Evidence of the National Hockey League’s new rules came in the pre-season, giving coaches everywhere a window into how they can approach the changes in the most advantageous way to their teams.
The Detroit Red Wings were playing the Toronto Maple Leafs in their exhibition finale and had been scored on by right-winger William Nylander to go ahead 3-0. Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill challenged the goal for offside but, instead, the goal was upheld and Detroit was given a bench minor for the unsuccessful challenge.
The new rule allows coaches to initiate challenges at any time in-game, rather than only if the team has a timeout remaining. In the past, teams would lose the timeout if their challenges were unsuccessful. Now, teams have “escalating” consequences starting with a minor penalty for delay of game.
Any unsuccessful challenge after receives double minors assessed to the team.
In this game and specific example, Detroit had lost the challenge — the goal stood — and was put on the penalty kill. And what happens next?