Dead in the head is a term used to describe when an official had determined that a stoppage of play should occur. This situation occurs when there is a scramble for the puck in the goal mouth area usually involving multiple players usually in a piledown on the ice and the official has lost site of the puck with the belief that the puck is frozen under the goaltender or in the goaltenders glove and the official is about to blow the whistle to stop play and the puck ends up getting freed up and either ends up in the net of gets away from the new and play would continue. The play is dead at the moment the official feels the puck is frozen not when the whistle blows.

This event can lead to some arguments as many teams use black coloured hockey pants and it is easy for the puck to blend in when that is the case.

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