last change advantage in hockey

What Is The Last Change Advantage In Hockey?

The line changes in hockey are very vital to every team. Unlike in other sports, line changes do not wait for the puck to go out of play. So, what is the last change advantage in hockey? And when does this rule come into play?

During a hockey game, the changes happen in a particular order, with one team making substitutions before the other.

However, the last line change gives the home team the chance to make the final changes after the opposition. This rule would enable them to pick a team to match their opponent in the attacking or defensive zone. 

In this article, I will discuss some of the important aspects of the last line change in a hockey game. 

What is the Last change advantage in hockey

In hockey, the last change advantage is the ability for the home team to choose which players are on the ice during specific situations, such as when the away team pulls their goalie for an extra attacker.

Think of it like this: if you’re playing a pickup basketball game, you can pick your team and probably stack it with all-stars. The other team won’t be able to do anything about it. That’s basically what’s happening in hockey as well.

The main benefit of the last-change advantage is that it allows a coach to tailor their strategy depending on who is on the ice.

When the home team is on offense, they are allowed to change the players on the ice in between each stoppage of play. The away team must remain as-is until after a stoppage. Teams usually use this time to substitute their best offensive players or a powerplay unit if they have been awarded a penalty.

The home team can also use this time to make substitutions while playing defense if they are short-handed because they were penalized. It is not uncommon for teams to pull their goalie and try to create more offense by having six skaters on the ice instead of five.

When this happens, the home team will often send out their best defensive forwards as well as their best defensemen so that they can counteract what the away team is trying to do.

For the last change advantage to be effective, coaches need to be able to anticipate what types of plays are coming up so that they can respond appropriately with either personnel changes or by changing up their game plan entirely

When Does The Last Change Happen In Hockey?

This last change could happen when the team has possession of the puck in the offensive zone, and it typically happens after faceoffs because that’s when teams switch from attacking to defending and vice versa. 

Hockey teams can change players after the stoppage of play or while the play is still happening. But the puck has to be in a safer position for the team making the change.

When one team sends out its players onto the ice for an offensive attack, the other team does not have a chance to sub any players before play starts again. The only time that this isn’t true is during an icing or offside call, where both teams can make changes.

There haven’t been many rule changes surrounding line changes; they have been pretty straightforward in recent years.

Read Also; How do hockey players know when to change?

Is The Last Change Important In Hockey?

The last change in hockey is important because it allows coaches to control who is on the ice at any given time. It allows a coach to put out the line he feels is best suited to stop the other team’s line. 

It also gives him a chance to rest one of his players or have his top offensive line go head-to-head against the other team’s top defensive pairing. Additionally, some teams may choose to use this change strategically, for example, by sending their fourth line out to create a more exhausting shift for the opposing team’s first-liners.

How Can The Last Change Protect Players?

The last change can benefit a team by protecting players who have been injured in the past or are susceptible to getting hurt. It can also protect players from having to face another more experienced player.

For example, if a team has an aggressive player with a history of injuring players on the other team, that player may be sent out to face one of their rivals. The last change can prevent this player from ever seeing the ice, as they can be kept off the ice by switching lines. 

As another example, if a team wants to ensure that their star player is always matched up against an opposing star player, they can ensure that it happens every time through line changes.

Another way the last change protects players is by giving them less fatigue and more energy for other important parts of the game, such as penalty kills and power plays. 

For example, if Team A’s top center faces Team B’s top center in overtime and gets tired quickly due to being on the ice for several minutes straight without rest, he could play below his strength (and thus prone to making mistakes). 

With the last change, however, neither team’s center will experience any fatigue since he will only be playing against his equal, so there won’t be any need for energy management during that period – thus increasing each individual’s chances at scoring while also keeping emotions in check!

Does The Last Change Decide The Winner In A Hockey Game?

Does the last change decide the winner in a hockey game? No. It does not, but it does give a team a fair advantage. The players on the ice usually have more of an impact on the outcome of a hockey game than any coach or manager ever can. 

There are also many ways for coaches to gain an advantage, even when they don’t have the last chance. 

For example, if you’re a coach and your opponent is replacing his goalie after every goal, that’s giving you an advantage because it tells you that your opponent doesn’t trust his starting goalie to stop your offensive onslaught. 

But if your opponents are changing their goalie so frequently that it becomes a pattern, you should be getting scoring chances from odd-man rushes whenever there’s a change in goaltenders—and eventually, one or two will go in for you!


So, there you go! You need to know about the last change in an ice hockey game. It is a rule that brings a crucial moment for the home team to try and win a game. The line changes also give the home team a chance to rest players, and bring on fresh legs to match their opponent. 

Teams can also make sure that they make strategic changes that allow them to attack or defend their opponent’s players during the same period. 

I believe you now know what the last change advantage in hockey is and when its importance to the game. 

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