Neutral Zone Trap
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11-01-2007, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: St Paul, MN
After watching the Wild for several years...
Most everyone has covered the basics...one forechecker in deep, two forwards hanging back to keep the other team from moving freely through the neutral zone, two defensemen hanging further back to gather pucks and stop the odd rush.
Other things I notice, there's a lot of dump and chase, except only one forward will chase the puck. You won't see defense pinching much at all. Quite often you'll see the forwards or defense setting up plays by skating from neutral back into their own zone, then re-breaking out. Lots of things to eat up time and prevent odd man rushes.
In the zone, you'll see everyone doing all they can to keep the puck to the perimeter (along the boards). It's almost like a PK except with better point coverage. The idea is that perimeter shots are less dangerous than a team moving through the zone freely, and that you can grab a rebound and flip the puck out (avoiding icing) or carry to center and dump in and change. Then proceed with the 1-2-2 forecheck and hope to create turnovers and rushes again.
My team accidentally did this last week and it was pretty effective. Until that point, we couldn't even keep the puck out of our zone, but something clicked and we won 5-1. One forechecker in deep, and two forwards which were back mainly because they couldn't keep up, but whenever they tried to break out, it often resulted in a turnover. And quite often if they tried to make a play through neutral ice, it'd get broken up at the blue line and our defense would corral the puck and pass it down the boards to the forwards. Really wore the other team down and they started getting desparate and taking penalties.
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