I've been against the new NHL and their non calls on goaltender infractions.
The last Leafs game was the last straw, where two New Jersey Devils goals came by taking out Vesa Toskala, final score 2-1. The end of the game and the dagger in the 2008 season of the Toronto Maple leafs.
I've noticed since the beginning of the new NHL, the league has put aside their whistles to close calls in side the crease. Though there has been some calls where they've called it, so it's not consistent. They have tried to stick by their guns by not calling many of the obstructions against the goaltender, which means they aren't sticking by their players in the position of the goaltender.
I do find myself shocked that many goaltenders aren't getting injured more often since the new NHL has started.
The league has found that not enough scoring has been a curse since the early 90's of the NHL, and letting players have more room is the key. They've called more hooks, interferences, holdings, and holding the stick penalties. That's opened up the game more, and helped the more finesse teams score goals.
Add that to not allowing players to put the puck out of play in their own zone. Powerplays have become abundant, with the pucks going out of play usually on most opposition power plays. That gives a opportunity to score five on three, which almost always ends up in a goal. Now that the finesse players have a much greater chance to score, that isin't everyone. How are we going to allow more grinders to score.
Well the only way is to open up more ice for them, how do they do that? Well they like to play in front of the net and in the corners. More calls on checking from behind is going to give them more room in the corners.
In the crease on the other hand is not where the grinder should life, it's when the goalie has always lived, and can only live. Their job is to stop the puck from going into the net, and if they can't have a place where no one can touch them then their hands are tied.
Players crashing the goaltender, digging out the puck, checking players into the goaltender, obstructing the goaltenders room, should all be penalties. How are they all going to be called ? There has to be a simple and easy way to call these. Before the new NHL the call was, any goal with a player having one stake or more in the crease, the goal would be disallowed. It worked, until Brett Hull scored the big goal to win the Stanley cup, and his skate was in the crease.
Now, either they go back to that rule, which most GM's and officials hate, or have a new obstruction rule. Anyone who bumps the goalie within his own crease gets a two minute penalty. This will still allow players to play in the crease, but not close to where ever the goaltender is positioned. Now to the only disagreement to the rule, how about when the defence bumps the forward into the goaltender?
Well then, this would be at the discretion of the official. If he did see the defence man interfere with the forward and bump them into the goaltender, then call the penalty against the defence man. If the forward intentionally still goes into the goaltender, then both should be sent to the sin bin.
If they don't attack this, it will only get worse. Fans will start to see more goals pushed in, and more goaltenders get injured. I can't wait for the high scoring to begin!
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