Breaking the 1-2-2 and Trap Forecheck

The 1-2-2, otherwise known as a "trap", can be a tough forechecking system to break. Here is Denis Savard explaining how to break this forecheck.

Hi, this is Denis Savard here with Ice Hockey Systems. We’re going to talk about breaking the trap or breaking the 1-2-2, whatever language you guys use; against a 1-2-2, against a trap. Here’s what I’d like to see once you play a hockey game. First and foremost, let’s have the team with the puck our team with the puck offensively. We’re going to have first of all our F1 that’s going to come back. And when I say F1, I know the levels, that kids are young. We’d like to use center, you play center. Left winger, left winger or you’re right winger. But coming out of your own end against their forecheck, whether it’s the first guy coming out of the zone has to be the first option right away. I believe whether it’s a winger or a center, he has to be the first option. Second guy coming out of your end, you have to come out and fill the middle of the ice. And the third guy, obviously last guy coming out, you’re coming in and filling the weak side of the ice. So let’s work on that as much as possible. It might be difficult with young players. You could keep them on their wings, left wing and left side, etc etc, right wing and right wing, and that’s okay. So how we beat this first of all is you want to make sure that our center gets really low, okay. First and foremost, he’s got a miracle puck. Shut him in. Wherever the puck is at, you have to mirror to start the successful breaking the trap or breaking the 1-2-2. What you’re going to see is a pass that’s made this -- from D to D. Again, set him in, you’re coming and supporting and coming down low. And the same thing with our winger down here. You’ve come, you’ve opened up, and obviously you’ve come down low yourself. And same with this guy here. He’s come up. He hooked, it’s not open. You came nice and low, they opened up. So once we attack the opponents, we’re going to come up with lots of speed. If everybody is standing still and not moving, once the puck is released to you guys forwards up front, then you’re in trouble. So we want to make sure that we keep our feet moving and we come nice and low, nice and deep, and we come up and attack them offensively.

Now, what you’re going to see in a lot of situation, that defensemen started to skate. We have our center that’s over in this area here. We’ve got a winger that moves in this area here, they’re swinging out. We moved up a little bit, okay. The next thing I’d like to see is two options. Okay. The first option is if it’s D to D and you started to move, and the weak side of the ice will be wide open for you. Okay. The only problem with that right now is this guy is alone and I’m going to show you why he’s not alone. You guys might be thinking he’s alone but he’s not because of our rotation that we’re doing here in the neutral zone offensively, you’ll see that it will allow support pretty quick.

Okay. So as the puck is moved D to D and when you have had stretched out in this area here, okay, we want to make sure we stretch out their defensive position. Okay. If the guy walks and started to move the puck across ice, our winger now is going to come and support this guy because our center will fill your lane. So we want to make sure that every lane is filled. And as you saw here, once we’ve gone D to D and we started to walk up and we went across, our winger came down across the supporter winger. So wingers supporting wingers, then their center has come down the wall here to fill out the lane of the winger.

So right now we have movement, we got speed, and we also have puck possession. The other thing that you might see is once we go D to D, okay, and the rotation won’t change, it’d be the same thing, again, we want a nice low winger and one center to wield the puck. We want a winger to come down nice and low. We’ve gone D to D and we’re starting to walk. This defense we will underneath, puck will go back to this defenseman now. We’re going to end up with a D, okay, with the puck. And our guy has come really low. Our forward had came down in this area here. The same thing here. We’ve gone D to D, back to D to the weak side. Same thing happens here again. We have our weak side forward that came across to support our winger here and our center can continue the route again filling this lane. So it’s about movement, it’s about speed, it’s about puck possession. I think if you do this and work on this, you will be able to break the 122 and the trap. It’s something that you need to do if you want any kind of offense game in and game out.

Hopefully that helps you. Thanks for watching.

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