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Video: Is it time to re-evalute delay of game penalty?

Mar 4, 2013, 9:01 AM EDT

Delay of Game

The Chicago Blackhawks extended their points streak to 22 games with a victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, but that might not have been the case if it wasn’t for the delay of game penalty.

That’s not to take anything away from Chicago’s success or recent victory, the automatic two-minute minor for a delay of game is nothing new and Chicago forward Patrick Kane simply capitalized on Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson‘s mistake.

Still, should the NHL re-evaluate the delay of game penalty? On the one hand, it leads to more offensive opportunities at a time when scoring has been slowly declining for years. On top of that, taking away the penalty might hurt the flow of play.

At the same time, a lot of the players shooting the puck over the glass are doing so unintentionally.

You can find out where Mike Milbury and Keith Jones stand on that issue below:

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  1. comeonnowguys - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    If they’re doing it because scoring’s the issue, start looking at ways the neutral zone gets gummed up and go after that.

    I’d like to see it called when intentional or under pressure.

    • jramler - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:15 AM

      As a Blackhawks fan I LOVE the delay of game penalty.

  2. ethanmacleod1685 - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Get rid of it!

    • ravenscaps48 - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      Why? Because the players don’t know how to use all four feet of the dashers then the 6 feet of the glass? Here’s what coaches should say to their players when they’re being taught how to clear the puck. “Loft it and aim for the scoreboard. I see it all the time in DC with the Caps. Whether it’s Erskine, Carlson, Hamrlik, Green, etc. They try to hit the top of the glass, and they throw it over more often than not. They should know better than that. And after yesterday, I think Ericsson from DET learned his lesson the hard way

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        Two problems with that. First, a lot of times this happens when a player goes to clear it and the puck flips up on its side. Second, the glass isn’t the same height in all arenas.

        This rule was created only because the NHL wanted more PP opportunities to increase scoring. It’s always been illegal to intentionally throw the puck over the glass. There’s really no need for this rule.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        Last year Braydon Coburn of the Flyers got a delay of game call cause he flipped the puck from his own zone and went into the netting in the opponents zone at the other end of the ice. The rule is ridiculous they should just have a faceoff in the offending team’s end and like with icing make it so that team can’t change their players on the ice.

  3. jeffchadwick - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    I think there needs to be some discretion on whether or not the play was intentional. Ericsson obviously was just trying to loft the puck down the ice (as opposed to the Kronwall delay of game a few minutes later), and wasn’t even under a lot of “pressure” per se (at least in the grand scheme of things). Tough penalty to take at that juncture of the contest.

  4. realnostalgia - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    The only way they can take this penalty away is if it results in an Icing instead. If there is no disadvantage for hitting the puck over the glass it will instantly become a defense strategy to get a line change or relieve pressure.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Bingo, exactly what I think should happen as well.

      • macjacmccoy - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        I would take it even a step further. I would make it so coaches are unable to use a timeout if a player puts the puck over the glass. Because the same thing would happen if the players were in their own zone for to long and were starting to tire. They would just flick the puck out of play giving their coach the ability to call a time out and get their guys some rest before they had to go back out for the face off. That would cut down to much on scoring because a lot of the time the team in the offensive zone does it scoring when the other team is against the ropes and tired. This imo is doubly important during uneven strength play.

        Id much rather it stay the way it is but if they were serious about getting rid of the rule I would be ok with it if they made those adjustments.

  5. rsl22 - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I was starting to really get tired with the rule, but watching Milbury make no sense as usual, while Jones makes a credible argument for the rule, I am now back in favor of keeping it.

  6. riles1008 - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    It’s the risk you take trying to clear the puck out of the glass. It’s a great way to punish a team for getting caught on the ice too long, and it’s why icing means no line change. I think it should stay. If you get stuck on the ice too long you should have to work hard to gain control of the puck and get a legit whistle or solid breakout. And refs should not have any opportunity to make a judgement call, they already make enough mistakes as it is

    • therealjr - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      Couldn’t have said it much better. Stop trying to make the lazy play and 90% of these penalties don’t happen.

  7. pajabroni - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Keep it. In a time when avg. penalties per game are declining, why make even fewer per game? PP increase scoring opportunities. Scoring is great for the game.

  8. jpelle82 - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    its way too hard to prove intent so you can throw any discretion out the window, last thing you want is more influence from the officials on the ice. i like the rule but i think the punishment is harsh – especially when it results in a 5 on 3 because a tired penalty killer gets under a puck. i understand the point is to keep guys from getting a stoppage when there’s offensive pressure but i dont think its worthy of a minor. solution: treat it like icing – keep the faceoff in the zone and dont allow a change for the defenders and no tv timeout either, then there’s no monday morning quarterbacking on intent and the offense still retains some sort of advantage without it being game-deciding.

  9. wingz101 - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    As a Wings fan, I think they should get rid of bonehead plays. No pressure on Ericsson, bonehead play to throw puck over the glass. No pressure on Kronwall, same play as Ericsson. On the Kane goal, Quincey blocks a shot, just has to wrist it down the ice – brain cramp – lifts his stick to slap it down the ice, gets stripped of puck, pass to Kane, goal.

