Okay… let’s talk about goalie interference. What is it?
According to National Hockey League Official Rule Book:
Rule 69 – Interference on the Goalkeeper 69.1 Interference on the Goalkeeper – This rule is based on the premise that an attacking player’s position, whether inside or outside the crease, should not, by itself, determine whether a goal should be allowed or disallowed. In other words, goals scored while attacking players are standing in the crease may, in appropriate circumstances be allowed. Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal; or (2) an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his goal crease. Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the goal crease, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact. The rule will be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgement of the Referee(s), but may be subject to a Coach’s Challenge (see Rule 78.7). For purposes of this rule, “contact,” whether incidental or otherwise, shall mean any contact that is made between or among a goalkeeper and attacking player(s), whether by means of a stick or any part of the body. The overriding rationale of this rule is that a goalkeeper should have the ability to move freely within his goal crease without being hindered by the actions of an attacking player. If an attacking player enters the goal crease and, by his actions, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact. If a defending player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by an attacking player so as to cause the defending player to come into contact with his own goalkeeper, such contact shall be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, and if necessary a penalty assessed to the attacking player and if a goal is scored it would be disallowed. 69.2 Penalty – In all cases in which an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalkeeper, whether or not the goalkeeper is inside or outside the goal crease, and whether or not a goal is scored, the attacking player will receive a penalty (minor or major, as the Referee deems appropriate). In all cases where the infraction being imposed is to the attacking player for hindering the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely in his goal crease, the penalty to be assessed is for goalkeeper interference. In exercising his judgment, the Referee should give more significant consideration to the degree and nature of the contact with the goalkeeper than to the exact location of the goalkeeper at the time of the contact. 69.3 Contact Inside the Goal Crease – If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed If a goalkeeper, in the act of establishing his position within his goal crease, initiates contact with an attacking player who is in the goal crease, and this results in an impairment of the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. If, after any contact by a goalkeeper who is attempting to establish position in his goal crease, the attacking player does not immediately vacate his current position in the goal crease (i.e. give ground to the goalkeeper), and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. In all such cases, whether or not a goal is scored, the attacking player will receive a minor penalty for goalkeeper interference. If an attacking player establishes a significant position within the goal crease, so as to obstruct the goalkeeper’s vision and impair his ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. For this purpose, a player “establishes a significant position within the crease” when, in the Referee’s judgment, his body, or a substantial portion thereof, is within the goal crease for more than an instantaneous period of time. Refer also to Reference Tables – Table 16 – Interference on the Goalkeeper Situations (page 151). 69.4 Contact Outside the Goal Crease – If an attacking player initiates any contact with a goalkeeper, other than incidental contact, while the goalkeeper is outside his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. A goalkeeper is not “fair game” just because he is outside the goal crease. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an attacking player makes unnecessary contact with the goalkeeper. However, incidental contact will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such unnecessary contact. When a goalkeeper has played the puck outside of his crease and is then prevented from returning to his crease area due to the deliberate actions of an attacking player, such player may be penalized for goalkeeper interference. Similarly, the goalkeeper may be penalized, if by his actions outside of his crease he deliberately interferes with an attacking player who is attempting to play the puck or an opponent. Refer also to Reference Tables – Table 16 – Interference on the Goalkeeper Situations (page 151). 69.5 Coach’s Challenge – Refer to Rule 78.7. 69.6 Face-off Location – Whenever the Referee stops play to disallow a goal as a result of contact with the goalkeeper (incidental or otherwise), the resulting face-off shall take place at the nearest neutral zone face-off spot outside the attacking zone of the offending team. 69.7 Rebounds and Loose Pucks – In a rebound situation, or where a goalkeeper and attacking player(s) are simultaneously attempting to play a loose puck, whether inside or outside the crease, incidental contact with the goalkeeper will be permitted, and any goal that is scored as a result thereof will be allowed. In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck by an attacking player after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed. If applicable, appropriate penalties will be assessed. If, however, in the opinion of the Referee, the attacking player was pushed or otherwise fouled by a defending player causing the goalkeeper to be pushed into the net together with the puck, the goal can be permitted. In the event that the puck is under a player in or around the crease area (deliberately or otherwise), a goal cannot be scored by pushing this player together with the puck into the goal. If applicable, the appropriate penalties will be assessed, including a penalty shot if deemed to be covered in the crease deliberately (see Rule 63 – Delaying the Game). 69.8 Fines and Suspensions – An attacking player who, in the judgment of the Referee, initiates contact with the goalkeeper, whether inside or outside the crease, in a fashion that would otherwise warrant a penalty, will be assessed an appropriate penalty (minor or major and/or game misconduct) and will be subject to additional sanctions as appropriate pursuant to Rule 28 – Supplementary Discipline.
We didn’t expect you to actually read all of that. Maybe the refs and video replay judges skipped that section as well? NHL players, coaches, and fans have grown increasingly frustrated with the NHL’s inability to have consistent ruling on what constitutes as goalie interference, and when a goal should be called back. The most recent example came Saturday night, when Brian Dumoulin graced Frederik Andersen as he slid the puck into the net. See video below:
Jamie Benn sounded off his opinion about this “goal” on Twitter:
2 mins for scoring. Huh? 🍁🐧
— Jamie Benn (@jamiebenn14) March 11, 2018
Sorry Oilers fans, here’s another painful goalie interference no-goal.
Not so long ago, players needed plow over the goaltender in order for a goal to be called back. But times have changed, and players seemingly are unable to even sneeze within the vicinity of the opposing goalie without a goal being disallowed.
So what is goalie interference anyways? Please, if you have some idea let us know! This madness needs to stop.