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Tag: Rules

Golden Knights Inspired Rule Change Expected To Get Another Tweak

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Remember that one time Eric Furlatt and Dan O’Halloran made up a major penalty and it cost the Golden Knights a series and potentially a shot at winning the Cup?

Well, the NHL still does too.

Following the incident we now refer to as #NotAMajor, the NHL installed a new rule that would prevent it from ever happening again. It materialized as Rule 20.6 in the NHL Rule Book.

On-Ice Video Review of Major Penalties – Referees shall review all plays that result in the assessment of any Major Penalty (other than a Major Penalty for Fighting) for the purpose of confirming (or modifying) their original call on the ice.

Under that rule, referees were only allowed two options after watching the video of the penalty. They could either confirm the call as a major penalty or reduce the original call to a minor penalty for the same infraction.

When this rule was first put in, it seemed peculiar because even with the new rule it still would have resulted in the Cody Eakin play being called incorrectly. The review would have clearly rescinded the major penalty, but Eakin would have headed to the box for 2 minutes on a cross-checking penalty that didn’t happen. (Eakin was also thrown out of the game for the play. This would have been rescinded as well.)

Even under the newer stricter cross-checking rules that were in place last season a shove off a faceoff would not be ruled a minor penalty.

Well, it appears after three years in place the rule is getting tweaked again, this time allowing for the correct call to be made on the ice every time.

There is something going and I believe the competition committee has already hear it. Now it’s going to the Board of Governors. Basically what it comes down to is there was a play this year where Nathan MacKinnon took a big hit from Taylor Hall and MacKinnon’s own stick bloodied his nose. They called Hall for a major penalty and they looked at the video and saw it was his own stick, but you can only take it down to two (minutes). Now they’ve suggested you can take it down to zero. –Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast

I’d suspect this rule tweak will pass without much hesitation as it’s probably the way it should have been instituted in the first place. Nonetheless, next year, expect every major penalty to be reviewed with the option of the referees rescinding the call completely if necessary.

In other rules/video review related news, despite the coaching change, the Golden Knights will still have their secret weapon when it comes to coach’s challenges. Dave Rogowski, VGK’s video coach, will remain on staff in the same position under Bruce Cassidy.

Last year, Rogowski went a perfect five for five on challenges including four offside reviews and a goalie interference.

New Interpretation Of Cross-Checking Could Help Golden Knights In Area They Struggle

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It seems like every year when the preseason rolls around the NHL has a different rule they want to hone in on. During the Golden Knights’ first season it was a focus on faceoff violations, a year later it was slashing, this year it’s cross-checking.

The league sent out a video showing their new interpretation of the rule, essentially indicating a renewed willingness to actually call the foul when it occurs.

Usually, these little tweaks are just something that players have to get used to and as the season goes on it becomes less and less of an issue. With this one though, if NHL refs do indeed follow through calling it the entire season, and into the playoffs, it could offer a real competitive advantage for the Golden Knights.

It’s going to be easier to get to the front of net for sure, so I think there are going to be more goals. I think it’s going to be tough for defensemen to find a solution but I think the biggest thing is going to be getting on our sticks to not allow tips. -Marchessault

Getting to the front of the net, and then succeeding when they get there, has been a thorn in the side of the Golden Knights. In playoff series against Vancouver, Dallas, Minnesota, and Montreal the area in front of goals has been a problem. Against Dallas and Montreal specifically, Vegas had a difficult time generating any traffic between the shooter and the goalie, which led to a lot of clean looks for Anton Khudobin and Carey Price.

Maybe, and this assumes the rule change is implemented and carried out over the course of an 82-game season and into the postseason, just maybe this could make life a little easier for forwards trying to get to the most dangerous area on the ice.

Well I’m probably going to take a few paddings off my shoulder pads. -Marchessault

On the other side of the ice, defensemen appear to be playing it down.

