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Islanders vs. Rangers: Players still confused by new faceoff rule

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The new rule about playing the puck with your glove after a faceoff continues to trip up players.

Poor Frans Nielsen. His team was already killing a penalty, and he wanted to win this faceoff so much! But you can't do that with your glove anymore, Frans. It's against the rules now.

Aw man. He looks so upset in the penalty box. You can even see him saying "I forgot about that." He feels shame.

Unlike what occurred after the previous lockout, when the NHL returned with a whole host of new rule changes that were designed to revamp and revitalize the league, this season there were only two, relatively minor rule modifications. One of them, which has to do with the penalty for grabbing another player's facemask, hasn't been an issue so far. The other, which changes what you are permitted to do when trying to win a faceoff, has been a bigger factor.

Let's look back at what was said about the new faceoff rule at the start of this season:

Per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, players will no longer be able to win a faceoff by touching the puck with a hand and doing so will result in a penalty. Some of more successful faceoff experts in the league had turned to this tactic, with Steve Ott and Zenon Konopka likely the two players most affected by this rule change.

With no preseason this year, it's understandable that it's taking players a while to adjust. At least this call wasn't as ambiguous or consequential as the one earlier this year that cost the Predators a game. And fortunately for Frans, the Rangers didn't score on their ensuing 5 on 3, so there was no real harm done.

I'll bet he remembers this rule next time, though.