How are players reacting to the new rule changes in the National Hockey League? Here’s a thought from veteran defenseman Scott Niedermayer.
“The biggest thing is wondering how they are going to call the penalties,” said Niedermayer. “And if they can continue with it all year. We saw a video a couple of days ago. If they call it that way, it’s going to make a big difference. I think the defensive player had the advantage in the past. If you get beat, you could still get a stick on them or maybe a glove on them. It really would give an advantage to the defensive player. With the way they want to call it now, if a player is ahead of you, you can’t check them. It’s going to make it a lot tougher for defensive players and it should lead to more exciting hockey. That’s the biggest change. We are just going to have to see how it goes.”
The NHL is going to use the shootout in all pre-season games. As part of the implementation process and as a special preview for the fans, a shootout will be conducted at the end of ALL pre-season games-regardless of the score at the end of regulation time or overtime.
At the conclusion of the pre-season schedule, which gets underway on Friday, the League will issue the final shootout guidelines that will be in effect during the regular season.
Following the conclusion of regulation time or overtime there will be a two-minute break, during which the ice resurfacing machine will conduct a “dry cut,” making approximately four passes down the center of the ice surface between the goals but adding no water to the surface.
Each team will be given three shots unless the outcome is determined earlier in the shootout. A team will be deemed to have won the shootout if its total of shootout goals is greater than its opponent can attain in the number of rounds remaining.
If the score remains tied after each team has taken three shots, the shootout will proceed to a “sudden death” format.
In today’s scrimmage between the black and white team, the goal scorers were Joffrey Lupul, Ryan Getzlaf, Andy McDonald, Shane O’Brien (penalty shot), Curtis Glencross and Corey Perry.
“It was the scrappiest day of training camp,” said Randy Carlyle, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Head Coach. “The frustration level seemed to come out more today. I think the guys are getting tired of playing against one another. You always factor that in when you look at why things happen like they did today.”
Defenseman Jordan Smith and forward Geoff Peters dropped the gloves during the second half of the scrimmage. Today’s scrimmage was the most physical of the camp so far.
“From a coaching perspective, you analyze it and move on,” added Carlyle. “My message was that we have another level to go to. Our execution has to be better than it was in today’s scrimmage. And we better take notice to the new rules. There’s a change taking place and we better be prepared to acknowledge that and make some changes. We will re-introduce that tape we have shown them once already. We’ll make sure we have a much more in depth conversation about it.”
As far as the scrappiness during the scrimmage is concerned, a lot of it is healthy competition for jobs.
“When you have fifty guys competing and put into these situations of having a morning skate and the scrimmage, that’s always going to be expected,” says Carlyle. “It’s an emotional game. It’s played on emotion and frustration is part of it.”
The execution part of the scrimmage was something the Ducks will focus on during Friday’s skate and scrimmage.
“There wasn’t enough of the good first pass, the good breakout, those kinds of things,” mentioned Carlyle. “We are trying to develop that workman like attitude. It’s not anything other than what’s expected. You are not doing us any big favors by working hard. I don’t care. That’s expected. Don’t look upon that as an accomplishment.”
The Mighty Ducks open up their pre-season schedule in Los Angeles on Saturday night.