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Improving the Fundamental Skills of a Defenceman, with Paul Boutilier

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You'll be hard-pressed to find someone who has thought as much about playing defence as Boutilier has.


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In episode 225 of the Glass and Out Podcast, two-time TCS Live presenter Paul Boutilier stops by to chat.

He has worn a lot of hats during his career, but currently Boutilier works as a Defenceman Specialist, consulting with approximately 40 defencemen, several of whom are current NHL superstars through his company, the 44 Second Group.

Boutilier’s current stable of clients include Thomas Chabot of the Ottawa Senators, Noah Dobson of the New York Islanders, Dennis Savard of the Montreal Canadians and Austrian David Reinbacher, who is projected to be the first defenceman selected in the 2023 NHL Draft.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who has thought as much about playing defence as Boutilier has. When it comes to improving the fundamental skills of being a defenceman, he stresses footwork, posture, and funnelling.

“What I see in most defencemen is the funnel’s the exact opposite of what it should be. If you have two defencemen, most people would say at the offensive zone blueline, the funnel is wide. As they come back into their own zone, they get narrow. They actually start playing defence around the tops of the circles to the dots…The proper way is actually to flip the funnel upside down.”

Listen as shares his methods for improving a defenceman’s posture, how to flip the funnel approach to defending, and the importance of helping players understand concepts by writing it down.

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Glass and Out Podcast

An occasionally serious, consistently passionate podcast for hockey coaches & fans. Hosted by The Coaches Site Founder & President Aaron Wilbur, and p...





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