During an on-the-fly player change, it is generally acceptable for the replacement player to step on the ice a second or two before the player he is replacing steps off the ice, if such a change doesn't impact the play of the game. In this case, does the time when both players are on the ice count towards the time-on-ice stat for both players?

Also, how is the +/- stat counted for the two players if a goal is scored during those couple of seconds when both players are on the ice?


My feeling is there is no complete answer for this question unfortunately - that it's just up to the scorer.

For exapmle, on Saturday the Blackhawks and Blues played. Adding up the TOI for the blackhawks comes to 288:56, which is 11:04 short of a full game (of 300). However, there were 12 minutes shorthanded plus 2 minutes of 4 on 4 in that game (Kane/Pietrangelo unsportsmanlikes), for a total of 14 minutes of time that's not accounted for; meaning that you're 2:56 over the amount of time that should be accounted for. As Kevin points out in comments, those can be accounted for by looking at when the StL PP goal was scored - and the last minor was with only :04 left in the game. So the ToI does look like it adds up.

Looking at the shift chart for the game, I don't see any overlaps at all in the shift changes; they all have a corresponding off/on pair. But whether the TOI stat comes from the same place as the shift chart, I don't know.

As far as +/-, again I don't think it's explicit anywhere; it would be up to the scorer to determine exactly who was officially on the ice when it occurred. Typically when I've seen it, the player getting on the ice is credited so long as they're fully on the ice - the player leaving is more or less 'out of it' once that's happened.

  • 1
    I just had a look at the boxscore, you are right Chicago had 7 minors, but they were scored on one of them, at exactly 1 minute in. Plus their last minor was with only 4 seconds left in the game. So that exactly accounts for the missing 2:56 you mentioned.
    – Kevin
    Nov 19 '15 at 4:38
  • Note there are other weird cases to account for when it would be hard for the scorer to make everything add up. E.g. what happens with a too-many-men penalty? Also sometimes they add some time to the clock near the end of a period if the clock runs a little long after a whistle. Then other times I think the clock can be reset quite a bit if it is determined a goal was scored, but it was missed and play had continued.
    – Kevin
    Nov 19 '15 at 4:41
  • @Kevin Hmm, good points - I'll add that to the answer.
    – Joe
    Nov 19 '15 at 14:57

I am not an expert, merely a viewer. But as far as I understand - as soon as the replacement player touches the ice, he is "in" and the other player is "out" even if he still touches the ice.

When the replacement player jumps on, the leaving player may not touch the puck or otherwise participate in the game as this will be called "too many men on ice" and will be penalized. That is why I believe he is counted out of the game immediately as the replacement is on ice and thus the replacement would get counted in statistics for time on ice and +/-.

  • This would be much improved by replacing the qualifiers of opinion with reference to fact and credible sources. Many people have an ostensibly reasonable understanding of many sports, but in a lot of cases they are also entirely wrong due to technical implications.
    – Nij
    Nov 29 '16 at 22:32

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