Because several readers have mentioned it recently, I asked Karl Taylor about a stadium quirk that’s unique to The Bank: The Reign’s bench is closest to the defensive zone during the second period only. During the first and third periods, the home bench is closest to the offensive zone.
That’s the opposite of how most hockey teams do it, and for good reason.
If a team is hanging on for dear life during a long shift in its own zone, it’s nearly impossible to get fresh players on the ice when your bench is on the opposite side of the rink. Having your bench near the defensive zone for two of the three periods is an important facet of home-ice advantage – an advantage the Reign don’t have “because the attack zone is sold on the horseshoe end of the rink,” Taylor said. “It’s the way the rink is built.”
There is some logic behind the location of the Reign’s bench, locker room, and the “horseshoe end,” with its full complement of seats.
“The rink was built so that the team room isn’t affected by load-ins for concerts. So they wanted us down here, because that end is closer to the Zamboni entrance and the doors,” Taylor said. “Our team room should be down there. If they put our team room down there, it’s not an issue. It’s a building misstep. Someone missed it in the process.”
The coach seems to dislike it as much as anyone, but there’s nothing he can do for now.
“We can’t (switch benches) at midseason,” Taylor said. “We’ve talked about it. We’re going to consider next year maybe going on the other bench. You’ll always attack the same way twice but you can’t change at midseason. It’s not fair to the season ticket holders who are behind the bench. So you have to do it in the off-season.
“Next year the plan is to, once we start the game, we’ll be on the other bench most likely, depending on what we decide as an organization.”