Closing the gap between GENS A and B players


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It seems like we can basically predict the standings in most leagues.  And its been particularly tough for B players to really break through with A players.  Though a few guys have been getting better and better constantly (Brutus, Tex) are A for sure.

Why is this though?  Stronger offense?  Stronger Defense?  Goalie Control?  Or overall vision? 

I feel like a lot of B players are close.  What if A players helped mentor B players, especially guys struggling but playing their games. 

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As a general rule, the biggest ANY B level player can make is in 2 areas. #1 Goalie.  The manual goalie on most B players is well below any standard required to compete, especially in the crun

I think mentoring with a string of exi's for several weeks is a great way to upgrade the level of a player.   As a player that has upgraded over the past year, I can only attest to what made

Okay... Let's steer this back to how B players can improve.  And really how we can get this game even more competitive.  CB is it's own debate and it seems pretty heated.  Personally I think it has op

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I think mentoring with a string of exi's for several weeks is a great way to upgrade the level of a player.

 

As a player that has upgraded over the past year, I can only attest to what made me better:


Take the WORST goalie you can as OFTEN as you can.  Change your offense at least two or three times.  In GENERAL, if you are a B player, your "old habits" are the wrong ones && your goalie play is not high enough.  Using bad goalies forces you to use manual more often and forces you to adjust when & how you do that.

 

Having played some 2v2 back when it was played (not heavily, but enough), I recognize when I play Habs where I see a manual save I feel he learned in 2v2.  It's weird, you can almost sense that was a crazy move he learned doing on 2v2.  SO, more experience can lead to higher level of play, but it also takes time to absorb what you have learned.

 

FOR ME, the biggest jump came when I gave up on "old me" being good enough.  So, I don't play drunk!   In addition, I was playing good for about a month, and came across AJ.  He just beat the shite out of me, like 8-1.  After a few beat downs, he told me I was trying TOO hard to get perfect shots and not getting enough SHOTS up.

 

That's when I realized I needed to tweak how I play more than a little on offense.  My defense was always decent.  I upgraded my goalie play, and changed my offense and it's shown over the past 2-3 months.

 

So, playing vs A+ guys willing to give criticism and being will to ask HELPS.  Being willing to adjust your game is a must if you plan on going from B to A.

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Another thought, PLAYING A+ guys makes you see your flaws, but SOMETIMES, it can have you making the wrong corrections, leaving you treading water and in the same place overall as a player.

 

So, I mentioned I was not shooting enough for a while.  What happened was whenever I would "BLOW" a goal, I'd be all tilt, and give up a goal the other way, almost instantly.  So, I started to get too conservative on offense.  When I played B players, my defense would remain tight, and I"d win low scoring games.  But, when I played A+ players who would figure out, HEY, he's not putting enough pressure on me, I can go crazy on the attack without giving up goals, then it would go down hill for me.

 

Basically, as I tried to adjust on the fly to cover up holes in my game the A+ players were exposing, I was creating more weaknesses. 

 

Figuring out that I have to apply pressure on the A+ guy same as he does me, and rely on my manual goalie to bail me out forces you to play on a higher level.  Do I get just KILLED still some games?? Yes.  But, the victories are much more earned for the A+ guy than before.  They need to get those extra few B shots, extra one timer pass off, or some great manual save last second on a sure goal to preserve their win.

 

 

 

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This is a good topic and one I have a special interest in, being in danger of being a career B level player.

Out of the gate I was quite poor, then a couple months in got to middling B level.  That is where I am now.

I remember King Raph of all people took time to help me along, even pausing during our exis to point out what I did wrong.  It did help, but I just feel it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

If any A guys want to mentor me, I am certainly open to it! There was awhile when I played more than anyone possibly, though nowadays I go long stretches without playing.

Would love it if someone saw a huge hole in my game and said "Your problem is manual goalie. Work on that and you will be 50% better."

 

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1 hour ago, HABS said:

I feel like a lot of B players are close.  What if A players helped mentor B players, especially guys struggling but playing their games. 

Mentor me, HABS!  We can play every Wednesday at 8pm or something?  I am struggling, but yes, I always get my games in.  Throw me a bone!!!

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As a general rule, the biggest ANY B level player can make is in 2 areas.


