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Tailing the Komets

Before you read this story

Here, take a second to consider this please.

Besides having the benches on opposite sides of the rink, the Memorial Coliseum ice surface has another quirk to it that directly affects the play. No, I'm not talking about the ads or the blue kick boards instead of yellow. There's something about the rules of the game and the lines on the ice that is distrinctly different, and it's been that way for 25 years here.

I didn't realize it until last week, but when I was informed, it made perfect sense. It's something we've all been looking at for years and probably never realized.

Posted in: Komets


Thu, 12/22/2011 - 4:07pm

IMO, the jest of Schrock's comments are that it is harder to play physical (specifically checking) here, not impossible or extremely difficult. He mentions having to skate farther to make contact. Now that I think about it how many times have we seen missed checks by players on both teams? It seems to happen often. I'm wondering if that's because players have more time to get out of the way and if the extra distance doesn't affect timing, especially for the visiting team.

Thu, 12/22/2011 - 4:22pm

So with the new boards coming before next season, will they put teams on both sides of the ice?

Blake Sebring
Thu, 12/22/2011 - 4:40pm

Highly doubtful, The Bauer, because the locker rooms are on the opposite sides. It would entail a lot more than just changing the benches.

Thu, 12/22/2011 - 5:05pm


I was under the impression that the boards were fairly new. Weren't they replaced about 4-5 years ago?

The 13 feet from goal line to end boards was done a long time ago (mid 1990s?). If I remember correctly, it was in response to a change mandated by the NHL to create more room, and generate more offense. When that change was made, the neutral zone was shortened, while the defensive ends remained at 60 feet from goal line to blue line.

Blake Sebring
Thu, 12/22/2011 - 6:35pm

During the 90s they were supposed to be moved out to 11 feet. These are now 13 feet. This was originally done in the 1980s as the story says. When they were moved out in the 90s, two more feet were added.

I was told that the boards and glass will be replaced as part of regular maintenance as they are say every X years or so.

Blake Sebring
Thu, 12/22/2011 - 7:04pm

From a 1999 story about the differences between the then-IHL and the UHL:

``Last year the IHL followed the NHL by moving its goal line out two feet to 11 feet.''

NHL rules: 1.5 Lines - Eleven feet (11') from each end of the rink and in the center of a red line two inches (2") wide drawn completely across the width of the ice and continued vertically up the side of the boards, regulation goal posts and nets shall be set in such a manner as to remain stationary during the progress of a game.

Goal lines in international hockey are 13 feet from the boards.

Thu, 12/22/2011 - 10:29pm

I hope they will replace the goal lights soon. Those lamps have been in use for probably 30 years. I sit in Section 206, and the light on the opposite end is almost impossible to see.

Fri, 12/23/2011 - 10:19am

Why would the locker room location have anything to do with the benches being on the same side of the ice? Plenty of arenas make the players enter and exit from one end or the other to get to the locker room. Why couldn't the visiting team just skate across the ice to enter the playing surface?

Fri, 12/23/2011 - 11:46am

You rely on the lamps to know if there is a goal or not? Between the freighter horn, the player celebrations, and the ref pointing to the net, the lamps are about the last thing I look to. Not missing a game for the past several years, I can also say just because the lamp lights up doesn't necessarily mean a goal has been scored.

Sun, 12/25/2011 - 9:26pm


No, I don't rely on the light to know if a goal has been scored.

I think after nearly 1400 games, I know when a goal has been scored or not. I was simply commenting that the lamp fixtures (in my opinion) are an item that is overdue for an upgrade.