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Play The Penalty Time Out

from Jason Kay of The Hockey News,

It’s a niggling flaw in the system that when a team takes a penalty with fewer than two minutes remaining, it’s no longer a two-minute minor. It’s a 1:45 minor. Or 0:37 minor. Or 0:03 minor.

Bear in mind that referees are already less likely to call a penalty late in close games (last night’s contest notwithstanding). When they do, it’s usually something they absolutely can’t ignore.

To minimize the punishment gives the offending team an advantage. It would be like taking away a free throw from a basketball team late in a game when they should be shooting two. Or only penalizing a holding call in football seven yards instead of 10. Or moving a penalty kick back a few yards on the soccer pitch. It’s not logical.

The solution? Add on the time after 60 minutes. If the penalty occurs with 57 seconds remaining, play an additional 1:03. They add “stoppage time” in soccer in part to dissuade players from milking the clock. In football, a half cannot end on a defensive foul; the offense gets another play.

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Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Bill from GR's avatar

Wow, this seems like a very poor idea.  Not sure if Mr. Kay thought this all the way through.

Let’s just start with the title of his article:

“Why the NHL should play added time like they do in soccer”

Really?  He wants hockey to be more like soccer?

This must be a days late April Fool’s joke.

Posted by Bill from GR on 04/04/14 at 09:01 AM ET

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I don’t think he said hockey should be played like soccer, that wouldn’t even make any sense.
But I actually do like the idea of extending regulation time if a penalty is taken, makes sense to me.

Posted by George0211 on 04/04/14 at 09:07 AM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Brilliant idea, of course. I can’t imagine anyone would disagree with Mr. Kay

Just let me get this straight:

When pulling the goalie isn’t working, a team should get their sticks up a little when there’s 10”-15"sec left in order to have another 2’min (4’min if they can break the skin) to try and get that important goal.

I think that would definitely add some excitement t the end of games. Don’t let anyone ridicule you, Jason, with suggestions that this is a poorly thought out idea necessitated by staring at a blank screen with a deadline approaching.

They’re just jealous of your genius.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 04/04/14 at 09:09 AM ET

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Posted by alwaysaurie on 04/04/14 at 10:09 AM ET 

maybe the rule would not apply in every situation. But if your team is down a goal with less than 2 minutes left and the team that’s up a goal commits a penalty, I think it is a good idea to add time to have a full 2 minute powerplay.

Posted by George0211 on 04/04/14 at 09:11 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Dumb idea imho

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/04/14 at 09:27 AM ET

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...or you could just carry the remaining penalty time over to the following period. That would work. Why doesn’t the NHL try that?

Posted by godblender on 04/04/14 at 09:31 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I would support this idea, absolutely, but the rule would have to have a few other rules attached to it too.

- The time ONLY extends in favor of a team that is trailing. I know it sounds crazy, but if you made it extend either way, then the best thing for a team down a goal to do with 1 second on the clock is to run the other team’s goalie and go down a man.  This gives them two minutes to attempt to score a shorthanded goal. 

- If at any time during the extension of time played the team scores a shorthanded goal to make the advantage two, the game should end immediately.

- If at any time during the extended penalty time the trailing team takes a penalty of their own which would bring the manpower situation back to even, the game should end immediately.

- That last two rules would not apply in cases of a game extended by virtue of a major penalty where there would be time remaining on the major at the expiration of the equalizing minor, since there will still be manpower advantage time remaining AND that time does not automatically end with a goal.

- - -

I’d be completely ok with that for the reasons the author laid out.

I’d also be ok if they wanted to simplify the rule and instead offer the victimized team a penalty shot for any infraction committed with less than two minutes to play. You either take your chances on the penalty shot or you take your chances on the man advantage. The game ends at 60:00 regardless of which you choose (smart coaches should just about always take the penalty shot, but I’d like to see how that would play out in practice)

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/04/14 at 09:44 AM ET

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But if your team is down a goal with less than 2 minutes left and the team that’s up a goal commits a penalty, I think it is a good idea to add time to have a full 2 minute powerplay.

