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Boudreau says ice it anyway

Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 11:31 AM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / The Research Project

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The Research Project
Boudreau says ice it anyway
As soon as the penalty was called on the opposing team with 1:29 left in the second period, Dan Bylsma screamed for his goalie and told him to come to the bench.

It certainly seemed like odd timing to pull the goalie.

However, considering the shorthanded team was not allowed to legally ice the puck in the first session of RDO Camp on Wednesday, Bylsma had to figure the penalty killers wouldn't be shooting the puck the length of the ice just to get it out of the zone. Provided they weren't accurate enough to shoot it into the empty net, all icing the puck would do is create a faceoff back in their defensive zone.

So by pulling his goalie Bylsma created a 6-on-4 advantage. It was a calculated risk considering the rule change being tested, but it backfired when the shorthanded team got the puck out of the zone and created a 2-on-1 against a helpless defenseman with no goaltender behind him.

Washington coach Bruce Boudreau, who was sitting in the stands here watching it all unfold, understood Bylsma's tactic and didn't mind the risk, but if he were coaching the shorthanded team he would have told them to fire the puck down the ice regardless of the potential for icing being called and the ensuing faceoff coming back into his defensive zone.

"I'm going to try for the free goal," Boudreau told NHL.com. "Shoot it down and take your chances."

While acknowledging a rule change that would eliminate the shorthanded team from legally icing the puck "would be quite an advantage for the power-play team," Boudreau also said it would be hard to effectively kill a penalty without clearing the puck out of the zone.

Even though the shorthanded team would not be allowed to make a line change if they're called for icing, he feels the break between the whistle and the ensuing faceoff is long enough to give the players on the ice a breather.

"When you're under pressure and you're shorthanded, I don't think it will stop you from icing the puck because you've got to get it out of the zone," Boudreau said. "That's the No. 1 thing."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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