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Too Many Men Penalties

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The Wings' penalty in last night's game got me thinking about this. I'm not sure why, but this year, I have noticed this incident happen several times (10-20 times in various games, probably more). The situation is this:

- player is leaving the ice on a change, player jumps on the ice to replace him and the puck comes up along the boards and hits the skates of the player leaving the ice.

Of all the times I have seen this happen (which is a lot - see above), there has NEVER been a penalty called. The penalties I have seen called happen when the player coming on plays the puck or otherwise gets involved with the play before the player leaving gets off the ice. While this goes against my understanding of the rule and the rule I have been used to playing with, I just figured that's the way it worked in the NHL (even though, when that happens, it sometimes takes away great scoring chances....doesn't seem fair).

So, last night we see Filpulla (I think) go to make a change and then decide to turn and make a play on the puck. Clearly, this is a penalty, but I got to thinking....why is this different than the scenario I just described above (other than intent)?

I checked the rule and here is part of 74.1:

If in the course of making a substitution, either the player entering

the game or the player retiring from the ice surface plays the puck with

his stick, skates or hands or who checks or makes any physical

contact with an opposing player while either the player entering the

game or the retiring player is actually on the ice, then the infraction of

too many men on the ice will be called.

Edit: Something strange happened there before I could finish my thought (must have hit a wrong button)....anyway, does anyone have a similar memory to me and have difficulty figuring out why they don't call the first example as a penalty. Based on the rule, it clearly should be.

Edited by toby91_ca

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I think the league got embarrassed after last year's game 3 of the SCF, where the Pens had too many men on the ice for 45 seconds and nothing was called.

I think you missed my point. I wasn't questionning why more calls are being made this year and the Pittsburgh example doesn't really fit my fact patter anyway, that's simply too many guys on the ice....not involving a line change scenario.

My question was really why a certain fact pattern (guy leaving ice touches puck) doesn't get called as a penalty, while it should.

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Coming from a refs standpoint, I can tell you that this kind of thing happens every now and again. There are some players that will look for a change and try to throw the puck up to the players bench to get someone to play it or for it to go off a skate. It happens in USA hockey and it happens in the NHL. That being said, the rule is correct. You don't see it called all the time if it goes off a skate of someone jumping on the ice while the other guy is coming off. At the same time though, if it hits a skate and redirects to one of their own players, then it is called almost every time.

This is a risk you take if you happen to change while the other player is still on the ice. Some coaches like to stretch things a bit and send someone out while the player is about 3-4 strides away from coming back. Others don't cut it as close.

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