Goaltender Interference: Always Called Wrong

As the NHL Playoffs roll on, there have been plenty of questionable penalty calls by officials. The one call that is always made incorrectly is goaltender interference. A collision occurs in front of the net, a couple players and the goalie go down and all of a sudden a goaltender interference penalty is called on the attacking player. The refs never get a clear look at the play. All they see is the goalie on the ice and blow their whistles.

Players on every team take a beating by placing their body in the slot, screening the opposing goalie and looking for a tip. They are slashed, rough, and drilled the entire game. Yet, when they are knocked to the ice and hit in the goalie, somehow they end up being called for the penalty. Take a beating, head to the penalty box.

Goaltender interference must be “deliberate and intentional”. Falling in to the goalie is neither of those yet it is consistently being called a penalty. Goaltender interference penalty should almost never be called. That would only occur when another player takes a punch or a vicious slash at the keeper, the same sort of thing that would receive a roughing penalty if done against a skater.

The real call that should be made is incidental goaltender interference. That occurs when a player ACCIDENTALLY takes out the goalie. For instance, he is in the midst of a move, blows an edge, and ends up taking out the keeper. Whistle, but no penalty. The player had no INTENTION of taking out the goalie so it cannot be “deliberate and intentional”. Continue reading “Goaltender Interference: Always Called Wrong”