Right-Handed Hockey Stick vs. Left-Handed

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Hockey players sometimes fancy themselves as ambidextrous. That's because right-handed forwards have more and more become left-handed shooters. Whether you use a right-handed or left-handed stick has more to do with your position than what hand you usually favor.

Power vs. Puck-Handling Prowess

  • Your dominant hand, being typically stronger, provides the most power. It also provides the best dexterity and control. This is the same factor that drives right-handed hockey players to be left-handed hockey shots. When holding a left-handed hockey stick, the player's right hand is at the top of the stick, and controls the touch and accuracy on shots and passes. Forwards who desire more puck-handling ability around the net will often opt for the opposite-hand stick. When holding a right-handed hockey stick, the right hand is in the middle, and controls the push, or power, of the shot. For this reason, defensemen and some forwards with a big booming slap shot from the point will often opt for the like-handed hockey stick.

It's Just About the Feel

  • Regardless of these theories of coaches, most players just go with what feels more comfortable. Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux are arguably the NHL's two greatest scorers, and both right-handers could stickhandle in a phone booth. But Gretzky was a left-handed shot while Lemieux shot right-handed. In the modern day, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are both natural righties. But Crosby shoots left and Ovechkin right. With these all-world talents, where they held their dominant hand didn't seem to matter.

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