How to create offence on even-person rushes (VIDEOS)

Greg Revak

Greg Revak is a Certified Level 4 USA Hockey Coach. Greg coaches with the University of Akron and University School (Ohio). You can find him on Twitter @CoachRevak. or sign up for his Hockey IQ Newsletter.
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Divide and conquer.
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Creating offence off the rush is a major piece of a team’s attack. During the season at the NHL level, rush chances make up about 30% of scoring chances. 

Most teams practice and are familiar with odd-person rushes, but struggle with even-person rushes. Let’s dive deeper into the ways to create offence off of even-person rushes. 

“Divide et impera” – Julius Caesar

Divide and rule or divide and conquer is credited to Phillip II of Macedon. His son learned from him and went on to become Alexander the Great. Later on Julius Caesar and Napoleon both went on to utilize the tactic with great effect. 

The goal is to create a numerical advantage and overwhelm the defenders one at a time. Players seek to create a 2v1 against a defender rather than play two one-on-one matchups.

Majority of defences and players play rush chances in zone coverage (shown as the blue bubble below). Offensively we want to attack those assumptions by either swapping positions or attacking the space vertically (end wall to end wall) instead of horizontally (across the ice, side board to side board).

Typically even-person rushes are simply two one-on-one matchups:

Visualizing an even-person rush when dividing and conquering:

Two specifics we are going to focus on:

  1. Cross and drop – The players swap positions and attempt to create confusion in coverage.
  2. Overload – The players choose a side and attack vertically together. 

Divide and conquer . . .

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