How to Set Up a “Kronwallian” Hit


How to Set Up a “Kronwallian” Hit

kill_zoneHave you ever noticed how often Kronwall lines himself up to lay a big hit? Have you ever wondered how he does it? Setting up a big hit takes more skill than many folks realize; it takes skating ability, timing, size, and strength. But in Kronwall’s case, there’s even more to it than that.

Believe it or not, Detroit’s systems are actually playing a huge role in setting up these “Kronwallian” hits, as we call them. In the video above, you’ll notice that Detroit often runs a 1-2-2 forecheck. The way they set it up creates what I call a “kill zone.” I talked a bit about the Kill Zone in my NZ Trap Clarification post. Basically, the first forward in pressures, then the second two forwards angle back in a way that funnels the puck carrier to the boards. They create a “channel” that looks like open ice, but really, they’re just angling him into the area where they know Kronwall will be stepping up to make that big hit.

Since both forwards are already funneling back, it’s 100% safe for Kronwall to make that pinch. Even if he misses, you’ve got the second defenseman, and two forwards already back. In these examples though, usually what happens is the forwards funnel back, Kronwall makes the hit, the puck squirts through, then the back checking forwards pick it up, initiate the regroup, and quickly re-enter the offensive zone.

Enjoy!

Neutral Zone Trap Clarified


Neutral Zone Trap Clarified

Seems like I’m doing a lot of Q&A work these days! There have been quite a few questions on the Neutral Zone Trap I diagrammed up a few years ago. So I decided to make a quick clarification video to resolve some of these questions. Before we jump straight in, let me just state again that there are many ways of structuring systems. Sometimes these differences are adjustments to what the other team is doing, sometimes they’re just the coach’s personal preference. Either way, use this info if it makes sense for your situation. If not, don’t use it! Here are a few key points to remember:

Neutral Zone Trap Clarification - YouTubeNeutral Zone Trap
1. The trap is a CONCEPT: make it look like the board-side breakout is open, then systematically shut it down
2. There is more than one way this can be done
3. Adjustments should be made depending on how high the opposing team’s wingers are, and where the breakout is initiating from
4. Ability to angle will make or break the trap – funnel the breakout into the “kill zone”
5. Try to shut down the other team’s breakout BEFORE the red line (to eliminate the option for a dump in)
6. Generate offense with quick NZ transitions after the turnover!

Hope this helps!