Should he stay or should he go?

Much of the postgame discussion centered around a play that led up to Minnesota’s third goal, an important power-play goal that made the score 3-1 early in the third period. On the play, Alexander Frolov lost his stick and had it broken. In that situation, a player has three options: attempt to play without a stick until the puck is cleared, go to the bench for a new stick or make a line change. In Frolov’s case, he chose the second option, giving the Wild a temporary 5-on-3 advantage on which they scored.

After the game, Terry Murray referred to the play as bad luck. Today, I asked Murray what the proper play should have been in that particular situation…

MURRAY: “As you saw, as it happened, Simmer was on top of the boards, ready to go. We were saying on the bench, `Change. Make a change. Simmer, go.’ If the trainers are at the other end (of the bench), then it’s fine, then he stays. He’s got to get a stick. That’s fine. But when it’s at the other end like that, the fastest play probably would have been to switch.”

Question: Either way, there’s no guarantee that the guy, whether it’s Frolov or Simmonds, gets back in time to prevent the goal though, right?

MURRAY: “No guarantee, but you have to give yourself that opportunity to at least get back and be constructive in your play, with a stick in your hand. There’s no hard, set rule on that, but when you can recover your stick at the bench, you want to do it.”

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