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The Trials And Tribulations Of Faceoffs In The Preseason

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Every year the NHL makes a few tweaks to its rulebook in an attempt to make the game better. Well, really, they are pretty much only focused on creating more offense, but in the eyes of most, that’s making the game better. This offseason they added in a few new rules about the location of faceoffs and through six games, the Golden Knights are learning a lot about how they are going to handle it, both with personnel and about the linesmen.

We start with the new rules. They are fairly simple. There are now four situations in which the attacking team gets to decide which offensive zone circle they would like to take the faceoff from.

  1. Following an icing
  2. On the first draw to start a power play
  3. When the puck is frozen by a goalie on a shot from behind the center red line
  4. When a defensive skater accidentally dislodges the goal

Previously the linesmen would select which side the draw would be taken on based on where the puck was when the play was blown dead. Now the attacking team chooses.

Before we go any further, it seems pertinent to explain why this is important. The reason is that most centers have a side they prefer to take a draw on, usually based on the handedness of their stick. They win more on their preferred side, thus the offensive team will have more opportunities to score.

Which brings us back to the Golden Knights. In the game against Los Angeles, there were six icing calls on the Kings and LA took five penalties. That means 11 times in which the Golden Knights were able to choose where they took the draw. Here were their results.

Following Icing

Smith WIN on left
Marchessault LOSS on right
Nosek WIN on left
Eakin WIN on left
Marchessault WIN on right
Stastny WIN on left


Stastny LOSS on right*
Eakin LOSS on left
Stastny WIN on left
Marchessault LOSS on right
Marchessault LOSS on left*

*Opposite side of expected choice

Vegas won five of the 11 with every player taking the draw electing to take it on the same side as he shoots with the exception of two. One from Marchessault and another from Stastny, both of which were lost, but we’ll get back to that in a moment.

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5 Rule Changes The NHL Should Enact

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

At the All Star Game Commissioner, Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly held a press conference to chat about the pressing league issues. The main topics were player and puck tracking (which is going to be awesome), CBA negotiations, and the scoring increase and parity in the league. One thing that wasn’t touched on was rules of the game.

Recent rule changes like the change in goalie pads, the implementation of a 2-minute penalty for a failed offside challenge, and if we go back a bit further, the trapezoid have impacted the game heavily, but there are still many things the league can do to improve the sport as a whole.

That’s where I come in. If you don’t know much about me my favorite part of all of sports is the rules. I love sports rulebooks, maybe even more than I love the games themselves. I’ve read the NHL rulebook cover to cover three times and I intend on doing it again every single offseason that I cover hockey. In doing so, my mind is always triggered to minor and major rule changes I’d love to see enacted by the NHL. Today, I present five, starting with the least invasive one and moving up to the crazier ones.

Rule Change 1
When a period ends with a team on the power play, the face-off to open the following period should be taken from the offensive zone of the team on the man advantage.

Currently, all start of period draws are taken at center ice. Normally, that would make sense, but when a team is on a power play, the end of the period is actually a bonus to the team who committed the penalty. It’s a free zone exit when the game-clock hits 0:00. Why? Instead, if there is still time on the power play clock, the draw should occur in the offensive zone, like how most power plays start. It’s a simple rule change, and it makes way too much sense not to enact as soon as possible.

Rule Change 2
For the purpose of offside, the blue line should act as a vertical plane.

In order to enter the zone properly, the puck must fully cross the blue line before every player. To determine this, the league uses players’ skates physically touching the ice. It leads to many incredibly close calls along the blue line in which even on super slow-mo we can’t tell when the player lifted his foot. Throw that in the garbage, instead, view the blue line like the endzone in football. If any portion of a players body (with the exception of their stick) is even with the vertical plane created by the blue line they will be determined to have not yet entered the zone.

It will make calls on the ice easier for linesman and it will make reviews much easier for the Situation Room in Toronto. It’s a simple change and will be a bit tricky to write into the rules, but it’s a good change that will help the game in the long term.

Rule Change 3
EITHER Allow the full two minutes to run off the clock before allowing a player out of the penalty box (even if a team scores) OR Enforce icing during power plays

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