What is the meaning of pull the goalie

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What is the Meaning of Pulling the Goalie?

Pulling the goalie is a strategy commonly used in ice hockey when a team is trailing late in a game and needs to increase its chances of scoring a goal. This involves removing the goalie from the ice and replacing him with an extra skater, giving the team an extra offensive player.

History of Pulling the Goalie

The phrase “pull the goalie” was first used in the mid-1970s, when the National Hockey League (NHL) began to allow teams to substitute goalies. This gave teams the option of replacing their goalie with a skater in order to get an extra offensive player on the ice. The strategy of pulling the goalie has become more popular in recent years, with teams using it more often in close games.

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Benefits of Pulling the Goalie

Pulling the goalie can be a risky move, but it can also be beneficial for a team that is trailing late in a game. By adding an extra skater, the team has more offensive options and can create more scoring chances. This can lead to more goals, which can help the team come back and win the game.

Drawbacks of Pulling the Goalie

The biggest risk of pulling the goalie is that it leaves the team vulnerable to a counterattack. With the goalie off the ice, the opposing team has a much better chance of scoring an empty-net goal. This can be a devastating blow to a team that is already trailing late in a game.


Pulling the goalie is a risky but potentially rewarding strategy that can be used when a team is trailing late in a game. By adding an extra skater, the team can create more scoring chances, but it can also leave them vulnerable to a counterattack. Ultimately, it is up to the coach to decide if and when to pull the goalie.

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