There are fewer things that make a goaltender feel more helpless than facing a two-man breakaway. Bridgeport Sound Tigers goaltender David Leggio – having seen his share of odd-man breakaways – wasn’t going to sit idly by. No, he was going to take action, and brilliantly so.
Rather than have two shooters come in and toy with him, as the Montreal Canadiens did with Vezina-winning netminder Henrik Lundqvist last week, Leggio ruined their fun. The veteran minor-leaguer brought the Springfield Falcons’ two-man breakaway to a stop by shoving his net off its moorings.
“Last year I let in a couple 2-on-0 goals. In my career I’ve probably faced five and maybe stopped two,” Leggio told the Democrat & Chronicle. “I said if I get myself in the circumstance again, I’d try my odds against one instead of two.”
Watch as Leggio even makes the right call – pointing to center ice for the penalty shot. Referees Kendrick Nicholson and Dean Morton are happy to oblige. Per AHL Rule 63.5, they send Springfield’s Dana Tyrell to center ice for the penalty shot. Facing only one shooter, Leggio makes the stop. The calculated risk pays off.
Leggio runs a goaltending school in upstate New York. Apparently, this – and other tricks – are part of their curriculum.
We teach knocking off nets in the summer at Leggio Goaltending, along with fixing a "broke" strap and patching bad ice when your tired
— Leggio Goaltending (@LeggioGoaltend) November 3, 2014
Would it work in the NHL? Possibly. NHL players have done this – in a much less obvious manner – in other situations. The NHL Rule Book mirrors the AHL’s rule on intentionally displacing the net:
Rule 63 – Delaying the Game
63.5 Penalty Shot – If the goal post is deliberately displaced by a goalkeeper or player during the course of a “breakaway,” a penalty shot will be awarded to the non-offending team, which shot shall be taken by the player last in possession of the puck.
Leggio’s intentional penalty was premeditated and calculated. Facing a two-man breakaway, forcing a penalty shot is undoubtedly the better option. Great move by Leggio to pull this one out. We’ll see if any other netminders follow suit.
For his next tough situation, watch for Leggio to break out his Pierre McGuire impression…