Neutral Zone Regroup
The Neutral Zone Regroup is a useful play when you are attacking your opponent’s defensive zone and you are stopped at the blue line. This can happen because of a bad pass or inadequate speed coming into the zone (or even a good play by the D!) This play has many variations but the essential elements are;
- A pass from the forwards back to their defense,
- Criss crossing of the forwards in the neutral zone
- A crisp pass from the defense back to a forward as they cross the blue line
The play illustrated below begins with the right wing attacking across the neutral zone. They are stopped at the blue line and therefore pass back to the right D. The right wing and center then circle and criss cross in the neutral zone. The D then passes back to the center crossing the blue line. (This is one of the more complex plays we have provided – so it useful to watch the animation a number of times to follow the path of each player)
One advantages of the neutral zone regroup is that it changes the direction and pace of the attack quickly. In addition, it allow the wings to pick up speed before entering the attacking zone. Players must all have good passing skills – particularly the D. A common problem in beginning and intermediate hockey is a reluctance by defensive players to take the puck “back.” Remember – you will have more control and passing lanes if you come back to the neutral before you begin your attack.
You can watch these plays on your computer or you can learn about them on the ice. Attend Lifetime Hockey’s schools in Minnesota and really improve your play. Click here and find out more.