A clapper in hockey is another term for a slapshot, in most cases a powerful slapshot.
The term clapper in hockey is quite popular and is even used by colour commentators when performing a play by play of the game. The term clapper is believed to have come from the clapping together of the stick and the ice before the players hits the puck.
For those that do not know a slapshot is the hardest shot a player can take in hockey. This style of shot starts with the player raising his stick up high so that the lower hand of the stick is above his shoulder.
The player will then bring the stick down in a shooting motion as hard as he can. The players stick will contact the ice just before the puck. This contact with the ice flexes the hockey stick like a bow.
As the stick straightens out the energy is transferred to the puck as the stick blade connects with it.
The player then transfers their weight to their front foot to ensure all the energy and power from the stick is transferred into the puck.
The shot should end with the follow-through of the player’s stick pointed towards the other teams net.
This is how you take a clapper in hockey.
When Do Players Take Clappers?
Now that you’ve learned what a clapper is and how to take one it’s time to break down when players use clappers.
From The Point
The most common place for a player to take a slapshot in hockey is from the point. The point is the area near the blue line just inside the opposing team’s defensive zone.
When in this position defensemen will often take shots on the net in hopes of generating a goal. Most defensemen are not incredibly skilled shooters and instead rely on the power and speed of clappers to score.
Additionally, when on the point defenseman will usually have forwards screening or ready to tip the puck into the net.
This makes their odds of scoring a clapper from the point much more likely. On some occasions a defenseman may intentionally miss a slapshot from the point in order to create a rebound.
A hard slap shot of the boards will often deflect right in front of the net creating a scoring opportunity for the team.
Another situation in which players are likely to take clappers is when attempting a one-timer. A one timer in hockey refers to a play in which a player passes his teammate the puck in which he will shoot immediately upon receiving it.
In most cases, one-timers are going to occur when players are on different sides of the goalie. If a player left of the goalie passes to a player right of the goalie, then it will be difficult for him to stop the shot.
In order to beat the goalie on these plays, the player on the receiving end of the pass needs to hit the puck as soon as it is in his reach.
So instead of receiving the puck and pulling it back for a wrist shot the player will hit a clapper as soon as the puck is in reach. This puts the puck on the net quickly making it difficult for the goalie to adjust to the new angle of shooting.
This is a common way for players to score goals with a clapper.
When They Can’t Shoot
Another reason you may see hockey players attempt slapshots is when they don’t have many other shots to choose from. This is especially true for defensemen that does not build their game around scoring goals.
Stay at home defensemen do not spend much time honing in their wrist shots leaving the clapper as their main offensive weapon.
When these players do get a scoring chance the slapshot is usually their best bet of putting a puck in the back of the net.