3) Goalies can't play the puck behind the net. Robb Stauber, Hartford's usually active stick-handling keeper, had to restrain himself in an AHL game against Springfield and says the rule "is definitely bad." But on-ice officials reported an increase in tempo as forwards attacked and followed the puck into the zone, and used the endboards to send passes to their teammates.
4) Players with the puck can't stop behind their own net. McVie said this rule increased game flow and discouraged the defensive team from setting up the trap. Players, however, said there was little impact.
5) Goal lines moved two feet farther from the endboards. Hamilton coach Lorne Molleken, whose AHL Bulldogs played twice on the reconfigured surface, likes this change. "It created some good scoring chances with players setting up behind the net," he says. However, his goalie, Steve Passmore, feels the rule's biggest impact was that it clogged the neutral zone, which was reduced in size to compensate for the extra space behind the goals.
Tampa Bay Goalie
Rocking and Rolling in the Net
Zac Bierk, the Lightning's 21-year-old rookie goalie, won his first NHL game last week, beating the Rangers 3-1 on the road. Though Madison Square Garden wasn't full of screaming adolescents wearing T-shirts bearing Bierk's likeness, at least he could ruminate on the thrill of the big-city spotlight with his 30-year-old brother, Sebastian.
That would be Sebastian Bach, who has reached fame as the sapling-thin, spandex-clad lead singer for the metal band Skid Row, and whose stage name seems out of the satirical rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. Bach's band has produced two platinum albums, and he was on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1991. Thus, Zac's teenage education included touring with Aerosmith.
Last week it was Bierk who landed his brother a ticket to the main event, and after the game Bach was as wide-eyed as any starstruck metalhead. "It blew me away to see Wayne Gretzky trying to score on my little baby-faced brother and failing," he said. "I'm stoked, man!"