In the last Hockey Tactics 101, we talked about regrouping after the initial faceoff in the neutral zone. So what happens if the defensemen throws the puck up to the cycling winger in the neutral zone and the puck goes off his stick and a turn over happens in the neutral zone.

First let's look at this picture below.

Let say the defensemen on your team was passing the puck up to his right winger and the puck goes to the left winger on the other team. If the left winger on the other team has his sh** together, he should Pass the Puck back to his near defensemen.

Because we all teach our defensemen to pass "D to D" they likely hood is they will pass the puck "D to D". So rather then start and stop or standing still within the neutral zone, it's important for you to still do man coverage. However, while the puck is going from D to D, now is a good time to pick up speed and cross passing lane to help confuse things and make it difficult for the attacking defensemen to hit their mark with a pass.

To do this, the first thing your forward line need to see is where the puck started with the "D to D" pass. Notice that it started on the near boards and it was passed back to the near defensmen.

This means that the right winger moves over one lane towards the center and the centermen move one lane in the same direction towards the far wing. Because the puck is moving in that direction, those lane need to be covered first and fast. The best way to do this is with quick choppy crossover strides.

The far left winger now move across all passing lanes and pick up the left winger on the attacking line. Plus, this type of regrouping places all players in the inside of the coverage and forces the attacking wingers on the out side.

If the puck goes up the ice from the attacking team and they don't make this Tape to Tape pass and it becomes a turn over to your team within the neutral zone, then you start the regrouping process all over again. This time make sure that the pass goes tape to tape.

Let's look at this next picture.

Again if you take a look you will see that the pass was a turn over within the neutral zone. The first thing you need to do is get the puck back to your defense for that regroup and that "D to D" pass. Again notice the patterns of the wingers. Remember, it has everything to do with the direction of the "D to D" pass, and puck support. The far lane and the center lanes move over one lane in the direction of the D to D pass and the near lane drops down low and cycles out to the far lane on the weak side. Next Hockey 101- Gap Control with in the neutral zone.