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International Rules to be Enforced at Sochi Olympics

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 4:12 PM / News
By Dan Rosen  - NHL.com Senior Writer
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International Rules to be Enforced at Sochi Olympics
NHL players competing in the 2014 Sochi Olympics must adjust to international rules.

More players in the lineup, no-touch icing, goalies free to play the puck where they please, plus tweaks to procedures for faceoffs and definitions for offside, high-sticking, fighting and checking from behind are some of the differences NHL players will have to get used to in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The Olympic tournament is governed by the International Ice Hockey Federation and its rulebook differs from the NHL's in many ways. Here are some of the biggest differences between the two, according to IIHF.com:

LINEUPS

The IIHF allows a maximum of 20 skaters and two goaltenders to dress. Teams will typically go with 13 forwards and seven defensemen. In the NHL, only 18 skaters and two goalies are allowed to dress.

In addition, the IIHF rulebook allows five seconds for each team to change players following a stoppage throughout the game, negating the last-change advantage. In the NHL, the home team is allowed eight seconds to change players following a stoppage versus the five seconds allotted to the visiting team. However, this rule is not enforced in the final two minutes of regulation or in overtime.

ICING

Though the NHL moved closer to no-touch icing this season by implementing the hybrid icing, the IIHF follows the no-touch icing rules. Icing will be called as soon as the puck crosses the goal line.

FACEOFFS

There are two variations to the IIHF's faceoff rules.

1) The attacking team's player must put his stick on the ice first for any faceoff in the attacking zone. For example, if the faceoff is between Patrice Bergeron and Derek Stepan and it's taking place in Canada's zone, Stepan, the U.S. center, will have to put his stick on the ice first.

In the NHL, the visiting team player must put his stick on the ice first for any faceoff.

2) Unlike in the NHL, there will be no minor penalty assessed to a player taking the faceoff who uses his hand to play the puck. The linesman simply will set up a new faceoff, but the player that used his hand to play the puck will not be permitted to take the draw.

TRAPEZOID

It doesn't exist in international hockey. Goalies are free to play the puck where they please.

FIGHTING

Fighting in the Olympics will result in an automatic game misconduct or a match penalty in addition to the five-minute major.

HIGH STICKING

There are two minor differences between the IIHF rulebook and the NHL rulebook here.

1) In the Olympics, if a player plays the puck with a high stick in his defending zone or in the neutral zone the ensuing faceoff will take place at the nearest faceoff area in his defending zone. However, in the NHL, the ensuing faceoff takes place either where the puck was played by a high stick or where it was last played by the offending team.

2) The IIHF rulebook calls for a minor penalty to a player who accidentally high sticks an opponent on the windup or follow-through of a shot or a pass. In the NHL, no such minor penalty exists.

OFFSIDE

Any shot on goal during a delayed offside will result in a stoppage in play in the Olympics. However, in the NHL a shot on goal during a delayed offside does not bring about a stoppage in play unless the offending team controls the puck.

PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

A couple changes of note here:

1) Visors are mandatory in the Olympics for all players born after Dec. 31, 1974. In the NHL, visors are mandatory for players who have played in 25 or fewer games. Colored or tinted visors are not permitted in the Olympics.

2) In the Olympics, if a player's helmet comes off he must immediately go to the bench whereas in the NHL he would be allowed to continue playing without a helmet until the next stoppage.

In addition, all players must wear helmets during warm-ups in the Olympics; not the case in the NHL.

3) The maximum curve on a player's stick blade can be no greater than 1.5 centimeters in the Olympics; it's 1.9 centimeters in the NHL.

CHECKING FROM BEHIND AND CHECK TO THE HEAD

A player called for checking from behind in the Olympics will be assessed either a minor penalty plus a 10-minute misconduct, or a five-minute major plus an automatic game misconduct or match penalty. In the NHL, there is no minor penalty component, only a five-minute major plus a game misconduct or a match penalty.

The IIHF also has stricter punishment for illegal checks to the head. A player who receives a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head will also receive a 10-minute misconduct. If he gets a major penalty for an illegal check to the head it comes with a game misconduct.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 48 32 10 6 143 124 70
2 NSH 46 31 10 5 141 107 67
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 49 26 15 8 138 122 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 46 26 17 3 124 118 55
8 CGY 48 26 19 3 140 126 55
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 49 20 18 11 128 141 51
11 DAL 47 21 19 7 146 154 49
12 MIN 47 21 20 6 130 138 48
13 ARI 47 16 25 6 108 160 38
14 EDM 48 12 27 9 110 160 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 47 28 25 2 53
J. Benn 47 14 28 -2 42
J. Spezza 47 8 27 -4 35
E. Cole 44 12 11 3 23
A. Goligoski 47 1 22 6 23
A. Roussel 47 11 11 -3 22
T. Daley 44 11 10 -9 21
C. Eakin 44 9 12 5 21
A. Hemsky 44 7 11 -6 18
J. Klingberg 33 6 12 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 19 11 7 .903 2.99
A. Lindback 2 7 0 .875 3.79
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