February 13, 2004

This guy doesn't get it. Much hoopla has been made about the proposed change of taking away the special skill of puck handling from goal tenders. But how can an extra skater who can play the puck be off limits to the opposing team from checking the puck away from said player? That doesn't sound much like hockey to me. The alternative is to let Brodeur et al play the puck and, for that luxury to show off their perfected skill, pay the price. Let's see how perfect they play the puck with a forecheck in their grille.

posted by garfield to hockey at 09:34 AM - 10 comments

Agreed. If Marty (either of them) wants to complain about this new rule, I'm fine with that, but my retort would be the same as garfields. Okay, you can still play the puck, but forwards can check you with the same rules applying as apply to the other two d-men. I actually think this would have been the way to go, but I've never played goalie or been body-checked by a power forward in the NHL.

posted by 86 at 09:47 AM on February 13, 2004

I too agree with Garfield's opinion. Let them play the puck, but outside of the crease a goalie is treated the same as a defenseman. I think this however would lead to more injuries. You know that the goalies would have big targets on them the minute they step out of the crease. The rule the GM's suggested is a bit of a compromise. What the author is missing out on (even though it's being demonstrated in the photo of Brodeur on the page) is the goalies can still handle the puck in front of the net. So goalies that can handle the puck well will still play a key part in the game. Just to a lesser extent.

posted by camcanuck at 11:10 AM on February 13, 2004

I don't get it either -- goalies wandering out of the crease creates some of the most exciting moments in hockey, and they're taking that away. Hockey jacks with its rules too drastically; this takes a huge advantage away from skilled athletic goalies and rewards stiffs.

posted by rcade at 12:40 PM on February 13, 2004

a ban on goalies handling the puck behind the net? was there a spofi thread on this that i missed? oh no, does this mean i actually have to go to other sports sites to get news? (and the link goes to the columnist's archive, i assume you are meaning to point to the mailbag that addressed the goalies thing)

posted by gspm at 12:53 PM on February 13, 2004

gspm, the link seems to work for me, but yeah, that's what I intended to link to. And you better not be surfing to anywhere but here. Here's an article about the proposed changes. Nothing is set in stone yet, but with Colon Campbell's scolding of whining goalies, I'd wager that change is enacted. I completely agree about wandering goalies creating alot of excitement, and it would be even more exciting if forecheckers could cream them. But that is an (re)evolutionary step goalies, and owners, aren't ready to make.

posted by garfield at 01:16 PM on February 13, 2004

How about making the goalies fair game, reinforcing the severity of the charging and boarding calls, and penalizing referees that allow such plays to go unhindered? I don't know about you, but I'd love to see the line "NHL referee Fraser suspended 2 games for TOR Tucker's uncalled charge on PHI G Burke" on the ESPN Bottom Line...

posted by MeatSaber at 01:52 PM on February 13, 2004

right on, saber. While you brought up officiating, there was talk by some to get rid of the 2nd ref, because of the inconsistencies of calls that made it difficult for player to gauge where to draw the line. However, when G.Betts annouced the proposed changes, the 2nd ref was not on the table. Yet the problem persists. Here's my idea to help. Other leagues with multiple officials keep those official 'teams' together. Even if the other leagues don't, they should, and so should the NHL. I think an illustration of how frustrating it is to be forechecking well only to arrive at an unhittable is in order to justify this change. Imagine racing for the puck and having already beat the last d-man back. You're almost there, and some hulking mass of pads wanders in front of you, back turned and prone, and plays the puck: holds the puck on his stick for a second, allowing the lalligagging defenseman to supply puck support, and then flinging the puck to him. That forechecker was just penalized for his outstanding effort, positioning, and execution, in addition to the scoring possibility being negated. With the new rule in place, that forchecker would've gained the offensive zone, and could've: a.) tried a quick wrap around. b.) set up shop in the office. c.) swooped to the half-boards/face-off circle to set up the trailer, etc.

posted by garfield at 02:22 PM on February 13, 2004

I just want to know who made goalies so damned precious and soft? Doesn't anyone remember the good old days, where goalies were actual hockey players instead of the equivalent of punters? Put on the foil! Let 'em play the puck and take a check!

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:38 PM on February 13, 2004

As much as I'd like to see the goalies get hit, I think that this is OK. You roll 4 lines and 3 sets of D, but the goalie plays the entire game. There's too much money invested on the position and not enough depth for the NHL to take a chance on unnecessary injuries.

posted by offsides at 03:07 PM on February 14, 2004

you might be right, offsides, but i think its the wrong reason to be right (does that make sense?). anyway, the other side of that coin is is that the goalie chooses how much risk he is willing to take. the crease would still be a safety zone, he can stay there or play the puck.

posted by owl at 04:28 PM on February 15, 2004

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