#1 Goalie.  The manual goalie on most B players is well below any standard required to compete, especially in the crunch, where manual is the most valuable.  Once you are good enough to keep the game close, you need to be able to win it.  And the A players no how to keep PRESSING, and you have to be able to make the stops.

 

#2 DEKE.  Watch TK's deke video and practice vs Eddy & Roy on 1-0 or 5v5 also.  You need to be able to score on them at a high rate.  OTHERWISE, when you play an elite player, he WILL figure out you can't score at a high percentage against auto goalie, and you are giving him an extra second or two in control of a defender instead of having to switch to goalie.  DURING THIS TIME, you often will get checked and lose the puck without getting a shot off!

 

You MUST force the other coach to use his manual often, and THEN, the cat/mouse game of deke/one timer/ pass, manual goalie, leave it on auto can begin and you can start to get into their heads as much as they are in your's.

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I think it's mostly defence & goalie.

Everyone can learn the 'trick' goals when you have open space for it, but if you don't get the chance you can't practise it much except on a 1on0 rom etc. Onetimers in GENS are only about timing and vision as you don't even have to aim them. I think everyone knows the basic dekes to take goalies down close down. It has also been shown that you are not required to use trick goals to win, think of Uncle Seth (recently he's picked up rebounds though). Knowing your goals will help a great deal though, especially the pass shots and rebounds. Keg toss is just novelty and low efficiency. Knowing how to score goals will help you anticipate them better and make you better to defend them.

Majority of the breakaways and 2on1:s etc. come from forcing the opponent to turn the puck over in your zone, or you forechecking the puck in the mid-o zone. The faster you get the puck the better the chance for a good counter offence is when opponent guys are still skating towards the blueline and you you're going the other way with the puck. It's defence that creates offence. Often times the player who gets this game going on has the whole team game going on their way. Like their D is always sitting at home and just keep pushing and pushing while you will have hard time figuring anything out and your whole team is constantly on the move, no structure at all in defensive game.

You can even try a "bitchy" way of playing a very passive defence if you have a hard time adjusting to opponent skating. A great defence requires you to be very reactive to the opponent offence. You have to be able to read and anticipate the play, but passive passive defence does not require so much on that field so it might help out if you look for results. Also someone like Swos uses that very effectively so it's not only for low caliber players.

Also try different settings in GENS. A great defence needs fast response to your controls. You might be shooting yourself to your own leg if you use low settings even though it might feel better. I think it even might affect the AI. I have not gotten feedback on the other thread from others on that though. I'm completely fine with it just being a theory if it works as a placebo for me. You could try the other GENS that has the netplay save hax as well, but also under graphics setting has the latency settings to try out. It is a must knowledge to have so not anyone can take advantage out of it, it has been around for at least a few years, I can see clear differences with it.

Also the mental side of the game is very important. You have to have a will to win and improve. You have to be mentally "there" to play alert and react well, read the plays and have a good vision of your game. I am in a better shape mentally and physically now to what I was a year ago and I think it affects my game a great deal as well. Confidence is a big thing, especially with your manual goalie.

Playing tired, playing when you don't want to and feel forced is a reminder to take a break from the game and come back at a later time. You don't have to do it to the point that you are so exhausted about the game that you need to announce a retirement. Playing only recreationally with A guys will result in bad results as the mindset and will is completely different and there is no easy way around it.

Brutus had a nice way explained with the goalie, pushing yourself out of the comfort zone and your negative habits, force to adapt. This works in real life issues as well.

Edited by Depch
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This has been discussed a few times before, and part of the reason I'm SLOWLY crafting together a strategy guide (www.nhl94strategy.com).

I think each person has something different to work on to reach an "A" level, and I'm always happy to give feedback.  I think we all benefit from better competition.  

Brutus got the basics right...manual goalie control is usually the first area.  It doesn't have to be elite, but you have to be decent to play against top players.

I think it's not only dekeing, but "finishing" overall.  When a top guy gets an opportunity to score, be it on a breakaway, open one-timer (see: quick timers) deke, etc, they capitalize more often than not.  Play against the computer and you should be having 15-0 games regularly. 

Vision, anticipation, positioning, adaptation, control, are just some things I can discuss with each person on how to elevate the rest of their game...offensively/defensively. 

And there are different styles, of course!  Plabax and myself, for example, play differently (particularly on defense), but we each have success. 

