Sunday, January 23, 2011
Drop the puck already...
If there's one rule that I don't understand in hockey, it's the 'delay of game' rule that's assessed to a player for shooting the puck over the glass.
Don't get me wrong... I understand how the rule works and is applied, but I don't understand why such a rule even exists, since the execution of it seems quite counter-productive: a player delays the game, so the referee then delays the game even further by giving the player a penalty, escorting said player to the penalty box, announcing the penalty, and finally lining the players up for the face off to restart play.
And that's without line changes or even a dreaded TV timeout.
If the NHL is really looking for ways to speed up the game, they could take a hint from soccer and do away with this rule altogether. If a player sends the puck over the glass (intentional or not), have a linesman immediately drop another puck onto the ice at the spot from where the the puck was shot, and the non-offending team then gets to immediately take possession and continue the play. You wouldn't even have to stop the time clock.
The benefit, other than speeding up play, would be the complete discouragement of trying to delay the game or relieving offensive pressure in your zone by shooting the puck over the glass. Much as scrumming along the boards in a an effort to get a stoppage in play has all but been eliminated simply by having the referees refusing to blow the whistle, and thus making the tactic useless, delaying of the game could be minimized by smart application of the rules and common sense.
Anyone have the phone number for the NHL Rules Committee handy?
Posted by YOUR RESIDENT BLOGGER