Odd Player Rush
A frequent defensive situation is the odd player rush where the offense has broken down and attackers break back across the neutral zone and they outnumber the defense. The simplest example of this is the two on one. In this play, two offensive players (brown W and C) break in on one defender (Green D.)
The key for the D is to remember to keep an equal distance between the attackers with a bias toward the player without the puck. The reason for this is that a competent goalie can usually stop a shot from a distance if they can see the puck. However, if the D stays too close to the attacker with the puck they can make a quick pass to their teammate and the D will be unable to stop a rush to the net and a close in shot. If the play is a three on two the same principles apply in that the defenders should take two of the attackers and the goalie needs to handle the shot.
In the play illustrated in the animation, the D keeps appropriate distance with a bias toward the player without the puck. The D manages this even though attackers execute a criss cross inside the blue line. By keeping good position the D forces the attacker with puck onto the side of the rink for a shot at a poor angle.
Attend Lifetime Hockey’s schools in Minnesota and really improve your play. Click here and find out more.