Excerpt From: Hockey Plays and Strategies
The difference between counter and regroups is that counters require speed while regroups are more controlled. A team wants to counter quickly when the opponent isn’t set up in a neutral zone forecheck. Quick counters often result in odd-man rushes. When the turnover happens, the opposition is moving aggressively on the attack and often cannot react quickly enough to get back. This is why it is important to practice counters with speed. When a team counters, the intent is to catch the opponent moving toward the offensive zone and then quickly pass the puck up to the forwards and hopefully get an odd-man rush. If this happens 50 percent of the time, then your team would be considered a very good transition team. The other 50 percent of the time the pass is confronted by pressure, and the puck carrier must look for a play or dump the puck into the offensive zone.
Practice repetition will help teach defensemen to read the forecheck and then pick the appropriate option. There are times when players counter quickly but then the puck carrier is confronted or runs out of space to carry the puck, which leaves the player with only two options: either dump the puck in or chip behind pressure.
Continue Reading: Dump-Ins