System Sheets: OZ Forecheck Variations
ZSC Lions (NL) & Chicago Steel (USHL)
One reason I love hockey is that there are often several ways to solve the same tactical problem.
In open play (i.e. at 5v5 and not off a faceoff loss), the 1-2-2 offensive-zone forecheck is the standard for the majority of high-level teams. Yet that scheme can be found in distinct flavors across the world.
Zurich ZSC Lions (Swiss National League)
The Lions, the NL’s best possession team per NLiceData, controls over 58% of expected goals at 5v5 thanks in part to its extremely wide OZ forecheck.
Off a dump-in, Zurich skaters sprint down to take away both rim passes, then converge on the puck if F1 is able to make a stop.
In the clip below, ZSC’s F1 (in white) is first on the puck. F2 and F3 start on the wall, then land on their spots once the puck is immobilized.
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