How To Dangle In Hockey Shootouts

Hockey shootouts are one of the most exciting and intense moments in the sport. Dangling, or deking, in a shootout can be a highly effective way to outmaneuver the goaltender and score. Here are five supporting facts on how to dangle in hockey shootouts:
1. Quick hands and stickhandling skills are essential: To successfully dangle in a shootout, you need to have quick hands and excellent stickhandling skills. This allows you to manipulate the puck to deceive the goalie.

2. Utilize fakes and dekes to mislead the goalie: Using a combination of fakes and dekes is crucial in a shootout. By making the goalie believe you’re going one way, you can quickly switch directions and catch them off guard.

3. Practice different moves and techniques: Dangling in shootouts requires practice. By working on various moves and techniques, such as the toe-drag, the between-the-legs move, or the backhand-forehand deke, you can expand your arsenal of dangles to keep the goalie guessing.

4. Read the goalie’s movements and reactions: Paying close attention to the goalie’s movements during a shootout is vital. Look for patterns or tendencies that you can exploit. If the goalie tends to move to their right more often, for example, you can target their left side with your dekes.

5. Stay confident and composed: Confidence plays a significant role in successfully executing a dangle in a shootout. Stay composed, trust your skills, and don’t hesitate. The more confident you are, the more likely you’ll be able to pull off a successful move.


1. Is it better to shoot or dangle in a hockey shootout?
It depends on the situation and the individual player’s skills. Dangling can be highly effective when you have strong stickhandling abilities, but shooting can also be a reliable option if you have a great shot or notice a weakness in the goalie’s positioning.

2. Are there any specific dangles that work consistently in shootouts?
There is no foolproof dangle that guarantees success in a shootout. However, certain moves like the toe-drag or the backhand-forehand deke have been proven to be effective when executed correctly. It ultimately comes down to the goalie’s reactions and your ability to deceive them.

3. How can I improve my stickhandling skills for shootouts?
Practicing stickhandling drills is essential for improving your skills in shootouts. Set up obstacle courses, use stickhandling balls or pucks, and work on quick, controlled movements with the puck. Consistent and focused practice will help you develop better stickhandling abilities.

4. Can I combine multiple dangles in a shootout?
Absolutely! Combining different moves and techniques can often lead to greater success in shootouts. By using a variety of dekes, fakes, and changes in speed, you can keep the goalie off balance and increase your chances of scoring.

5. Are there any risks involved in attempting a dangle in a shootout?
Dangling in shootouts carries some risks, as any move has the potential to be unsuccessful. If you lose control of the puck, the goalie can easily make a save, and if your deke isn’t executed properly, you may miss the net entirely. However, calculated risks can often lead to great rewards, so it’s important to develop your skills and be confident in your abilities.

6. Should I have a predetermined move or read the goalie during the shootout?
Having a predetermined move can be helpful, especially if you have a go-to move that has worked well for you in the past. However, reading the goalie’s movements and reactions during the shootout can also give you an advantage. It’s crucial to be adaptable and adjust your strategy based on the goalie’s tendencies.

7. What if I’m not confident in my stickhandling abilities?
If you’re not confident in your stickhandling skills, it’s essential to practice and improve. Stickhandling drills and exercises can gradually enhance your abilities. In the meantime, focusing on shooting accuracy and reading the goalie’s positioning can be an effective alternative to deking.

Dangling in hockey shootouts requires quick hands, excellent stickhandling skills, and the ability to deceive the goalie with fakes and dekes. By practicing different moves, reading the goalie’s reactions, staying confident, and being adaptable, you can maximize your chances of scoring in shootouts. However, it’s important to assess your individual skills and the situation on the ice to determine whether shooting or dangling is the best approach.