How do you transition from forecheck to offense when you create a turnover in the 2-3 press? It seems tough to run a cycle because you will draw players out of good defensive position.
I decided to answer it in a post, rather than to try to explain it via email or blog comment. Here’s a quick summary of how it works:
How to Convert the 2-3 Press into Offense after the Transition
1. F1 Drives deep and hits the puck-carrying defenseman
2. F2 Reads the play, and supports F1
3. F3 sets up on the blue line, between the two defensemen
4. If F1 or F2 cause the turnover, and pick up the puck down low, slide immediately into the cycle, with F3 dropping into the high slot
5. If the turnover happens up top, or in the middle, whoever picks it up steps into the slot and shoots.
Some Frequently Asked Questions on the Swing Regroup
In our Coaches’ Training Course we outline the fundamentals of the Swing Regroup, which is one of my favorite regroup set-ups. Over the past few weeks, I’ve received a number of emails with questions on the Swing Regroup. So I figured it was time to put together an FAQ video.
The problem many coaches were having, was differentiating between the “textbook version” and the “read and react version.” In other words… in a perfect world, we draw up the play, and the players perform it exactly as diagrammed, AKA textbook execution. However, in the actual game, sometimes it happens as planned, but many times it doesn’t. In these cases there’s a degree of improvisation that needs to be accounted for… this is where the read and react comes into play.
So, let’s start with our ideal, textbook diagram, then we’ll go from there:
1. Defensemen drag skate puck back and toward the middle, passing D to D as needed
2. Forwards swing through the receiving zones, presenting themselves as options
3. Defensemen read pressure, and pass up-ice to one of the forwards
4. Forwards attack the offensive zone under control
Obviously, players must understand the textbook version in order to make proper decisions in the game. This idea holds true with any system you’re looking to implement. I recommend teaching and practicing the textbook version of your set-up, then also going through some of the possible variations in chalk-talk. Make sure your players understand that they’re allowed to adapt to the game situation! Your objective should be to provide them with the system framework, then to encourage creativity within it.
Some simple Backchecking tips to improve effectiveness
Believe it or not, there is actually some technique to backchecking in hockey. Most players just put their head down and get back into the defensive zone as quickly as possible… this is a good start, but players need to do more if they want to REALLY stop the scoring threat. Here are a few key points from the video:
1. Backcheck with a purpose: Keep your head on a swivel while backchecking, and pick up any loose opponents along the way. Make sure you stick with them ALL THE WAY back into the zone (many players release their man at the blueline for some reason).
2. Revert to “5-Card” Formation: I explain this in the video, but use the “5-Card” set-up as your failsafe. Backcheck into 5-card formation, then adjust once the initial threat has been nullified.
3. Communicate: Let your teammates know who you’ve got (especially your defensemen). This can help eliminate confusion on odd-man rushes.
The 2-1-2 forecheck is generally one of the first set-ups young players learn. It is simple to understand, and can be taught at very young age groups. In this video we outline two possible variations of the 2-1-2 that you can choose from based on the other team’s strengths and weaknesses.
The 2-1-2 Stack puts extreme pressure on the puck-carrying defenseman, and makes it virtually impossible to break out up the strong side of the ice. The Spread is used to combat the D to D pass behind the net. In either set-up, our F3 and our two Defensemen need to anticipate and get to the proper position quickly!
Here’s Another One of my Favorite Hockey Passing Drills
I love this hockey passing drill because it just flows well––especially when you have the right group of players for it. At it’s best, this is a quick-paced, “tic-tac-toe” type of drill. However, if you have the wrong group of players, this drill will grind to a halt pretty quickly. So, just make sure your players are advanced enough before attempting this one! Here’s the diagram and explanation:
Spice Figure 8 Passing Drill
1. On the whistle, one (F) from each line diagonally across from each other goes.
2. Each (F) takes a few steps forward, then passes to the far (D).
3. The defensemen make a few “D to D” passes, then hit the (F) as he power turns around the far cone.
4. After skating the figure 8 as shown in the diagram, (F) picks up the puck, splits the defensemen, and enters the zone for a shot on net.