Have you heard the term forecheck backcheck paycheck and wondered what those words mean in terms of hockey? If so you are not alone this popular phrase from the Canadian Television show Letterkenny has become extremely popular leaving many new hockey fans confused.
To understand this term you must first know that each of these words has totally different meanings. A forecheck is when a player puts pressure on the opponent in the offensive zone in hopes of getting a turnover.
A backcheck refers to hustling back to the defensive zone once the other team gets possession of the puck. And of course, a paycheck is simply the money you will receive for your work.
In short, this term means to hustle in the offensive zone, get back on defense, and get paid. It is essentially a funny piece of hockey slang that essentially translates to play hard and you will get paid.
Forechecking as we stated earlier occurs when a team pressures their opponents in the offensive zone in order to cause a turnover. Forechecking is something all hockey teams should do though the frequency in which you forecheck will vary from team to team.
Forechecking only occurs when a team is applying pressure in the other team’s zone. If you are applying pressure near your own net you are simply playing defense.
Forechecking is a major part of dumping and chasing. As players will shoot the puck into the opponent’s end and then all forwards will forecheck in an attempt to force a takeaway.
Forechecking is a very draining process and requires a lot of energy from the players trying to get the puck. This is why good forechecking is used as a sign that a player is hustling and playing hard.
Back checking on the other hand happens on the opposite side of the rink near a player’s own net. Back checking typically occurs after a team turns the puck over in the offensive zone.
As the team that received the turnover starts to head towards your net it is up to the forwards to back check that same direction.
In most cases, a back checker is going to be assigned to a certain player. In most cases, the center will cover the opposing teams center, the right winger will cover the opposing teams left winger, and the backchecking left winger will cover the other teams right winger.
If one of the forwards fails to backcheck and cover their man there will be an unmarked player entering your defensive zone. A failed back check after a turnover is a common reason hockey teams score goals on counterattacks.
If a player is especially proficient at backchecking he or she can be referred to as a two-way player. This is a player that excels at both the offensive and defensive aspects of the game.