Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cheater!: Too Many Men on the Ice

Ok, so I'm a day or two late on this one, but as my 8th grade English teacher used to say: "Better Never than Late."  With that in mind, lets look into the frenzy that occurred over the game winning goal by the Sharks over the Red Wings.  The most important part of this rule is not the "what it prohibits" but "how to exploit it."

Photo via Nightmare on Helm Street.

Yes, there are seven Sharks' skaters on the ice in the photo.  Foul! Foul! Right?  No.

The Rule:

There is a five foot rule exception According to Rule 74:

Too Many Men on the Ice - Players and goalkeepers may be changed at any time during the play from the players’ bench provided that the player or players leaving the ice shall be within five feet (5') of his players’ bench and out of the play before the change is made. Refer also to Rule 71 – Premature Substitution. At the discretion of the on-ice officials, should a substituting player come onto the ice before his teammate is within the five foot (5’) limit of the players’ bench (and therefore clearly causing his team to have too many players on the ice), then a bench minor penalty may be assessed.

Exploiting the Rule:

The Benches are 24 feet long.  Players get 5 feet of buffer.  Thats 29 feet a the team can gain, for example on a break away.  Take this example from the Preds' playoff win over Chicago.  If the Chicago player had been at the top of the screen (i.e. near the bench) instead of at the top, a lot of ground could have been made up on this play, maybe even potentially broken up.

Sure, this rule isn't exploited very often, Its hard to plan, as all of the variables have to be exactly right: the timing, player positioning, skating full speed may be quicker than accelerating.  Regardless it is still a trick thats good to have in your back pocket.

I will say that the trick is more valuable in beer league games where, well... lets just say that the game isn't quite NHL speed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Help Players of Local Hockey Community Affected by the Flood

As some of you may know, there is a thriving beer league adult hockey league in Nashville at both the Sportsplex and at A-Game in Franklin.  I joined about a year ago, and it was the best decision I've ever made.  The worst rec league game is better than almost any Preds game... and you know how much I love the Preds.  The best part, though, is that the people are some of the best people you will ever meet.  And they need your help.

Several members of the league have been hard hit, as have everyone.  If you have some free time tomorrow, and would like to help out a fellow hockey fanatic, please do.  According to Centennial Sportsplex:

The Boone Trace subdivision in Bellvue was one of the areas hit hard by flooding. It is also home to several members of the area hockey community. They are looking for volunteers to help clean up after the flood tomorrow (5/5). 

If you are interested, please send me an email at, and I will be sure to get you in touch with the people who can get you more specific information tomorrow.

Volunteering for the Flood

Nashville, Please sign up for the Hands on Nashville Volunteer Flood Response.

In the near future I am hoping to organize a Pred Nation centric team of volunteers. In the mean time, please sign up for Hands On Nashville.