A dangle in hockey refers to a skill move that allows the puck carrier to get past an opposing player or goaltender.
Dangles in hockey are the same as a deke. In most cases, a dangle is going to include a move that will trick the opponent into thinking he is going somewhere else.
As we stated earlier dangles can be performed on an opposing skater or goaltender.
Generally, a dangle against a skater is going to happen when they are in a one on one situation.
Dangling a player takes time and usually space, meaning they are difficult to perform in the middle of the game.
When a player finds himself on a one on one against a defender this would be a great time to attempt a dangle.
If you are looking to beat a player and you do not have the speed to skate by them a dangle is the next best option.
These plays have a relatively low success rate but when they work they are incredibly productive.
An effective dangle such as a toe drag can turn a one on one into a breakaway from the puck carrier.
When a dangle works the puck carrier will often find himself directly behind the player he was one on one with.
Additionally, players can also dangle a goaltender. Much like dekeing a defender this almost always happens when the puck carrier is one on one with the goalie.
Dangling a goalie simply means that the player used skill moves to beat the goalie as opposed to a shot.
These moves are especially common when in a shootout where the players have plenty of time to include some dekes.
Different kinds of dangles in hockey
Now that you know what a dangle is in hockey it’s time to break down some of the most common moves used to dangle defenders.
After all, dangling a player simply means a player has used a skill move to beat a defender. There are plenty of different dekes that a player can use to dangle.
The single deke is one of the most common moves in hockey. A single dekes includes only one fake.
An example of a single deke would be a forehand backhand. Coming in on the goalie a player would quickly shift the puck from his forehand to his backhand.
Ideally, the goalie will buy the fake and will think he is going to shoot on his forehand. As the goalie moves over the skater will then put the puck back on his back hand and take the shot.
This is one of the more simple dekes a player can pull off.
A double deke is the continuation of the single deke yet it is a little more complex.
Instead of a single fake, the deke is a dangle that is going to include two fakes.
An example of a double deke would be a backhand-forehand-backhand.
As you have probably guessed this deke involves faking the backhand and the forehand only to end up with a backhand shot.
This is a more advanced deke but its trickery makes it more difficult for the defender.
The toe drag is arguably the most common deke used in the game of hockey
This move can be used to dangle goalies as well as defenders.
The toe drag works by pulling the puck backwards out of the defenders reach as you work your way past them.
As you get parallel with the defender the puck will then be pulled close to the puck carriers body so that the defender again cannot reach it.
This move does not include a fake like most dekes but instead works by keeping the puck just out of reach of a defender in order to get past them.