May 6, 2009

Broken Sticks

Kelly Hrudey made some interesting comments about broken sticks and penalty killing. Personally I've never seen a player go to the bench for a new stick (or replacement player as seen in the video below), however a compelling argument could be made for taking such action. Not sure at this point how aggressive player's could be at getting a new stick, but certainly players have to at least be thinking about this as an option. In both of the goals you will see below you will notice that without a stick the player is pretty much useless or even worse an impediment to the goalie's vision.

The next day I had a deja vu as I watched a Canucks penalty killers stick break. He tried to stop passes and block shots, but the whole time he was without a stick I couldn't help but remember what Hrudey had said and couldn't help but think: they're going to score.

Now, in terms of penalty killing, leaving your team 5 on 3 for 10-15 seconds to replace a stick, could be killer as it is so easy to score on a 5 on 3: ~24 goals/hour. So a 15 second 5 on 3 is equivalent to about 0.1 goals against (or about 0.075 extra goals over regular PP). Of course the question I cannot answer is how often teams score when their opponent has a broken stick.

Finally, it was never brought up, but why don't these players have unbreakable sticks just for killing penalties? It's not like these players need a stick that can shoot the puck really well


Dirk Hoag said...

That last question there is the critical one, and I've wondered about that myself!

Jeff J said...

The 10-15 seconds is probably an overestimate, at least in the 1st and 3rd periods. Given the buffer zone for changes on the fly, it might make sense to have the player scramble off and have another killer jump on when he's 10' from the bench.

As for the dedicated PK stick, the players would probably resist it. Simpler is better. A second stick would mean switching to a different "feel" mid-game. Not saying that I disagree with the concept, rather that's how the parties involved might rationalize it.

Plus, you just know the first time a guy hucks it over the glass for a delay of game penalty it's the PK stick that will get the blame.

Yossi Zimilover said...

i think that the pk guy shood get a new stick cuz having 10-15 seconds of a 5 on 3 is bttr then half the powerplay a 5 on 3 becuasue a guy without a stick cant do anything