One tip -- when the puck goes behind your opponents goalie, ONLY go in if you think you have a legitimate shot at obtaining the puck (most likely not).  It drives me nuts when people fly in with all their forwards (sometimes d-men!) and smash around behind the net.  It's a surefire way to get all of your players out of position. 

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I don't think the manual goalie is especially true. I can think of a few elite guys who have very mid range goalie control that is similar or weaker than some B players'. I won't name names because there's no need to turn this into a ego shitshow but some guys rely much harder on lane control and having stifling D. A bit part of that is being able to be disciplined in the defensive zone and always try to control the same player.

Outside of that I think a lot of guys just try to mimic better players especially in draft leagues. But you can't get an edge that way. That's why I love playing the original rom. It forces me to use guys I wouldn't otherwise ever use and I gain a new appreciation for some of this game's hidden gem.

Every big A player has their own signature move. that helps them to separate themselves from the rest. 

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This is a tough one, but I really think it comes down to fundamentals. So I agree with King Raph about finishing, but you have to know the dekes. They are the first step not just to offense, but seeing where the goalie needs to go on defense.

The best players capitalize the most. Pretty simple. Goalie play is definitely the difference between me personally beating the opponent or losing. They generally come up with one killer save I wouldn't; and vis-a-versa I give up a soft goal.

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On 1/21/2017 at 10:00 PM, kingraph said:

 

One tip -- when the puck goes behind your opponents goalie, ONLY go in if you think you have a legitimate shot at obtaining the puck (most likely not).  It drives me nuts when people fly in with all their forwards (sometimes d-men!) and smash around behind the net.  It's a surefire way to get all of your players out of position. 

Now who in the world would do stuff like this?  

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14 minutes ago, Uncle Seth said:

Now who in the world would do stuff like this?  

Newbs like me, who think they have that opportunity to be sneaky, and in the back of their minds know they're doing something wrong and pay for it :) 

I haven't played anyone here online yet, but reading up and trying to learn a few things ( like that controlling the goalie thing scares the hell out of me already). I haven't played anyone in 94 since, well, maybe 95, ha.

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49 minutes ago, LTNINGFan said:

Newbs like me, who think they have that opportunity to be sneaky, and in the back of their minds know they're doing something wrong and pay for it :) 

I haven't played anyone here online yet, but reading up and trying to learn a few things ( like that controlling the goalie thing scares the hell out of me already). I haven't played anyone in 94 since, well, maybe 95, ha.

First thing to note about playing the CPU vs human:

 

CPU will skate at your goalie, and shoot straight.  He might make a nice pass for a one timer, which even if you switch to the goalie, will be hard to stop.  MOST of the CPU moves do NOT beat the CPU goalie.

 

So, if you are playing CPU vs on an old Genesis system or with the emulator you downloaded, you will not even understand the WHY to take a manual goalie.

 

HOWEVER, if you are playing a human, he is going to have the puck and skate across your goalie from left to right or right to left.  This will cause the CPU controlled goalie to drop down and try to make a save as he skates by, and leave an unguarded other half of the net which your opponent will then easily drop the puck into.

 

Another play will be if he has a guy with a decent slap shot (rating above say 70?), he will skate from the opposite side of his shot hand and start to reach back and slap one right by the goalie from mid range.  Unless your goalie's name is Roy or Eddy, it's going in like 95% of the time.

 

These are 2 examples where IF you don't manual, you give up a goal.  So, even if you do take the goalie and give up a goal, it's the same result.  Once you realize that using the goalie is the same as NOT for end results, you learn to not be so tentative about it :)

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On 10/18/2015 at 11:23 PM, TomKabs93 said:

1: Without the puck, focus on positioning and B checks. Try to B check 95% of the time and C check 5% of the time, it fixes bad habits. C checks are too risky and they force you to worry about the weight difference between players and all that complicated crap. A well placed B check works 100% of the time (except against players with 5 stickhandling, they can withstand some B checks. But even then, it still slows them down a bit). Only C check when you are not in a good enough position to B check them, or when it's your only option ie. when someone has a step on you and you need to bump them off their path to the net. Of course it's okay to go for C checks sometimes against fat players but good coaches won't frequently allow themselves to be in such a vulnerable position with a fatty. Everyone loses to B checks!!!! Note: I don't mean never use the C button without the puck, using it to speed burst around is essential.

