There are few things more exciting than watching an emergency goalie be called into the net during an NHL game. This season alone, we got to see the Blackhawks put Scott Foster between the pipes and the accountant pulled out the saves. But for people who are new to the sport, and even people who have been fans, this whole thing can be really confusing.

Picture this: you’re sitting at your first hockey game and all of a sudden the starting goalie gets hurt, so the backup goalie goes in and everything is great. But soon after that, the backup goalie gets injured. Now, some random guy that was signed to a contract 10 minutes before getting on the ice is in a jersey, gearing up to play in a professional hockey game.

Well, NHL Rule 5.3 states:

In Regular league and Playoff games, if both listed goalkeepers are incapacitated, that team shall be entitled to dress and play any available goalkeeper who is eligible. This goalkeeper is eligible to sit on the player’s bench, in uniform. In the event that the two, regular goalkeepers are injured or incapacitated in quick succession, the third goalkeeper shall be provided with a reasonable amount of time to get dressed, in addition to a two-minute warm-up (except when he enters the game to defend against a penalty shot). If, however, the third goalkeeper is dressed and on the bench when the second goalkeeper becomes incapacitated, the third goalkeeper shall enter the game and no warm-up is permitted.

So what does this mean? Well, it’s pretty much saying that teams are allowed to have a backup goalie to the backup who is ready to play if need be. More often than not, they sit in the press box during the game and wait around if they’re needed. They hang out, eat some great food, and watch the game. Sometimes, they get dressed and end up sitting on the bench just in case something happens. 

We know that this can be a lot to handle – hockey is a really crazy sport. But, we hope that this brief intro on emergency goalies helps just a little bit! Let us know what you think about emergency goalies – should we have them, get rid of them, only use people who are professional players, have a favorite emergency goalie game? Sound off at @puckitupblog!

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