February 26, 2010, Newsletter Issue #144: Back checking through the hockey neutral zone

Tip of the Week

A big change in hockey today is that the first back checking forward chases the puck carrier and creates back pressure through the neutral zone. In the old days this player would cover the wide offensive wing.

If the backchecker has a checking angle he/she finishes the check. If the attacker is too far ahead then he will cover a supporting forward.

The wide defender covers the attacker in the wide lane. The last two players coming back must beat the attacking defensemen up the ice and if possible get back quickly to outnumber the attackers by the red or defensive blue line.

The coverage varies depending on the forchecking system being used by their hockey team.

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