2: With the puck, try to learn how to deke around the ice with 1 player a lot. This is not the optimal playing style at all, as good passing and playmaking is essential to winning, but it's great practice to learn how to be dangerous with 1 player. If the other player is threatened by your moves with 1 player they will start to commit to you, opening up easier passes to your other more open players.

94 is a simple game with few buttons, so it seems like there aren't enough options to deke, and this is why I believe people love to pass pass pass in 94 (not top players so much). Another factor I believe is a lack of confidence. Don't be afraid to get C checked, B checked, CB checked, whatever. Just dust yourself off and try again next time. Deking in 94 is very dangerous, and it is my favourite part of the game. 1on1 deking is done through a variety of jukes, which are all very hard to put into words. Pretty much if you think they're gonna go one way, go the other way. Much easier said than done. It's all about positioning and reads. One part of deking that I will say is by far the most important is stopping up. Plabax and I like to call it 'stop n go.' A quick stop up at the right time opens up a massive array of options. Right before you think they're gonna attack you, stop up, and then make your choice from there. You can either do a hard stop, a quick stop and turn 1 way, a quick stop and turn the other way, or a quick stop and then go straight again (a fake stop). There's so freaking much more but idk how to explain it all

3: Become fluent in scoring on computer goalies in all of the possible goal scoring methods. Don't worry about pass shots, you really don't need them, just all of the C button goals. I videos for each individual scoring method if you didn't know that already. If you're interested, I'd be happy to link the thread here. It's called 'how to score on computer goalies' I think. Try to make all of the methods muscle memory, so you can score them 80% of the time or so. The methods are 'backhand forehand dekes', 'forehand backhand dekes', 'crease cuts', 'floaters', 'slap dekes', and 'slapshots'. Other than these all you need is onetimers, and they're more self explanatory.

4: Try to figure out simple mixups for goal scoring strategies. This is necessary when your opponent starts stopping your simple goal scoring methods with manual goalie. If you have simple mixups for each method of scoring on cpu goalies, then it all becomes a guessing game (which is great for you on offense!).

Examples of mixups are

- Cutting to the net diagonally with a lefty from the left (going up). From here the obvious choice is to go for a backhand forehand deke goal. Done right this will pretty much always go in on a cpu goalie. A mixup here would be to keep cutting across instead of going short-side, and hold C at the right time for a nice slap deke. The beauty of this mixup is they both work on cpu goalies, so if they don't take gc then it's a goal either way, and if they do take gc then it's a 50/50 guessing game for them.

- Cutting across the crease horizontally with a lefty from the left (going up). The obvious choice is to go for a crease cut. A mixup here is to turn back as you get near the goalie and do a half spin and float it to the opposite side (the side you came from). They can't cover both options, they gotta commit to one. Another mixup here would be to stop up for a half second just before you'd start holding C for the crease cut, and then go forward again and complete the crease cut. The stop up makes people think that you are faking them out, not going for a crease cut, when really you're doing a double fakout (I think).

That must sound complicated, but it's really not, it's just hard to explain. I'm a stupid man and I can do it, so you can do it too!

There's a hell of a lot more, but I'm tired of typing and thinking and I really don't wanna overwhelm anybody.

Ask any questions you have! Big, small, dumb, whatever. We take them all

This is from TK a few years back in a similar topic as this one.

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25 minutes ago, Brutus said:

 

This is from TK a few years back in a similar topic as this one.

Brutus, thanks for all those tips and suggestions. I am going to check out the video and read up on the previous one, and probably print off for future reference. Looks like I have a lot to learn.

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I watched those videos in 2015 and WOW, they were amazing to try to mimic.  I would get frustrated at times.  There are 1-0 ROMs you can download, or find out how to do it through the forums somewhere (I'm heading out or I'd look it up).  I can pull down like 40% of them in game now.

 

I will say, when I met TK in Toronto, and we played, he could do ALL those moves in the game on command, and it was cool to watch.  BUT, one important NOTE:

 

Goalie on the island, one on zero, is SO much easier to beat than with defenders around him.  So, using good defensive positioning if your goalie is dropping down can still block shot, knock puck off stick, etc.  Chelios makes more saves some games than Eddy!

 

But the game is WAY WAY more fun when you can put some points up on the board and that video makes it MUCH MUCH more entertaining.  Also, Raph has a strategy type site that reads like a manual with video examples and arrows and all kinds of eye candy!  It's not FULLY finished, but he does things so professionally, it's fun just to grab what you can off that site.

