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Hockey position played by two players stationed between the forwards and the goaltender. Their primary duty is to play defense when the puck is in their zone, preventing opposing forwards from getting too close to their goaltender. On offense, they usually take positions along the blue line approximately 25 feet from the boards on either side, called the points, and either take long shots from those positions or pass to their forwards closer in.

In a standard straight-up defensive scheme, the left defenseman guards the opposing right wing, and the right defenseman guards the opposing left wing. Preferably, a left-D will shoot right-handed and a right-D will shoot left-handed, in order to provide the best chance at blocking a shot.

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