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).
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.
Awesome Hockey Forechecking Drill that Works on Multiple Game Situations
I’ve been using this Hockey Forechecking Drill in my practices, and it has worked really well for my team. The thing I really like about it, is that it allows you to work on a lot of different stuff at once. Obviously, the main focus is forechecking, but you’re also working on D-Zone Coverage, and Breakouts as well.
Here’s how the drill works:
5 forecheckers start at center ice
5 defenders at each end
Coach dumps puck in, defenders attempt to break out, or play d-zone coverage, depending on how quickly the forecheckers get in
Forecheckers execute whichever forechecking system the coach designates
Play continues until defending team breaks out, or until the forecheckers score
If defending team breaks out, forecheckers peel off as soon as puck crosses blue line. After breaking out, the defenders cross the red line, dump it in, and become the NEW forecheckers at the other end.
If the forechecking team scores, coach blows two quick whistles to kill the play, then dumps a new puck into the far end. Defending team hustles to the far end to become the NEW forecheckers.
Give this one a go – I think you’ll get some good usage out of it!
Beat teams that are better than you with the Neutral Zone Trap!
The Neutral Zone Trap is a super effective forechecking set-up. In fact, it is almost too good. The reason I say that is because it allows players to “get by” on very little raw skill and ability. Because of this characteristic, I don’t recommend teaching it to younger age groups. So, if you coach an older team, add this to your team’s tool belt!
When I first moved to the states, the team I ended up on was horrible. We spent the first half of the season in last place, and double-diget losses were common place against the top teams in the league. However, half-way through the season we learned the trap. All of a sudden we began winning games… in fact, we even beat the first place team once, then tied them another time!!
Our team didn’t win the championship or anything (there was just too much lack of talent to overcome), but we did make a respectable playoff push at the end of the season, largely due to good execution of the trap.