Two on Two
Two on Two
Excerpt From: Hockey Plays and Strategies
In all two-on-two situations, the defenseman should make sure they have a tight gap. Without a tight gap, it is difficult to play the two on two properly. In order to maintain a tight gap defense should be constantly reminded to “gap up” which means to move up with the play and tighten up on the rush. Keep two stick lengths as a reference point – any further back and the defense will lose the ability to move back at the same speed as the rush. There are two ways to play a two on two, and both have their strengths and weaknesses.
The first is for D1 to stay with the puck carrier regardless of what he does. If the puck carrier drives, delays or cuts to the middle, then D1 stays with him and D2 keeps position on the other player. The strength in playing it this way is that there is no confusion as to who has whom, while the weakness is that sometimes the offensive team can lose coverage, especially when the puck carrier crosses with the second offensive player (figure 8.4a).
The other way to play a two on two is for D1 to take the puck carrier on the drive or delay but when the puck carrier crosses the ice, D1 leaves him for D2 to play. Now D1 picks up the other player (figure 8.4b). The disadvantage here is that D2 might not be in a strong position to pick up F1, and D2 might miss coverage on F2 in the exchange. The advantage is that both Ds always stay in good mid-ice position and know that they have their own side of the ice to cover.
Figure 8.4(a) In a two on two, one option is for D1 to stay with the puck carrier no matter what. (b) In a two on two, a second option is for D1 to leave the puck carrier for O2.
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