I’ve been watching a ton of hockey this playoffs and I have seen way too many delay of game penalties for players shooting the puck over the glass. Not one of these penalties I saw was intentional and several times these silly over the glass delay of game penalties helped to decide the winning team. The NHL really needs to take a look at this and reassess the severity of the delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass from the defensive zone.
In my hockey opinion the NHL should change the rule to be the same as the icing rule, where if a player flips the puck over the boards the penalty is that they are not allowed to change. It’s been widely said that the reason this penalty was introduced was because players would flip the puck over the boards when they were tired in order to try to get a change. This sounds very similar to why players decide to ice the puck. However the difference is if players flip the puck over the boards they get a two-minute penalty, whereas if they ice the puck they just aren’t allowed to change. Players make both plays for the same reason and both plays result in the same outcome of a delay in the game, so in my opinion both plays should be penalized the same way.
The over the glass delay of game penalty was to prevent players from intentionally playing the puck over the glass. Of course nobody intentionally plays the puck over the glass now, but it still happens because in some cases it is inevitable and it’s just a few inches between a solid clear off the glass out of danger and a two minute penalty. By replacing the two minute penalty for clearing the puck over the glass with the current icing rule that players aren’t allowed to change the NHL will still be able to deter players from intentionally clearing the puck over the glass when they are tired and not risk drastically affecting games from slight misplays.
A perfect example would be when Rick Nash took a penalty for clearing the puck over the glass and Russia went on to score on the powerplay and win the gold over Canada in last years IIHF Hockey Championships. This is not the way teams should be winning games. Everyone wants the best team to have the best chance at winning and this penalty only adds variance to the game, which decreases the chances of the right team winning. I know the NHL wants parity and more goals and awarding silly penalties is one way to get both, but in reality this “delay of game puck over glass” penalty is hurting a lot more than it’s helping. The penalty was added to do a job. Now that the NHL has found another way to deter players from delaying the game (not allowing changes) they should quickly do away with this minor penalty and avoid any more controversial finishes.