The Los Angeles Kings employed a bit of gamesmanship prior to the game-deciding shootout in Tuesday night’s match. With the score even at 3 and both teams failing to convert in round one of the post-game skills competition, Kings head coach Darryl Sutter called the officials over to the bench to address an issue. One he hoped might rattle his opposition.
The problem? Edmonton goaltender Ben Scrivens was playing with an illegally colored knob on his goal stick.
Sutter knows the NHL rulebook, especially Rule 10.2, which says:
10.2 Goalkeeper’s Stick – In the case of a goalkeeper’s stick, there shall be a knob of white tape or some other protective material approved by the League. This knob must not be less than one-half inch (1/2”) thick at the top of the shaft. Failure to comply with this provision of the rule will result in the goalkeeper’s stick being deemed unfit for play. The goalkeeper’s stick must be changed without the application of a minor penalty.
Why not call it out earlier? Like the rule says, the goaltender can exchange his stick without penalty. There’s no in-game benefit like a power play. If it’s not affecting your team, let it go.
In the shootout, though, anything to shake a goaltender is worth a shot.
This time, though, it didn’t work. Scrivens stopped ’em all en route to Edmonton’s first shootout victory of the season.
(h/t to @SpikeC20 for the tip)