The Penguins' 3-2 overtime win in Boston last night was notable primarily because goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his 300th career win.
Of much lesser significance was the absence of a dry scrape from a Zamboni ice resurfacing machine prior to the overtime period. For the first month and a half of the season, the NHL had the ice touched up by the machines in order to improve the quality of surface. That was done in hopes of having more games determined during overtime as opposed to the shootout.
A problem which arose with the practice was the four to five minute delay it took to resurface the entire rink prior to overtime. Many players, executives, media and fans felt that delay snuffed out energy from the game heading into overtime. As a result, the NHL decided to do away with dry scrapes as of this past Saturday. Now, rink attendants will clean the ice prior to the rink with shovels during a brief stoppage prior to the extra period.
Last night's game was the Penguins' first "dry scrape-free" overtime game since the change was made. Today, a number of them were asked about the change.
Mike Johnston, head coach – "I knew it took a while to get the scrape done. I think everyone was fine last night though the overtime didn't go long. If the overtime had gone longer and there were pucks that bounced, maybe it would have been more frustrating. We'll see how it goes. I think they do a pretty good job when [the rink attendants] come out and scrape [with shovels]."
Christian Ehrhoff, defenseman – "I think it definitely took a while but probably on the ice yesterday we could have used it. For us, it worked out anyway. But I think it's better for the fans to get it in a more timely matter. Get going again."
Thomas Greiss, goaltender – "I like it this way [without the dry scrape]. It's just faster and quicker. You're in the game and you want to stay in the moment and not have a break and a bit interruption there."
Olli Maatta, defenseman – "I don't know. I really didn't feel the difference. Obviously, it's a shorter break but with the dry scrape, you get the ice better but I don't think that was a problem last night."
Craig Adams, right wing – "If you want more goals in overtime, I think it's probably conducive to that. I don't know how much of an affect it's going to have. But I don't know if the delay was putting people off."
Chris Kunitz, left wing – "It looked like it worked out pretty good for us. They changed the rules obviously to keep fans engaged. Nothing to really say about it."
Nick Spaling, center – "I think they shoveled off all the ice. It seemed all right. I wasn't out there but it looked like it was fine. It wasn't too bad. As long as they get some shovels out and get rid of partial parts of the snow, I think that will help."
Blake Comeau, left wing – "It makes the ice a little better in overtime but I think it's a combination of maybe some guys just want to get going right away and some guys want clean ice. I don't have an opinion on it."
Brandon Sutter, center – "I think it's nice to not have that long break. It seemed like that game at home we had against the Rangers (Nov. 21), the scrape felt like it took forever. It's a pretty big break in between. I think it's nice just to go. However, the ice was amazing after a scrape too. The game feels better. The puck slide quicker. You definitely notice that. But I think that break is too much. It kind of takes a little bit of the emotion out of the game for a while. I think even for the fans to sit there for a few minutes and wait, you have to find a way to speed it up."
Fleury – "I think it was good because the ice was nicer but I found it was a little slow. You kind of wait there for a little while to get going into overtime. For the fans too, I'm sure it's a wait for overtime."
Rob Scuderi, defenseman – "It must be good. We won the game. I think it definitely improves the ice but I don't think it's anything that should affect us too much. But there's no doubt, that is better with the dry ice cut."
(Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)