The Mohawk Agility Drill can be used with cones, sticks, “Attack Triangles,” SweetHands, or any other hockey obstacle. More creative obstacles produce more creative players in this drill. Here’s the diagram:
Mohawk Agility Drill
1. Players line up as shown.
2. Puck carrier puts a move on the first stick, skates down around the second stick (putting a move on it), skates up around the top stick (putting a move on it), then shoots.
3. ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY!
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.
During the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, I did a video dissection of Ryan Carter’s game-winning goal against the New York Rangers. The video got quite a few hits that night, and I had a number of requests to dissect the play from the defensive point of view. People wanted to know what went wrong, and what the Rangers could have done differently to prevent the goal. So I put together a follow up video, showing how I would have beaten the 2-1-2 Forecheck the Devils were using. Since we’re ramping up for the new season, I thought it would be a good idea to brush up on beating the most commonly run forechecking system, the 2-1-2.
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 (this is the set-up the Devils use in this clip). In the “spread,” the first player attacks the puck carrier, and the second player eliminates the D to D pass.
How to Beat the 2-1-2
The first step to beating the 2-1-2 is for the puck-side defenseman to determine whether the opponent is using a stack or a spread. If he reads stack, he MUST get the puck to his weak-side partner, no matter what it takes! That’s where the open ice is, and that’s where the highest likelihood of a successful breakout lies. If he reads spread, he’ll need to beat his strong-side attacker, either with a misdirection or a reverse pass to the centerman, then break out the strong side.
What went Wrong?
In this clip, you’ll see the Rangers defenseman was more worried about jockeying with the Devils’ first man in, than he was about getting the puck to the weak side. Because of this, he ended up with poor body positioning, and got bombarded by the Devils’ aggressive forecheck. The 2-1-2 worked out in text-book fashion for the Devils, first man hit and pinned, second man picked up the puck and hit the third man coming into the slot for the game-winning goal.
The Wedge +1 is strategically very similar to the “Sagging” Zone d-zone coverage
The Wedge +1 is a more advanced, more aggressive penalty kill, that operates similar to our “Sagging” Zone defensive zone coverage set-up. This set-up allows the closest “corner” of the box to challenge the puck carrier, while the other three players remain in front of the net.
Make sure your players understand when to “force” the puck carrier, and when to “contain” the puck carrier. Reading this incorrectly will cause problems for you! Also, remind your weak-side forward and defenseman to keep their heads on a swivel, and not to let anyone creep in behind them on the backdoor.
“Sagging” Zone Arrow is a slightly more aggressive version of the “Sagging” Zone
Use the “Sagging” Zone Arrow to put even more pressure on the opposing team. The set up is very similar to the regular “Sagging” Zone, except that the players on the “arrows” (where the likely passing lanes are) slide out to cut down the puck carrier’s passing options.
This set-up will cause more turnovers, but leaves the front of the net more vulnerable. So the players in front must be even more aware of players sneaking in the backdoor.