A Guide to the Strategic Play of NHL Overtime Pull Goalie

nhl overtime pull goalie

The National Hockey League’s (NHL) fast-paced, strategic world is a whole of daring moves that can change the outcome of a game. Pulling the goalie in overtime is one such move. This article thoroughly overviews the tactic, including its implications and strategies. It also answers frequently asked questions.

Understanding the Concept of NHL Overtime Pull Goalie

Pulling the goalie in NHL overtime refers to the strategy where a team removes their goaltender in favour of an additional skater. This bold move is typically employed to increase offensive pressure and score a goal when trailing or seeking a game-winning advantage. However, it comes with the risk of leaving the net unprotected and potentially conceding a goal.

Strategic Implications


Increased Offensive Pressure: With an extra skater, the attacking team can overwhelm the defence, creating more scoring opportunities.

Game-Changing Potential: Successfully scoring can turn the game’s tide, either securing a win or recovering from a deficit.


Vulnerability to Counterattacks: Without a goalie, the team is susceptible to long-range shots from the opposition.

High-Risk, High-Reward: If the strategy fails, it can lead to an easy goal for the opposing team, potentially losing the game.


Pulling the goalie in NHL overtime is a high-stakes strategy that reflects the dynamic and tactical nature of the sport. While it carries inherent risks, its potential to alter the course of a game makes it a fascinating aspect of hockey strategy. Before employing this bold move, teams must carefully consider numerous factors, including timing, team dynamics, and the game’s context. As the NHL continues to evolve, so will the strategies and decisions shaping its thrilling outcomes.


When is pulling the goalie in overtime most common?

Teams typically pull the goalie in the final minutes of overtime when trailing by a goal or when a win is crucial for playoff qualification or positioning.

How does pulling the goalie affect team dynamics?

This strategy requires high coordination and trust among team members, as it involves aggressive offence while being mindful of defence to prevent counterattacks.

Has pulling the goalie in overtime been successful in the NHL?

Success rates vary. While it can lead to dramatic game-winning goals, it also risks conceding goals. Teams carefully weigh these factors before deciding.

What are the rules governing goalie substitution in the NHL?

The NHL allows teams to replace their goalie with an extra skater at any point during the game, provided the substitution is made during a stoppage in play or on the fly.

Are there any notable instances of this strategy being employed in NHL history?

There have been several memorable moments where pulling the goalie led to game-winning or game-tying goals, cementing the tactic’s place in NHL lore.