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in the Crease
Pierre McGuire
February 25, 2002
In addition to the hurry-up face-off rule (left), NHL brass is watching the Olympics with an eye toward making other changes in how the NHL plays. Coyotes owner Wayne Gretzky is pushing for the NHL to reinstate the offside tag-up rule (abolished before the 1996-97 season), which allows players who have entered the offensive zone to get back out before the puck crosses the blue line without a stoppage in play. The other important change being discussed is the removal of the red line, which would open the ice and improve offensive chances in the goal-starved league....
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February 25, 2002

In The Crease

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In addition to the hurry-up face-off rule (left), NHL brass is watching the Olympics with an eye toward making other changes in how the NHL plays. Coyotes owner Wayne Gretzky is pushing for the NHL to reinstate the offside tag-up rule (abolished before the 1996-97 season), which allows players who have entered the offensive zone to get back out before the puck crosses the blue line without a stoppage in play. The other important change being discussed is the removal of the red line, which would open the ice and improve offensive chances in the goal-starved league....

How much is defenseman Chris Chelios respected by USA coach Herb Brooks? Brooks is allowing Chelios, the American captain, to make all the scheduling decisions for U.S. practices, meetings, meals and social activities....

Last month Blues defenseman Al MacInnis, who's regarded as having the world's hardest shot, switched from a wood stick to a carbon-fiber one made by Louisville, which adds even more velocity to his blasts. MacInnis's new sticks, however, kept breaking where the shaft meets the blade, so the company installed an aluminum sleeve over the weak area. MacInnis says he won't be switching back to wood....

For years Sweden has been known to use a counterpunching neutral-zone trap in international competition, but Anders Hedberg, who became the Swedish G.M. nearly two years ago, has moved from that style of play. In Salt Lake City, Sweden has used the Torpedo, an aggressive forechecking system that also frees the team offensively. When Sweden forces a turnover, all four Swedish players without the puck sprint down the ice and spread as far apart as possible, looking for a break. That system was an important factor in Sweden's 5-2 win over Canada last Friday.

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