Time and tide wait for no man. Neither do faceoffs.
Winnipeg Jets center Alex Burmistrov was taking his time getting to the faceoff dot, skating in circles and adjusting his equipment. Linesman Greg Devorski decided he’d had enough with the delays and dropped the puck.
This situation – along with the one-sided faceoff – is covered in Rule 76:
As soon as the line change procedure has been completed by the Referee and he lowers his hand to indicate no further changes, the Linesman conducting the face-off shall blow his whistle. This will signal to both teams that they have no more than five (5) seconds to line up for the ensuing face-off.
If a center is not at the designated face-off area once the five (5) second time limit has elapsed, the Linesman will drop the puck immediately. If the center is back from the face-off spot, is “quarterbacking” or refuses to come into the face-off area when instructed to do so by the Linesman, or the center is simply slow getting to the face-off spot when the five (5) seconds has elapsed, the puck shall be dropped.
While this situation doesn’t happen often, it has happened before.
Back in 2011, the Pittsburgh Penguins center Joe Vitale was slow getting to the dot. The puck was dropped and immediately corralled by Florida’s Stephen Weiss. The Panthers charged up ice and scored to cut the Pens’ lead to one goal.
Centers, take note. Don’t dawdle on your way to the dot.