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Forechecking Technique

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Old
05-05-2008, 12:45 PM
  #1
32leaguer
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Forechecking Technique

Hey there guys,

Okay, as a forward (men's league) who is trying to forecheck, I often find myself approaching someone from the opposition's team who has started with the puck behind their own net and, as such, is coming through the neutral zone with a full head of steam. We're almost heading straight at each other and it doesn't take much for him to deke me out. So, obviously I just try to get in the way, swipe at the puck, etc., but feel like a goofball when the opposing player (often) zips by.

I know you're supposed to 'angle' people to the outside rather than take them straight on, but when someone's coming straight up the middle of the neutral zone, what are the smart plays and goals you are trying to accomplish - slow him down at least a bit (i.e., yeah, you're not likely to stop him, just slow him down), turn and chase him down (but, you lose a step going from towards the opposition then turning around, never take him head on - just start skating back towards your own end, etc., etc..Maybe my backward skating is just too slow (hard to keep up with straight on forward speed?)

Anyway, just looking for some pointers - it seems like I'm in a natural disadvantage in this kind of situation.....Thanks!

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05-05-2008, 12:58 PM
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deanosaur
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Head Coach will have some good **** on this topic.

but i can tell you this remember, inside-out. take way the inside and give them the outside let them have the perimeter all they want they SHOULDNT score from out there and take away the passing lanes, so basically angle them to the outside. remembering inside-out helps me all of the ice.

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05-05-2008, 01:03 PM
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tinyzombies
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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 01:18 PM.
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05-05-2008, 01:13 PM
  #4
Coco Fever
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Remember that your position (body) will always influence where the puck carrier will go. If he comes straight to the middle, cheat a bit on one side. Which side? Always try to bring the guy on your strong side. E.g.: I'm left-handed, so when the opponent comes straight to me, I'll cheat to my right so the puck carrier has no choice but to go to my left side...

I'd cheat to the right side holding my stick with my right hand only as wide as possible on the right side to give the puck carrier no choice but to try to deke me on my left side...

Not sure if you can picture all this...I hope so! But the bottom line; if he comes straight in the middle, cheat on your weak side and force him to go to your strong side...and use your stick!

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05-05-2008, 01:20 PM
  #5
tinyzombies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 32leaguer View Post
Hey there guys,

Okay, as a forward (men's league) who is trying to forecheck, I often find myself approaching someone from the opposition's team who has started with the puck behind their own net and, as such, is coming through the neutral zone with a full head of steam. We're almost heading straight at each other and it doesn't take much for him to deke me out. So, obviously I just try to get in the way, swipe at the puck, etc., but feel like a goofball when the opposing player (often) zips by.

I know you're supposed to 'angle' people to the outside rather than take them straight on, but when someone's coming straight up the middle of the neutral zone, what are the smart plays and goals you are trying to accomplish - slow him down at least a bit (i.e., yeah, you're not likely to stop him, just slow him down), turn and chase him down (but, you lose a step going from towards the opposition then turning around, never take him head on - just start skating back towards your own end, etc., etc..Maybe my backward skating is just too slow (hard to keep up with straight on forward speed?)

Anyway, just looking for some pointers - it seems like I'm in a natural disadvantage in this kind of situation.....Thanks!
Great advice from Coco. If the other team isn't respecting your forecheck and are skating right at you and they don't really have any dynamic players, you should be more aggressive on the forecheck and send two guys in there. Let him skate right at you - skate right at him and hit him/tie him up and let your second guy get the puck.

Don't just send two guys after him though, send one and let the second guy read the play and decide whether or not to help out or back off.

Again, you need everyone on the same page and the guys in the neutral zone have to provide support and take away the stretch pass.

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05-05-2008, 05:44 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 32leaguer View Post
Hey there guys,

Okay, as a forward (men's league) who is trying to forecheck, I often find myself approaching someone from the opposition's team who has started with the puck behind their own net and, as such, is coming through the neutral zone with a full head of steam. We're almost heading straight at each other and it doesn't take much for him to deke me out. So, obviously I just try to get in the way, swipe at the puck, etc., but feel like a goofball when the opposing player (often) zips by.

I know you're supposed to 'angle' people to the outside rather than take them straight on, but when someone's coming straight up the middle of the neutral zone, what are the smart plays and goals you are trying to accomplish - slow him down at least a bit (i.e., yeah, you're not likely to stop him, just slow him down), turn and chase him down (but, you lose a step going from towards the opposition then turning around, never take him head on - just start skating back towards your own end, etc., etc..Maybe my backward skating is just too slow (hard to keep up with straight on forward speed?)

Anyway, just looking for some pointers - it seems like I'm in a natural disadvantage in this kind of situation.....Thanks!
Wow, I guess I can write a book on this subject. However, most of the guys in this thread just about covered it. But, let me add just one thing for you to think about.

