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08-04-2012, 12:49 AM
Czech Your Math
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Originally Posted by -31- View Post
Coaches often pull their goalie at ~1:00 mark of the third period when trailing by a goal. I always wondered if that specific time could be supported by evidence. But I never had the general goal scoring rates (6 on 4, 4 on 6, 5 on 5) to come up with a time that would optimize the chance of tying the game.
Interesting idea. There would be a lot of variables and assumptions involved to come up with a number mathematically. The various scoring rates and chances of each team receiving a penalty in each situation would be the main variables. However, teams are playing differently with a short time left in the game and one team ahead by one goal, so many of the general rates may not apply.

My instinct is that conventional wisdom may be wrong in this case. I think the goalie should probably be pulled much sooner. First, the defending team can take a penalty and the attacking team cannot fully utilize that power play. Second, the defending team is almost fully devoted to defending rather than attacking (and much of that is to keep possession as a form of defense).

There are many instances when the trailing team doesn't even get much of an opportunity with a minute left. Down one goal, I might pull the goalie when there is clear possession in the offensive zone with less than ~2.5-3 minutes left.

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