I'm presuming you are talking about the PS2 version of NHL 2002 and by protection you mean the EA media check?
The backup can be fixed to work using NEO Key or normal swap on NEO 2 / 2.2 by using the ADR Patcher 0.3 Patch Kit and using the GENERIC routine over your Backup Image file such as CDR Win BIN file etc.
You can get the files you need from Adrenalin UK Headquarters
There is a full CDR Win Tutorial for download plus a link to the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 DEMO fix in our the ADR Forums.
If you have any problems patching with our ADR Patcher then please use our own ADR Forums for support, we don't have time to go round every major site offering advice etc.