step up at the blue line [sports: ice hockey]

Michael30000

Senior Member
Russian
#1
Hello everyone,

From the book by Wayne Gretzky about ice hockey:

"A smart passing team should be able to control the puck around the perimeter almost indefinitely, and an attacker coming in with speed has all kinds of room to step around a defenseman to the outside. North Americans find the adjustment to playing defense on the big ice a huge obstacle, and even some incredibly skilled Europeans never get the hang of the North American game. With less ice to defend, NHL defensemen learn to step up at the blue line, which can be a pretty unpleasant welcome to the North American game to a player who thinks he has room on the outside."

Does "step up at the blue line" mean play more agressively at the blue line?

Thank you.
 

WyomingSue

Senior Member
English--USA
#2
That's how I would take it. To move toward the blue line and the attacking forward, rather than hanging back closer to the goal.
 

kentix

Senior Member
English - U.S.
#3
And probably giving them a hard check.
"...which can be a pretty unpleasant welcome to the North American game to a player who thinks he has room on the outside."
They can be more aggressive because the chance of getting skated around and giving up a goal is less likely with a smaller rink.
 
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