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Behind The Net

What is Behind The Net?

The area directly in back of one of the goal nets. There is a trapezoid-shaped area behind the net ever since 2005, when the NHL adopted rules that restricted goaltenders from playing the puck in certain areas behind the goal line. The trapezoid is 11 feet (3.35 meters) long (measured from the goal line to the boards) and 28 feet (8.53 meters) wide.


Sporting Charts explains Behind The Net

Forwards in the attacking zone go to the trapezoid-shaped area behind the net to pass the puck to a teammate in front of the net in order to create a scoring chance, while defenders go behind the net to organize an attacking play or to wait for their teammates to complete a line change. Goaltenders go behind the net to stop and control a puck that was dumped into their zone. Players attempting a wrap-around will skate from one goal post to another behind the net in order to shoot the puck from the side of the net that the goaltender is not covering. Doug Gilmour is a player known for standing behind the net and scoring goals using the wrap-around. 

In power play situations, it is common to see a player place themselves behind the net for an extended period of time to have all their teammates in their view, so that they can pass the puck quickly to one of them and create a better scoring chance. Wayne Gretzky is perhaps most remembered for setting up teammates from behind the net. 

Some players have actually scored from behind the net using a lacrosse-style maneuver, in which they hold the puck on their stick blade and raise the stick to the height of the crossbar, then pull it towards them to drive the puck into the top corner. Sidney Crosby (at the junior level), Mike Legg (in the NCAA), and Mikael Granlund (in the World Hockey Championships) have all scored from behind the net using that maneuver. Players usually trying to score from behind the net will attempt to bank the puck off the goaltender and into the net.

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