The penalty shot in ice hockey is a free shot on the net given to a player after another player interrupt or interferes with their scoring chance. Penalties usually come after a breakaway scoring chance and are given instead of power-play opportunities. Here is the complete guide about when penalty shots occur during a game, its history, and more!
Who Gives out a Penalty Shot During a Hockey Game?
A penalty shot is when a player is given a breakaway scoring opportunity. This usually means the puck is on the attacking team’s stick or the puck is on the attacking team’s stick, where the team can score easily without any interference from another player.
Examples of Penalty Shot Scenarios
If a player from the offending team tries to physically hurt or injure a player on the other team, a penalty shot can be awarded. For example, if a player from the non-offending team tries to spear or poke a player from the other team, a penalty shot can be awarded.
Referees tend to give most penalty shots that turn into breakaway chances in situations that could otherwise be handled by giving a minor penalty. That’s because most interference that stops breakaway chances are illegal infractions like putting the stick in someone’s skate, high sticking or hooking.
What about a Delayed Penalty?
In the NHL, there is a limit to how much time a team can be called for a power play. Each team has a time limit of three minutes (or one minute per delay) on the power play. Any power play that exceeds three minutes (or one minute per delay) starts with play against the clock.
While using the new feature to replay the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a foul, you will also be able to replay an instant replay by pressing the [Pause] button. Once the [Pause] button is pressed, the referee will be able to look up at the sky to indicate that they will pause the action for the instant replay.
Penalty Shot Statistics
If your goalie is on the ice and it is a penalty-kill situation, a penalty shot attempt has higher completion probability than a power play. But if the goalie is off the ice and in the box, a penalty shot attempt has a higher chance of being converted compared to a power play.
Penalty Shot Strategies
The defending player is usually closer to the defending player of the player leading the breakaway. The defending player is usually to the side of the attacking player trying to score.
A defending player might take position between the two players.
The defending player might move in a direction that appears to be against the breakaway.
The defender’s skates can be in front of the skates of the breakaway player. The defender will also often try to stop the breakaway and this might be seen as interfering.
Goalies generally do not want to give away too much time at the start of the game and they are hesitant to come out too far. When a defenseman is approaching the net, the goalie wants to move across as quickly as possible to try and cut off the option of the shot coming from the low slot or from the point.
If the attacking player has good puck-handling skills, they can deke and force the goalie to commit to one side of the net, opening up the near goalpost or crossbar for scoring.
What Happens After a Penalty Shot in the NHL?
The penalty shot is over, and play resumes with a brand-new faceoff. The location of the faceoff on the rink is different depending on the outcome of the penalty shot.
If the skater successfully scored during regulation, he/she will score a “double” and get a point. So in order to avoid the game going into overtime, the next faceoff will happen at center ice.
Tie Breaker Methodology
In the case of a tie, the methodology is similar to the shootout used in the NHL. A shootout will be held to determine the winner.
In most cases, the faceoff will be one of the faceoff dots closest to where the interference occurred, but there are some cases, such as when a defender interferes at the faceoff dots closest to the blue line, where it is not always clear which dot is more appropriate. This is why the Referee will make the decision.
Does a Penalty Shot Goal Help a Players Plus-Minus?
If the team scores a goal, that will count as a goal scored against and may cause the team to have a negative plus-minus. If the team ends up with a positive plus-minus then the team did not score due to the other team’s having more players.
History of the Penalty Shot
Back in the NHL’s early history, one of the penalties that you thought you could get away with, or do without, or get through even, was a penalty shot.
Back in the 19th century and early 20th century hockey was very different from what it has become today. Players would be hit, sometimes very hard, and they would often stay on the ice and take penalties, even though the goalie was not allowed to play. Teams would practice penalties, and teams would often take a timeout in the middle of a period.
The first penalty shot goal was scored by Ralph Bowman on November 13, 1934. After this goal, goalies started to move to stop the ball and the penalty shot was stopped until its current status where in today, it would be an extremely hard shot to score in a penalty situation.
History of the Penalty Shot in the Stanley Cup
The penalty shot has been credited to the Oilers’ Chris Pronger. However, it was actually the Hurricanes’ Niclas Wallin that was responsible for the goal. Wallin had illegally moved to the boards and was covering the puck without any intent to cause a stoppage of play. The referee called to the officials that the puck was in a Carolina player’s possession which is the standard of when a stoppage of play should occur and, therefore, Pronger was awarded the penalty shot. Despite the fact that Wallin was the one to cause the stoppage, the referee was not in a position to judge whether the puck was still in his possession or whether he had let it drop. Despite this, Pronger was credited with the goal after being awarded the penalty shot.
Teams have to come up with a strategy to take their chances and score more goals.
In the playoffs the rules still apply, though.
[Article Link]: In the playoffs each team must, at the discretion of the referee, be allowed one attempt at a penalty shot.
Unique Penalty Shot Situations
On October 20, 2009, Vladimir P. Nikiforov of the Utah Grizzlies scored a shorthanded goal with two minutes left in the first period of a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the South Carolina Stingrays. However, the goal was disallowed for a goaltending violation. The call was upheld on video review, and the Utah Grizzlies won the game 2-1.
With the game tied at 4, the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin scored a hat trick to propel the Caps to victory. Ovechkin, who hit the opposing team’s goaltender on the first penalty shot, scored the game winning goal after knocking the net off of its moorings with his stick. The referee awarded the Capitals a penalty shot against the goalie, but this was also stopped.
The play happened during a game between Switzerland and Russia. When one of the Russian defenders tripped Lehmann, the Swiss player got double minor penalties. Lehmann and his teammate Kurashev served the penalties.
Conclusion about Penalty Shots in Hockey
When the puck’s on the penalty stroke, coaches have a wide variety of options when it comes to sending players to the penalty box. They can send out a player who’ll have no chance of scoring a goal, send out a player who’s a great shooter, or send out a player who’ll skate the puck in and get a breakaway. You can see that during games, coaches send out players who’ll have the best chance of scoring a winner!