How to Beat a 1-2-2 Forecheck

How to Beat a 1-2-2 Forecheck

I’ve had a few questions come in recently on the 1-2-2 Forecheck. Specifically, coaches are looking for ways to beat it. The 1-2-2 is a great forecheck, but, as is the case with any system, it’s beatable. Your objective is to control the puck, drawing players out of position, then beating them with a pass. Here are the key points:

How to Beat a 1-2-2 Forecheck - YouTubeHow to Beat the 1-2-2 Forecheck
1. Defenseman carries the puck to open ice
2. Defenseman walks the puck until someone comes to get him (if nobody comes, he walks all the way down the ice!)
3. As soon as F2 or F3 leaves their coverage to attack the Defenseman, he or she moves the puck to that side of the ice, hitting the now-open player with the pass
4. At this point you’ve got two players beat, and you’re walking out of the zone in an odd-man rush

Q&A on the 2-3 Press Forecheck

How to Convert the 2-3 Press into Offense after the Transition

I recently received a question on the 2-3 Press Forecheck. The question looked like this:


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:

2-3_pressHow 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.

Using the Triangle to Open Up Space on the Attack

A few years ago, I did a quick video dissection of Joe Pavelski’s over time goal against the LA Kings. This video shows perfect execution of one of the Attack Triangle options we outline in the Coaches’ Training Course and in the Playbook. Here’s a quick summary of how it works on this play:

attack_triangleHow the Sharks used the Attack Triangle on this Play
1. F1 drives the puck wide, while reading the gap of the strong-side defenseman
2. F2 realizes he has an inside lane to the net, and drives straight through the middle, pulling the weak-side defenseman with him, and opening up space in the high slot
3. F3 (Joe Pavelski) reads that the weak-side defenseman has been driven low, and that there will be space in the high slot, so he fills that space
4. F1 reads loose gap from the strong-side defenseman, and sees that the weak-side defenseman has been driven deep, then feathers an “area pass” to the open ice in the high slot
5. F3 walks in, picks up the pass, and snipes the game winner!

1-2-2 “Foosball” Forecheck: IN ACTION

Here’s a great example of the 1-2-2 “Foosball” Forecheck in action

The 1-2-2 “Foosball” Forecheck can be a great set-up if you have the right type of team for it. This forecheck requires speed and discipline. If you lack either of those attributes, it’ll probably fall apart for you. Here are the main key points on this set-up:

1-2-2 “Foosball” Forecheck

1-2-2_forecheck1. F1 “flushes” outside in, and chases the puck no matter where it goes
2. F2 and F3 set up at about the tops of the circles, slightly narrower than the dots
3. D-men set up the same distance apart as F1 and F2, but they’re at the blue line
4. As the play moves up the boards, the strong-side forward hits the receiver, strong side d-man seals the boards at the blue line
5. Weak-side forward and d-man slide across and protect the middle passing lanes
6. F1 funnels back to provide support



2-1-2 Spread: In Action

How to Execute a Proper 2-1-2 Spread Forecheck

In our last post, we talked about beating a 2-1-2 with a D to D pass. In the footage, we saw the NJ Devils using an aggressive 2-1-2 “Stack” against the Rangers. In this post, we’ll show you the LA Kings using another variation of the 2-1-2, the 2-1-2 “Spread.”

2-1-2 Stack vs Spread
There are two types of 2-1-2 set-ups; the “stack,” where the first two players enter the zone on the same side of the ice, the first player hits and pins, the second player takes the puck; and the “spread,” where the first player attacks the puck carrier, and the second player eliminates the D to D pass (this is what the Kings are using in this clip).

See our video on the 2-1-2 Forecheck here: 2-1-2 Stack & Spread Explanation

2-1-2 “Spread” Explained
The key to an effectice 2-1-2 “Spread” is for F1 (the first forward on the attack) come in aggressive. If F1 is lazy geting in, the play won’t work. F2 must also get in hard and take away the D to D pass. F3 reads F1’s forechecking angle, and takes away the strong side breakout. If done properly, there’s nothing the opposing defenseman can do except try to force a pass up the strong side, or dump it out of the zone.

The 2-1-2 is a great forecheck to set an aggressive tone at the beginning of a game. If your players are in good enough shape, and can execute it consistently, you can stick with it for an entire game. But I recommend having another forecheck to fall back on if the 2-1-2 starts getting sloppy.


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