We get it, no one understands what goaltender interference in the NHL is anymore. It’s an ever-changing landscape and really depends on who the official is to determine the penalty or lack thereof. Players are mad, coaches are mad, the league is mad, fans are mad, everyone is mad— as is the norm with the NHL these days.
But here’s the thing– and this is just me: why have the crease painted blue if it’s nothing more than to be a contrast to the white ice?? It’s a crazy idea, I know, but maybe– just maybe– the crease can actually stand for something again rather than just looking fancy on the ice.
If the NHL actually makes the crease the no-fly zone when it comes to interference, then it’s a simple fix with a hard-and-fast ruling behind it. Contact within the blue-paint, no matter how small, is interference– end of story. Considering the goalies do go about a bit more to cut off angles and they may feel like they won’t get a call because of that– well, extend the top of the crease by a bit and we’ve got ourselves a simple, pain-free fix.
Goalies should be protected to an extent, much like a quarterback in football. Especially since they’re getting their pads reduced at an alarming rate, the least you could do in exchange for them is to extend the crease so they can go ahead and be able to cut down the angle without fear of getting their legs taken out from under them when trying to make the save. When they’re out of the crease– they aren’t going to be free-game, but they’ll get less of the benefit of the doubt when there is some kind of incidental contact.
There’s always been a weird thing for me that defenders would throw players into their own goalie just to get a cheap interference call– so in that instance treat it like a diving call. If a player pushes the attacking player into their goalie– the attacking player gets called on interference, as does the defender for being going out of his way to try and get the call at the risk of his helpless goalie.
It’s always something with the NHL– players calling out unfair face-offs, the review process taking an inordinate amount of time (and could be fixed by simple technology), some slashes and hooks called while some are not– it’s the status quo that not everyone will be happy at the same time with the NHL. Yet, there’s so many logical simple fixes that could be made that for one reason or another– no one will take the time to listen to…though that seems to be the world we live in these days; why should the NHL be any different??