Dreger: Rule change contributes to jump in PP scoring

Darren Dreger
10/16/2008 9:39:35 PM
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Power play goals have jumped 13% compared to this point last season.  Through 48 games, NHL teams have combined to score 89 goals, ten more than were scored over the same span in 2007.

A rule change specific to face-offs has contributed to this jump.

Rule 76, which governs face-offs, has been amended and although it has exceptions, it states, following a penalty call, the face-off shall take place in the offending teams end.

The best examples of how this rule change has had immediate impact comes from this past Wednesday night.

In the Montreal-Boston game, just prior to the Canadiens first goal, Bruins' defenceman Dennis Wideman received a penalty for cross-checking. The call wasn't made until Bruins forward Vladimir Sobotka gained control of the puck in the offensive zone.

Because of the amended rule, the face-off took place in Boston's end and quickly resulted in an Alex Kovalev goal to give Montreal a 1-0 lead.

A similar play happened in the Nashville-Dallas game.  The Stars took advantage of the face-off following Predators rookie Patric Hornqvist's holding penalty. Dallas immediately gained possession and Stephane Robidas opened the scoring on the power play.

Players and coaches alike are applauding this rule change and the NHL's Hockey Operations department welcomes the offence and intends on presenting a video collection of its effectiveness to the leagues general managers at next weeks GM meetings in Chicago.

Darren Dreger

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