As part of our Saturday Saves section, we are covering Rule 69 of the NHL’s Rules and Regulations. This rule is intended to protect goalies – especially when they are defenseless against attacks. In the past, many NHL teams had enforcers that would protect their goalies against punishable offenses. However, the enforcer role has drastically decreased in recent years – resulting in referees having to protect goalies across the League. Rule 69 remains a hot topic of debate among fans and players alike. In fact, there have been recent calls and non-calls that have gotten quite a few folks upset.
Rule 69 revolves around interference on the goalie. This means that attacking players cannot impair a goalie’s ability to freely defend his or her goal. This includes intentionally making contact with the goalie inside or outside his or her crease. Incidental contacts with goalies, however, are permitted and resulting goals will be allowed. If the attacking players have made reasonable efforts to avoid contact with goalies — any goals scored will be allowed. This rule is exclusively enforced by referees as part of on-ice judgments. This means any objections cannot be contested via video replay or reviews. The latter is what is currently up for debate in the League – since other non-hockey sporting leagues are allowed to challenge calls with video replay evidence.
In a recent game between the Maple Leafs and Penguins, another goaltender interference call was made. This left both teams as well as the fans completely confused. The Penguins were trailing the Leafs 3-0 in the second period – when Brian Dumoulin got passed Frederik Andersen to score a rather nice goal.
However, Dumoulin was given a two-minute penalty for goalie interference – and the goal was immediately disallowed. Take a look at the video and see if this play really warranted a goalie interference penalty? While Dumoulin did make contact with Andersen as he attacked the net – it seems like he was pushed by Ron Hainsey. This is the general consensus by many that watched the game – but the penalty still stood and the Leafs capitalized on the power play and scored. The Penguins did rally back but the final scored was 4-2. With this in mind, there was plenty of disagreement with the call and that continues to be a hot topic of discussion across the hockey world.
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