March 28, 2018

Dangle by Design Part 3: Crosby’s Forehand > Backhand Exploit Formula

We broke down the Dangle into the Four Part SEEE Formula:

  • Setup
  • Entry
  • Exploit
  • Escape

We explored the entry tactic of exploiting stick momentum. Today we look deeply at how the best in the world exploits stick momentum: Sidney Crosby.

In this video from xXLaflammeXx, we see a great compilation of Crosby’s Dangles. Their distribution looks roughly like this:

  • 60% Forehand to backhand dekes
  • 20% Backhand to forehand dekes
  • 20% Tips/Chips past the defender

The low hanging fruit is the forehand to backhand deke. So let’s examine the NeuroLinks and Mechanics.

The reason I use Crosby is thanks to xXLaflammeXx compilation. It is a complete data set of successful dangles – from a guy who isn’t really known for dangling.


Exploit Stick Momentum: When Crosby approaches his Dangle Victim, he moves the puck to the left – within reach of the DV. As the DV reaches or swings, Crosby continues moving the puck to the left. As the DV fully commits to the reach or swing, Crosby moves the puck using the “Crosby flick” to move the puck to his backhand.

Entry Tactic: Sometimes Crosby dekes backhand to forehand – to get the defender to open up the forehand to backhand (which is his bread and butter). So the initial backhand to forehand deke is bait. So this is part of the entry.


Going forehand to backhand, Crosby always does a version of what we’re calling the Crosby Flick. (We’re already in the process of adding the Crosby Flick to the Kane Stickhandling System.)

As the puck moves from right to left, he allows the puck to also travel forward. This creates an arc like so:

You often see defensemen swing or reach at the heel of Crosby’s stick. But the puck starts at the midblade, and then travels to the toe of his stick. As the defender swings his stick at the heel, Crosby rolls the puck off his toe. The flick seems to weight the puck correctly so that it doesn’t jump in the air, or get too far away. It matches Crosby’s momentum from left to right and forward.

After the flick, Crosby lets his stick follow the puck – but not too closely. I’m assuming this so that if his stick is knocked, it won’t knock the puck off its perfectly weighted trajectory. (Damn you’re good Sid).

Acceptance Criteria:

In order for this to work, the defender must generate stick momentum towards where you place the puck. Your timing and placement need to keep the puck out of range until the defender commits their stick momentum. Once committed, you use the Crosby Flick to move it to your backhand.

Sometimes, the defender will swing or reach at the toe of your stick instead of the heel. In this situation, you need to be ready to do what we call the Kane Drag. We show you how to do this in the Kane Stickhandling system course.

Data, 80/20 and Avoiding Bias

The reason I think that there are less backhand – forehand dekes in this compilation is because a backhand > forehand deke doesn’t usually “Dangle” the defender. Usually, this type of deke gives you time and space, but doesn’t actually beat the guy. Crosby might use that deke all the time, but it doesn’t show up in a compilation like this. So when I say that the low hanging fruit to learn how to Dangle is the forehand > backhand, that is representative of this sample of dangles. But that may not represent all of Crosby’s dekes. He may use the backhand > forehand much more than we realize.

Nevertheless, if Dangling is your goal, I think we’ve found a pattern and formula. I think you see the mechanics and the NeuroLinks. And if you’d like to learn those mechanics in-depth, you can check them out in the Kane Stickhandling System.

TLOG Day 1

In case you’d like to see how my training is progressing, here is a Training Blog (TLOG) video I did. You can see it here.

Thanks for reading today.




Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply