Delay of Game

A suprise to many, the most controversial rule introduced last season turned out to be the one they call ‘delay of game’.  Specifically for when a skater puts the puck over the glass in the defensive zone, that’s two minutes in the box.

This penalty originate back in 1970 when a certain goalie would deliberately put the puck over the glass in an attempt to keep it away from the opposing team.

The intent of the penalty was based on a desire to keep the flow of the game going.  It was such a deliberate manouver by the goalie, and was clearly not in the best interest of the league, noting also that this was prior to the days of nets in all NHL arenas.

The intent was to punish the offender for his deliberate actions.

There have been many pundits of the rule, now that it also applies to skaters.  Their claim is that the puck usually goes over the glass unintentionally, and therefore the penalty is not working effectively.

I say it is working.  Exactly as needed.  The reason is that the intent of the rule change was not to improve the flow of the game, but rather to reward offensive pressure.  Every time a team on the defence took this penalty last season, they were often under extreme pressure and the puck was thrown over out of sheer desperation. 

Often it occured while the team was already on the penalty kill, further complicating their efforts.  And further rewarding the other team for their offensive prowness.

That right there is what the NHL was trying to do in it’s attempt to change the league from a defence, to offense first attitude.

The Chief Canuck

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One Comment on “Delay of Game”

  1. Hollywood NG Says:

    I agree with you as much on this post as much as I disagree with your schedule rant. I don’t buy the “accidental” claim by NHL players. On occasion I am sure they don’t mean to shoot it over the glass, but the spirit of the rule is consistent with the new NHL. We want to reward offense!

    I say keep the rule and the players will adjust. It also takes one judgement call away from the refs.


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