Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/24/05 at 12:01 PM ET
It's a tiny part of sweeping National Hockey League rules changes but coaches already see it as having the potential for an incredible impact on the game. Icing. It's innocuous enough. A team under pressure relieves it by firing the puck the length of the ice to get some breathing room. The puck is brought back for a faceoff in the icing team's zone while the besieged team regroups. No big deal. But wait a minute. That team can't bring on fresh troops while the other team can substitute freely. Suddenly, the defending team is under even more pressure. "The icing rule can place you at an unbelievable disadvantage," Detroit Red Wings new coach Mike Babcock said after his team knocked off the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 in overtime in an exhibition game this week. "It's like a power play for the other team.
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