A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

AHL to experiment with one-minute minors in OT

Greg Wyshynski, over at Puck Daddy, has reported that the AHL will, at the behest of the NHL, experiment with one-minute minor penalties in regular season overtime games next season.

The theory is the same one that Jacques Martin has used every time his Panthers team commits a penalty in overtime. The four-on-three advantage for a full two minutes is usually too much for the offending team to deal with. He links to an article in the Toronto Star, which tells us just how damaging that scenario is:
This season, 39 per cent of the penalties in OT that have resulted in a 4-on-3 power play have produced the winning goal in NHL games. It stands to reason, Campbell said, that one-minute penalties will produce fewer goals, and therefore more games will go to shootouts.

He goes on to bring up another of the points behind this experiment. A two minute minor in regulation is 10% of a period, or 3.33 % of the entire game. A two minute minor in overtime is 40 % of the period. The argument is that the punishment is much more severe for the same crime.

The way it would actually be practiced is kinda silly, especially in regards to carry-over penalties. Any remaining time from a regulation penalty would be cut in half entering the overtime period. If a player commits a hooking penalty at 19:20 of regulation serves the first 40 in regulation, then only has to serve 40 more seconds in overtime as opposed to the 80 that he actually owes. Wyshynski tells us what he thinks of that:
"Raise your hand if you think a defensive player might kill or maim to prevent a goal knowing that his team would only be shorthanded for, at most, under a minute in the OT?"

I'm with Puck Daddy on this one. I don't like it. You put youself in a serious hole if you commit penalties in overtime, so the solution is to be better disciplined. In my opinion, that is exactly the point. It should be set up so that you're very much behind the eight-ball if you commit an overtime penalty. That's the beauty and the difficulty of it. Every mistake is magnified.

I don't like the idea of comparing overtime to regulation. They're not the same. Nothing about them is the same. We all know that officiating standards are not the same in the extra frame as they are in regulation. Teams are already getting a break on law enforcement, and I don't think they should get an additional break on sentencing.

I suppose the next thing will be to play the full overtime period instead of sudden death. Either that, or they just stop playing overtime altogether and go straight from regulation to shootout. I'm against both of those ideas. They seem like ideas that might be brought up in rules committee meetings, but I hope they never are. The first quote that I lifted seems to suggest that the NHL wants more games going to shootout. They think that the fans and players like it. They think wrong.

In addition to the one minute minor experiment, the AHL is going to modify its rulebook to parrot that of the NHL. Specifically, they're going to change their rules about icing, high-sticking and delay of game (puck over glass).

1 comment:

John said...

Why not go to a 5-on-4 power play in OT? Instead of the offending team losing a man, the team going on the PP gains a man. Of course, that leads to the problem of getting the extra man off the ice when the power play is over...

I think you're right though: The solution is to play disciplined hockey in the last minute of regulation and in OT. An even better (though completely unrealistic) solution would be to play a 5-on-5 OT and let the game end in a tie. What's so bad about a tie?


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