This season, the debate has flared up after a few games were decided by the dreaded puck over glass penalty, a.k.a., the infamous delay-of-game penalty.
This season, the debate has flared up after a few games were decided by the dreaded puck-over-the-glass penalty, a.k.a., the infamous delay-of-game penalty. There’s been a few of these penalties called during overtime of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as well. In my opinion, this makes for some serious and intense drama. This is also a hot topic of debate among media members and fans alike.
I also believe that it’s a rule that clear cut and the refs “can’t” swallow their whistle on – nor should they – just because the puck happens to get shot over the glass during the overtime period.
That being said, I wish the refs would call the game the same way in the overtime period as they do in the first period, but that’s a discussion for another day. This is one penalty that has been called with consistency all season long.
– A minor penalty shall be imposed on any player, including the goalkeeper, who holds, freezes or plays the puck with his stick, skates or body in such a manner as to deliberately cause a stoppage of play. With regard to a goalkeeper, this rule applies outside of his goal crease area.
A minor penalty for delay of game shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who deliberately shoots or bats (using his hand or his stick) the puck outside the playing area during the play or after a stoppage of play.
This rule has taken a beating during this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. First off, I am going to say that I “am” in favor of this rule.
I want the NHL it to continue to call the delay-of-game penalty when a player shoots the puck out of play. I also don’t want the officials to be afraid to call this penalty. I want the officials to continue to call this penalty at any point in the game, the infraction happens, during the pre-season, regular season and post season. If the on-ice officials go lax on this rule, the players will eventually take advantage and exploit the referees’ reluctance to call the delay-of-game penalty.
There have been many that have questioned whether the rule needs to be revisited and possibly thrown out, or even have the rule rewritten. Some have suggested that the infracted be treated like an icing penalty. I beg the NHL not to go there. Please don’t do it.
Here’s the way I see it. If your team is pinned in, down low, in the defensive end, that team shouldn’t be able to just shoot the puck out of play, without penalty, to get a faceoff. Especially if the game is in overtime, there has to be a penalty, with teeth, for delaying the game.
Moreover, don’t do the crime, if you don’t want to do the time. My suggestions to the NHL coaches, utilize your timeouts wisely. This is where depth and conditioning, takes over late in the game.
I am also for the NCAA Division I college hockey adopting this rule, as well. In the 2011 Frozen Four semifinal game between the Michigan Wolverines and the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, the Michigan Wolverines took advantage of the NCAA Division I college hockey not having this rule. Every time, Michigan got pinned in down low, in the defensive end, the Wolverines would simply turn and simply shoot the puck into the stands, without penalty, to get a stoppage of play. In my opinion, this should not be used as a defensive scheme.
So, going forward, I am hoping the NHL doesn’t decide to change this rule during the offseason, just because a few people are unhappy with the rule. The players and coaches need learn to play within the rule book.
Eric is a 1996, 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota. Eric covers the University of North Dakota Hockey and Division I college hockey. Eric is the Contributing Editor for Inside Hockey.