That is a horrendous, horrendous idea.

If you want to play more than sixty minutes then tie it up in f*cking regulation.

Posted by Garth on 04/04/14 at 09:47 AM ET

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Yeah, if this sort of rule ever got adopted, have to be limited to specific situations.

If you’re already ahead and you get the powerplay, you don’t want the full 2 minutes. You want the game to just end. Extra powerplay time is just more opportunity for your opponent to get a shorthanded goal. You could even see situations where trailing teams commit fouls intentionally, because 2 extra minutes of game time, even if shorthanded, is better than a guaranteed loss at 60.

If you’re behind by more than 1 and draw a minor, obviously, the extra time doesn’t help you since you can only score 1 goal anyway.

What happens if the team on the PP takes a penalty of its own after the 20-minute mark? Does the game just end? It seems like it would have to; the team in the lead is actually penalized by having to play out the 4-on-4 and its own powerplay. But man is that a crap way to end a game.

If there is a double minor with 20 seconds to go and the team going to the PP is down by 2, do you give them until 21:40 to score the first goal, and if they do give them another 2 minutes?

What if a team is down by 5 goals but draws a 5-minute misconduct in the final seconds? Since you can technically score an unlimited number of goals on a 5-minute penatly, do you play out the penalty despite the huge deficit? If not, where should the cut off be? Two goals? Three goals?

In truth I think the idea has merit and you could solve these problems, but Kay really doesn’t flesh it out much here, does he?

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 04/04/14 at 09:51 AM ET

calquake's avatar

I didn’t realize there was a “problem” to begin with.  Leave it alone.

Posted by calquake on 04/04/14 at 09:51 AM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

I like the optional scenario that JJ presented, very simple and clean idea. The extra time crap just has too much going on.

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 04/04/14 at 09:52 AM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

I should clarify that I am addressing the idea that any infraction committed with less than two minutes to play in a game gives the infracted coach a choice of pp or penalty shot. That is easily grokable. This whole ‘we add extra time but only in this or that situation’ is convoluted no matter how you slice it. Most people who don’t know hockey have difficulty with icing and really, icing isn’t that convoluted.  Imagine trying to explain extra time due to a penalties but only when…yeah, no thanks.

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 04/04/14 at 09:56 AM ET

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Worst hockey idea brought up in a while. Terrible.

Posted by StayClassy on 04/04/14 at 10:23 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

This suggestion only adds to the apparently burdensome job of the referees, and could easily make subjective calls even more questionable.  It’s not often that penalties are called in the final minute of play anyways, and so what if they are - why is it the fault of the penalized individual that your team couldn’t score enough in 60 minutes.

Adding in the fan element, this kind of rule adaptation and necessary follow-on rules only adds to reasons for fare-weather and potential fans to be discouraged to watch hockey.  Heck, if your new to watching the sport and having a hard time grasping off-sides and icing, why even bother watching if there is going to be a flow chart needed for adding time due to a penalty taken less than 2 minutes left in the game.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/04/14 at 10:32 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by TreKronor on 04/04/14 at 11:32 AM ET

That’s a well laid-out set of reasons against doing this. Thanks for adding that perspective.  Here are my responses for the sake of argument:

This suggestion only adds to the apparently burdensome job of the referees, and could easily make subjective calls even more questionable

This is my single biggest concern with a change to the rules here (either the extension of time or the penalty shot idea). Refs already seem to change their penalty criteria late in games. This seems like it would add more reason for them to take criticism/lose fans’ faith in their ability to correctly call a game.

why is it the fault of the penalized individual that your team couldn’t score enough in 60 minutes.

Well whatever he did to earn a penalty is kind of his fault though, right? Why should he get a break and only have to sit for 1:10 because he cheated at a different time of the game?

Adding in the fan element, this kind of rule adaptation and necessary follow-on rules only adds to reasons for fare-weather and potential fans to be discouraged to watch hockey.

