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05-05-2008, 02:03 PM
  #3
tinyzombies
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Calif via Montreal
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Depends what system you are playing or if it's a line change or you aren't able to initiate a successful forecheck and have to peel back.

The rule of thumb for a forecheck is you go in if you can see the player's number and back off if you see the logo on the front.

If you're playing the trap (a 1-2-2) where the 1 signifies one forechecker, then you usually want to employ a "steering forecheck" where you steer the puck carrier to where you want him to go (usually to the outside) and cut the passing lane across to his D partner simultaneously so they can't swing around the trap you've set up in the neutral zone. The idea is to steer them into the neutral zone trap just before the red line (so they can't dump it in). So the forecheck is only one component and it's where your defense starts, but the guys in the neutral zone are key after that and they must be organized properly.

If you're playing a more aggressive forecheck (2-1-2), or read that you can send the second guy in because the first guy has contained the puck carrier, there are several systems and tweaks. Tampa Bay's 2-1-2 comes to mind. The first guy attacks the puck, the second guy takes away the boards strong side and the center curls in the middle to the weak side boards so the Dman can't ring it around and out, and the center is also in a scoring area in case of a turnover.

There are many forecheck variations, but basically you want to force them to pass the puck to a player that has tendencies to turn it over and deny the puck to the team's best puck carrier/passer (or make sure that pass puts them in a bad position). Simple as that.

The forecheck is one component of the overall system, of course. And you can vary on the forecheck throughout the game and in particular matchups, especially on the road when you don't have the last change.

Any forecheck you set up should suit your team's strengths/weaknesses in relation to the other team. You need someone who is a half decent skater to be the first guy in. The second guy ideally is someone who is strong on the puck and then have someone who can score coming in late as the third guy.

If you don't know the system you're playing, you probably aren't playing one. If you have a coach, he should know. If he doesn't, then there's nothing you can really do. Just angle the puck carrier to the outside, or join another team!


Last edited by tinyzombies: 05-05-2008 at 02:18 PM.
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