For me as a coach, forechecking systems are very vital to the success of the team. What I like to teach my players is not only forechecking (when the puck is in their defensing zone) but back checking is much more important. No that's not checking from behind. The term "Back checking" is what you do to regain control of the puck when the other team has broken it out of their defensive zone.

Ok, here's a question for you! How many defensemen are there on the your team when the other team has the puck? (jeperdy music here)

Yep...FIVE! Not two. It is everyones responsability to backcheck and regain control of the puck when the other team has it, not just the defense.

So what's a real good way to regain conrol of the puck if the other guys got it and you don't? Well besides backcheck?

Here's how you can really make life easy...

"TAKE SOMEBODY ON THE OTHER TEAM THAT"S COMING UP THE ICE!"

That means, instead of coming back up the ice empty handed, cover a man on the other team on the in side so you take him out of the play. Once you take him out, the guy with the puck will not pass to him. Then once the guy you are covering get to the blue line, and he starts to turn to straddle the blue line, you simply angle him across for the offside! It just that easy.

Hope this help!
Head coach

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05-09-2008, 03:04 PM
  #7
32leaguer
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Thanks for all the tips, guys.

Here's a related but random question - it seems like there are so many subtleties to the game of hockey (yeah, stating the obvious here) that there ought to be a "hockey player's bible" book of sorts, that just contains all the various subtleties and things that one might not have learned. For example, I'm 33 years old, playing in a men's league, didn't get the benefit of awesome and prolonged coaching growing up - I would love a book that just lays it all out there, skating, playmaking, forechecking, training, shooting, stickhandling - everything you need to know and more.

Does such a book or book/video combo exist?

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Old
05-09-2008, 03:06 PM
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The easiest ways to deke someone out in order:

1-skating toward the player
2-standing still
3--and how you should check an oncoming player--skating backwards, matching their speed

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05-11-2008, 04:58 PM
  #9
Hank Chinaski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 32leaguer View Post
Thanks for all the tips, guys.

Here's a related but random question - it seems like there are so many subtleties to the game of hockey (yeah, stating the obvious here) that there ought to be a "hockey player's bible" book of sorts, that just contains all the various subtleties and things that one might not have learned. For example, I'm 33 years old, playing in a men's league, didn't get the benefit of awesome and prolonged coaching growing up - I would love a book that just lays it all out there, skating, playmaking, forechecking, training, shooting, stickhandling - everything you need to know and more.

Does such a book or book/video combo exist?
As far as I'm concerned, you can't possibly go wrong by starting with The Hockey Handbook and The Complete Guide to Total Fitness by Lloyd Percival. Some of the stuff might be slightly outdated (I think they've tried to make in more current in the most recent edition), but even so, you simply cannot find a more comprehensive and easy to read book on the subjects you just mentioned.

I highly recommend it.

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05-12-2008, 12:07 PM
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32leaguer
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Thanks for the book recommendations! I'll check them out for sure.......

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05-12-2008, 01:04 PM
  #11
Bluelineswinships
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what i do when they com at me is skate as hard as i can at them take a route where you come in at some sort of angle and make your self look as big as possible i usually have my arms spread at feet wide and stick poke checking at the puck he has to make a quicker decision when you come at him and you visually block the passing lanes. its worked for me ive had tons of breakaways from defensemen who cant get rid of the puck

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Old
05-12-2008, 04:42 PM
  #12
Robo-Pope
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If your opponent is skating up-ice, you should not be moving toward him. You'll just take yourself straight out of the play.

Once their play starts moving vertically, you're a defenseman, not a forechecker.

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Old
05-15-2008, 01:15 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 32leaguer View Post
Hey there guys,

Okay, as a forward (men's league) who is trying to forecheck, I often find myself approaching someone from the opposition's team who has started with the puck behind their own net and, as such, is coming through the neutral zone with a full head of steam. We're almost heading straight at each other and it doesn't take much for him to deke me out. So, obviously I just try to get in the way, swipe at the puck, etc., but feel like a goofball when the opposing player (often) zips by.

I know you're supposed to 'angle' people to the outside rather than take them straight on, but when someone's coming straight up the middle of the neutral zone, what are the smart plays and goals you are trying to accomplish - slow him down at least a bit (i.e., yeah, you're not likely to stop him, just slow him down), turn and chase him down (but, you lose a step going from towards the opposition then turning around, never take him head on - just start skating back towards your own end, etc., etc..Maybe my backward skating is just too slow (hard to keep up with straight on forward speed?)

Anyway, just looking for some pointers - it seems like I'm in a natural disadvantage in this kind of situation.....Thanks!
I say you attempt to crush the guy so that he doesn't do it for the rest of the game...

I take no responsibility for you getting your butt kicked or any suspensions you may receive!

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