Friday, June 02, 2006

King Kaufman’s Sports Daily |

King Kaufman's Sports Daily |

Its nice to see hockey getting a little bit more credit as the Stanley Cup finals are about to start. I'd like to add some comment on Kaufmann's discussion of Bufaloe's delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass. Contrary to what Kaufman says, thats never an accidental thing, unless a richocete is involved.

These are professional atheletes we are talking about here, men who have spent decades of their lives learning to control that puck with their sticks at the highest level. In nearly every case, unless the puck hits another player, it goes precisely where the player inteneded it to go.

This has been a penalty for goalies for ages now. It used to be an easy way to force a face-off … just shoot the puck over the glass after a clear-in attempt. Goalies also used to complain and say it was 'accidental' but again, when they actually wanted to clear the puck, there seemed no problem hitting the glass instead of missing.

Likewise (or even more so) with forwards. Players should know to compensate when they make a clearing attempt, to ensure they don't shoot it over the glass. Its really quite simple … a player shooting the puck out of the rink IS causing a delay of game, and if the player is such a bad shot that they miss the glass, then I doubt they've made it to the NHL. NHL players who complain about this rule are simply whining … if you are worried about taking the penalty, don't use the glass to attempt a clear-out … then you'll be guarenteed not to put it over the glass. The number of 'true accidents' is miniscule when we are dealing with men who have spent their lives learning to be accurate with the puck … with a rule that allowed discretion, however, the claim would be that they were ALL accidental. The fact is, these are professionals who should be held accountable for their actions … if you aren't an accurate enough shot to clear on the glass without missing, then don't clear on the glass, or accept the penalty. Its pretty simple to me.


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