AHL goalie knocks off net instead of facing 2 on 0, what if it happened in the NHL?

David Leggio knocks net off in the middle of 2-0 (AHL)

David Leggio knocks net off in the middle of 2-0 (AHL)

I just saw this story on BarDown, Bridgeport Sound Tigers goalie David Leggio was about to face a 2 on none breakaway when he made a “play”. In what they call a moment of brilliance, Leggio simply took his net off the moorings.

So instead of dealing with the two on none chance, he opted for a penalty shot and put the odds in his favor. Last season in the NHL, goalies stopped nearly 70% of penalty shots faced. Leggio would do just that in thwarting Dana Tyrell on a penalty shot.

That raises the question – how would the NHL handle this?

Well according to the rulebook 63.5 and 63.6, the same way – a penalty shot.

So the next question, would an NHL goaltender do it? Listen, we’ve all seen a goalie under pressure with traffic swarming around them, raise their backs and knock the net off. However, this would be a clear as day cop out by an NHL net minder.

Is it a smart move – YES, but it would be ill received by NHL players. So Leggio, made a statistically brilliant move, but a cowardly one as well.

Here is the full NHL rule if you’d like to read it:

63.5 Penalty Shot – If the goal post is deliberately displaced by a goalkeeper or player during the course of a “breakaway,” a penalty shot will be awarded to the non-offending team, which shot shall be taken by the player last in possession of the puck.

If by reason of insufficient time in the regular playing time or by reason of penalties already imposed, the minor penalty assessed to a player for deliberately displacing his own goal post cannot be served in its entirety within the regular playing time of the game or at any time in overtime, a penalty shot shall be awarded against the offending team.

No defending player, except the goalkeeper, will be permitted to fall on the puck, hold the puck, pick up the puck, or gather the puck into the body or hands when the puck is within the goal crease. For infringement of this rule, play shall immediately be stopped and a penalty shot shall be ordered against the offending team, but no other penalty shall be given. The rule shall be interpreted so that a penalty shot will be awarded only when the puck is in the crease at the instant the offense occurs. However, in cases where the puck is outside the crease, Rule 63 may still apply and a minor penalty may be imposed, even though no penalty shot is awarded. The significant factor when determining whether or not a penalty shot is warranted is the location of the puck at the time it was held, grabbed or gathered into the body. If the puck is in the crease, penalty shot. If the puck is outside the crease and gathered into the body of a player (other than the goalkeeper) who is inside the crease, minor penalty). See also Rule 67 – Handling Puck.

63.6 Awarded Goal – In the event that the goal post is displaced, either deliberately or accidentally, by a defending player, prior to the puck crossing the goal line between the normal position of the goalposts, the Referee may award a goal.

In order to award a goal in this situation, the goal post must have been displaced by the actions of a defending player, the puck must have been shot (or the player must be in the act of shooting) at the goal prior to the goal post being displaced, and it must be determined that the puck would have entered the net between the normal position of the goal posts.

When the goal post has been displaced deliberately by the defending team when their goalkeeper has been removed for an extra attacker thereby preventing an impending goal by the attacking team, the Referee shall award a goal to the attacking team.

The goal frame is considered to be displaced if either or both goal pegs are no longer in their respective holes in the ice, or the net has come completely off one or both pegs, prior to or as the puck enters the goal.