    Only Quincey was under pressure. The other two plays that cost them the game were brain cramps by guys that makes us miss Saint Nick more and more every day.

  10. disp350 - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Stupidest rule in the game. It should have never been enacted in the first place. Its long past time to remove it. How much does it really delay the game? What’s the difference if a linesman skates to the timers area to get a replacement puck for one that was deflected out of play or shot directly out???

    • har21441 - Mar 4, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      the worst part of this comment is it’s placement below some very well spoken reasons as to why the rule is necessary.
      Here’s a hint: it’s called “Delay of Game” because “Intentionally or unintentionally sending a puck into the stands to stop the clock and allow for a line change or other benefit from the stoppage of the clock by the offending team” was too wordy.

  11. tmoore4075 - Mar 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    I liked the rule when it started and still like the idea of it today. However, the Ericsson one was the puck sailed on him. There was no intent on his part. How do they correct it? I dunno. I’m not sure they really can. Where the rule came from made sense and still does but so did the idea of the crease rule in 1996.

    • har21441 - Mar 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      I agree that it would be great if you could only punish the offenders that commit the penalty on purpose, but as discussed above, leaving the decision of intent open to the refs would be a tough sell. So like many other rules – even if you didn’t mean to do it, doing it is still a penalty.
      Plus – it does benefit the game – tired defenders have to make a play to exit the zone rather than risk a penalty or icing.

      • tbeilfuss - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        how about, since he didnt have any pressure…….the dumbass could have avoided the chance of a penalty by lofting it towards the middle of the ice……..

  12. thehighcountrybear - Mar 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    If this rule is enforceable without discretion, then endless play stoppages caused by goalies should be called without discretion. Goalies habitually stop play when opportunity to dump or sweep the the puck away is presented; defence minded teams are notorious for slowing games to a crawl if they get up a goal. Simply facing-off in the offending team’s zone without benefit of a line change should be sufficient penalty for delaying the game; a tired line goes from possession to risk of losing possession in own end. The current rule is a joke and like the shootout, has adversely affected the game! It’s another example of change to the game brought in to satisfy television marketing perceptions far removed from common sense…

  13. rendy0212 - Mar 4, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    There is no way to accurately/consistently judge intent on a players part and would only add fuel to the fire or inconsistent refereeing. This is one of the few penalties in hockey that’s easy for the refs to call. I say keep it because it generates more offensive opportunities. And if you are defending the defensemen with excuses such as rolling pucks etc its no different than a bad bounce off the end boards… If anything this situation is more within a defenseman’s control. After all we are talking NHL caliber players who can pick the top inside corner on a net regularly but cant hit a 4’x6′ pane of glass??

  14. thehighcountrybear - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    And, enforcement of the rule is of itself counterintuitive; the penalty call, the reluctant player dragging his feet to the box, and delays caused by teams changing-up lines for the PK greatly compounds the actual delay of the game! The foul is relatively minor compared to the ensuing penalty, and has no logical basis for continuing in the game…

  15. thehighcountrybear - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Making the rule more absurd is the fact players are not penalized for clearing the puck over the glass if it actually contacts the glass on the way out. I can put the puck off the end glass and out over the side glass 100 out of 100 tries without breaking a sweat; what are the odds a pro can do the same. If a player has sufficient skill to clear the glass under pressure, good on him; a face off in the offending player’s own end should be penalty enough.

  16. hockeyfan28 - Mar 4, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    This is just one of the rules created because of the old nj devils used to exploit it to slow down flow in a game
    take this rule out and watch Marty Brodeur go back to flipping pucks over the glass 5-10 times a game

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      The problem with that scenario is that it’s been illegal for the goalie to play it over the glass for at the 25 years I’ve been watching hockey, it used to be okay for players to do it until after the 04-05 lockout (approximately) at which point they made it a penalty for everyone.

      • hockeyfan28 - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:09 PM

        In those 25 years you probably never watched the 90’s devils they made puck flipping an art form it may have been illegal to flip pucks into the stands didn’t stop Marty from flipping into the bench

  17. jhuck92 - Mar 4, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Mike Milbury is a jackass

  18. LampyB - Mar 4, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    I’m not a fan of the rule, it’s too much of a price to pay and can ultimately decide an incredibly close game, such as the Wings/Hawks on Sunday. I think it should be considered an icing, and maybe if it happens more than once in a game you’re penalized.

  19. dtownbeatdown - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    The rule makes sense, and these guys are professionals… I am a wings fan and I watched the game against the hawks, did it cost us the game… maybe. But Ericisson and Kronwall both are professional athletes, to commit the same offense in a minute of each other is down right stupid. There is no excuse, rules be rules. And that is a rule the refs just can’t deny or ignore. Do I like the rule, not necessarily, but if they got rid of it every yahoo goalie would be trying to flip that puck over the boards. No need to slow down an exciting fast paced game. Not like it is a hard rule to follow… aim anywhere else but the stands.

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