some wingers are also employed to handle faceoffs.Heika: Faceoff skills learned playing center paying dividends for Stars' Jamie Benn in new position
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See also

*
Rover (ice hockey) A rover was a position in ice hockey Ice hockey is a contact sport, contact winter team sport played on ice skates, usually on an Ice rink, ice skating rink with Ice hockey rink, lines and markings specific to the sport. It is one of the fa ...
*
Centre Center or centre may refer to: Mathematics *Center (geometry) In geometry, a centre (or center) (from Ancient Greek language, Greek ''κέντρον'') of an object is a point in some sense in the middle of the object. According to the speci ...
*
Defenceman Defence or defense (in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, Amer ...
*
Forward Forward is a relative direction, the opposite of backward. Forward may also refer to: People *Forward (surname) Sports * Forward (association football) * Forward (basketball), including: ** Point forward ** Power forward (basketball) ** Small f ...
*
Goaltender In ice hockey, the goaltender (colloquially known as the goalie) is the player responsible for preventing the hockey puck from entering their team's net, thus preventing the opposing team from scoring. The goaltender usually plays in or near th ...

Goaltender
* Power forward *
List of NHL players This list of National Hockey League The National Hockey League (NHL; french: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey sports league, league in North America comprising 32 teams—25 in the United States and 7 in Canada. It ...


References

{{reflist Ice hockey positions Ice hockey terminology Ice hockey strategy