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11 minutes ago, Brutus said:

I watched those videos in 2015 and WOW, they were amazing to try to mimic.  I would get frustrated at times.  There are 1-0 ROMs you can download, or find out how to do it through the forums somewhere (I'm heading out or I'd look it up).  I can pull down like 40% of them in game now.

 

I will say, when I met TK in Toronto, and we played, he could do ALL those moves in the game on command, and it was cool to watch.  BUT, one important NOTE:

 

Goalie on the island, one on zero, is SO much easier to beat than with defenders around him.  So, using good defensive positioning if your goalie is dropping down can still block shot, knock puck off stick, etc.  Chelios makes more saves some games than Eddy!

 

But the game is WAY WAY more fun when you can put some points up on the board and that video makes it MUCH MUCH more entertaining.  Also, Raph has a strategy type site that reads like a manual with video examples and arrows and all kinds of eye candy!  It's not FULLY finished, but he does things so professionally, it's fun just to grab what you can off that site.

Impressive stuff, to say the least .I just watched all those, and saw so many moves I could never pull off. I also usually used players that weren't rated high enough to pull off higher skill moves anyway. :)

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1 hour ago, Brutus said:

Here are a few very helpful link from TK to GREAT GREAT GREAT videos:

 

Thanks for all the nice shoutouts lately brut! :red_heart:

 

I kinda forgot that I made those a bit

 

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1 hour ago, LTNINGFan said:

Impressive stuff, to say the least .I just watched all those, and saw so many moves I could never pull off. I also usually used players that weren't rated high enough to pull off higher skill moves anyway. :)

Any player w/ decent agility can make the goalie drop down.

 

And as you can see by the shots, you don't need much of a shot to get them past a goalie once he drops down.

 

The key is to see how he wiggles back and forth.  Just a little to the left before going back to the right, or to hold the C button like a slapper while you slide past the goalie (so you would need to be moving when you started the slapper).

 

Later, he stops and restarts from standstill.  Those are the ones I screw up ROYALLY if I try, especially in the games.  Crazy one is vs Ice, cause he stops, wiggles and then PASS shots by your goalie as you think you've stopped a deke by grabbing manual.  But, those type of goals are rare to give up, so just focus on some basic upgrades on the move categories, then you start to get a feel for how that works.

 

Good luck.

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On 1/24/2017 at 10:22 AM, Brutus said:

Here is link:

Raph's site

Updated the information about awarenesses to the site in comments. It's a great site. Offfensive awareness overall has very little to play in anything at all, I also don't see it having any secondary purposes like defensive awareness seems to have a few. I view it almost as a non factor which is supported as evidence of Klima & Otto etc.

Edited by Depch
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8 hours ago, TomKabs93 said:

Thanks for all the nice shoutouts lately brut! :red_heart:

 

I kinda forgot that I made those a bit

 

Those are great TK. I guess that took quite some time to get all put together.

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8 hours ago, Brutus said:

Any player w/ decent agility can make the goalie drop down.

 

And as you can see by the shots, you don't need much of a shot to get them past a goalie once he drops down.

 

The key is to see how he wiggles back and forth.  Just a little to the left before going back to the right, or to hold the C button like a slapper while you slide past the goalie (so you would need to be moving when you started the slapper).

 

Later, he stops and restarts from standstill.  Those are the ones I screw up ROYALLY if I try, especially in the games.  Crazy one is vs Ice, cause he stops, wiggles and then PASS shots by your goalie as you think you've stopped a deke by grabbing manual.  But, those type of goals are rare to give up, so just focus on some basic upgrades on the move categories, then you start to get a feel for how that works.

 

Good luck.

See, that's something I may not have had paid attention to, a wiggle like you mentioned. Good handy tips there. I'll have to pay attention to that. Thanks again, lots of knowledge that I have to get up to speed on for sure.

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I got in a small amount of time to try the Roms (those are great already, and I only started the first one) and oh man, do I need to practice. But it was fun, and if you're having fun practicing, then it'll be easier to grasp eventually.

Thanks again for those helpful videos and tips. You guys are awesome to help out, I appreciate it. I promise not to take another 11 year layoff again from here again. This place is just too cool.

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