I see this argument, and it’s perhaps my own bias in that I’m not that concerned with fair-weather fans or what they want and that I think a big part of the reason I stopped caring so much about the NFL is how much they seem to want to cater specifically to that demographic, but I’m not as worried about it.  Explaining that you can’t end a game on a defensive penalty is something that’s pretty easy to understand in other sports. Sure it’s a bit more complicated than “the offense gets one untimed down to play”, but it’s not really THAT complicated and I kind of don’t want to be surrounded by fans whose heads are made to ache by simple concepts.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/04/14 at 10:55 AM ET

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So what happens at the end of the first and second period if there’s a penalty? Do they extend those periods too? If not that doesn’t seem fair that that team’s penalties gets split up, and the other team will get their 2:00 not split up just because its at the end of the third. So team A is down and wants more time so they take a penalty to get more time. You say they can’t score during extra time? Well team B could score during all of their penalties so how is that fair that team A can’t score a PK goal just because its at the end of the last period as opposed to the first two? No more PK goals than? A team most likely to take a penalty late is not a team that is up, it will be a team desperate trying to come from behind anyway.

Posted by StayClassy on 04/04/14 at 11:08 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/04/14 at 11:55 AM ET

Well stated. 

I’m not on board with it for a number of reasons, but if some people want to make things more even I feel like this is the sort of things which turns aspects of hockey into the NBA and it comes down to who has the ball last, in a way.  In bball, many times the final outcome comes down to the last minute making me wonder what the true point is of playing the first 95% of the game.  If this sort of rule is adapted to hockey, and the score is close enough to add on extra time due to a penalty at the end of the game, it’s sort of like: why did we even play the first 58 minutes if the goal is to tie it up? 

As far as engaging new fans, I share some of the same sentiments as you JJ.  I tend to not want the NHL to cater to every desire of the fans, but I also hate to see the game become more complicated by adding more rules (for more than just the sake of newbie fans). 

I’d be interested to see statistics on how often penalties are actually taken by the leading team with less than a minute to go.  Maybe that’s out there - I don’t know.  But this seems like a major change for something which is fairly irregular (as I recall).

Posted by TreKronor on 04/04/14 at 11:23 AM ET

awould's avatar

This is the hockey equivalent of the NFL rule that the game can’t end on a defensive penalty. I like JJ’s criteria and think it makes some sense to extend the full penalty time. That said, the current rule probably evens out over the course of a season.

The main reason I’d like to see is because it would be very exciting.
The main reason it is a bad, terrible worst idea ever is the refs.

Posted by awould on 04/04/14 at 11:32 AM ET

Primis's avatar

This is the hockey equivalent of the NFL rule that the game can’t end on a defensive penalty.

Posted by awould on 04/04/14 at 12:32 PM ET

This.

This is a much better comparison than the soccer “stoppage time” one.

Posted by Primis on 04/04/14 at 11:51 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

the NBA and it comes down to who has the ball last, in a way.  In bball, many times the final outcome comes down to the last minute making me wonder what the true point is of playing the first 95% of the game.  If this sort of rule is adapted to hockey, and the score is close enough to add on extra time due to a penalty at the end of the game, it’s sort of like: why did we even play the first 58 minutes if the goal is to tie it up?

This is also a very good point and I do worry about the concept of needlessly extending drama.  Aside from basketball, I also find myself being a 9th inning fan more than a full baseball fan and I don’t see that really changing about me.  I’m a potential new fan for both sports, but if I know that I can skip a lot of the part of how we got to the end-game just to watch that part, then I’m not buying ticket packages and I’m not going to full games either.

I’d still like to see what would happen under a rule change like this one, but if it didn’t happen, I’ll be completely ok with that until the next time the Wings are losing by one goal and somebody on the opposite team takes a penalty with 20 seconds left.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 04/04/14 at 12:56 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

Regardless, it still sounds smarter than the concept of “goalie trapezoids.”

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 04/05/14 at 12:46 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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