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seagoal

The lacrosse goal: ban it?

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Svechnikov for Carolina is the latest magician to pull off this impressive maneuver.  Have a look:

I'll admit it's impressive.  It's a ballsy move.  It takes an unbelievable amount of skill and patience.  Executing it under pressure in a game is OBVIOUSLY difficult because, well, we don't see it that often.

At the same time, this goal has always annoyed me and made me think it's a dirty play.  My reaction is always "wow, that's crazy good. I hate it."  Here's why.

There was a play in an NHL game within the past few years where a player put the puck on his blade and just skated with it up the ice.  The ref blew the whistle and gave him a penalty for delay of game.  It was admittedly a bizarre move that is not common, but still, it was deamed not a proper hockey play and whistled for a delay of game penalty.  i wish I remembered who it was in what game so I could find the video. 

This would be equivalent to a travelling foul in the NBA.  You must dribble in basketball, so you can't just carry the ball and move.  That's a foul. 

As far as I know, there is no rule in hockey that says you must skate with the puck on the ice (dribble, if you will).  However, I think there should be.  And once that is established, the lacrosse goal would be banned because it's moving with the puck on your blade (travelling without dribbling).  There is a similar rule with pucks in the gloves of skaters.  They can not carry the puck and skate (travelling).  They must immediately drop the puck once it is in their glove because the implication is the puck should be on the ice when controlled by a player, other than on shots, passes, for goalies...the obvious exceptions.  In other words, without being explicitly stated (as far as I know), you can not and should not take control of the puck off the ice and proceed with a play.  That is illegal. 

My argument is that the lacrosse goal is a violation of this and should not be allowed.  It's taking possession of the puck off the ice and proceeding "forward" in a play. While not as incriminating as skating in center ice with the puck on the blade, it is still, nonetheless, a form of hockey "travelling" and should not be allowed. 

There is also the issue of goaltending for the lacrosse goal.  I think it is a bit absurd that a goaltender is expected to defend this shot. It's such a rare, non-hockey move (it's called the lacrosse goal--a sport that emphasizes "travelling" as a default way of moving) that is, in my mind, a clear violation of the (implied, perhaps) rules of the game.  There's a reason goalies always look humiliated and frustrated and helpless when these goals are scored.  Not taking away from how impressive and skilled the move is, it's not a "hockey move" and goalies who get scored on with it intuitively know this and they, essentially, in their body lauguage just go "what the fu..?"

Another point: what's next?  Where does the line get drawn?  What if there are two players behind the net on each side.  Should one be able to scoop the puck up and lacrosse style toss it to his mate who then just slam dunks it in an open net?  What about a lacrosse pass from behind to the slot and then a slam dunk on either side of the goalie?  What about a bank off the back of the goalie's head or back from a lacrosse style toss?

I think it's a great, super impressive play...that should be banned.  It's not hockey. It violates (implicit) hockey rules of play.  And it presents goalies with an unreasonable expectation of defending their net against it.  

Thoughts?  

Cheers. 

Edited by seagoal

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Just now, Scythe said:

i never liked it .. always looks and feels like cheating. i'd be for banning it.

You sir are then my co-president of my lobbying group.  Let us march!

Ha. 

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I mean... I hate it; but, at the same time, no forward should ever be given so much time behind the net that they're able to attempt this. Any time someone manages to put one of these in the net, that's blown defensive coverage right there.

Ban it? I dunno. Do we then ban any time a player intentionally plays the puck towards the opposing team's net from mid-air? (this would not include tips, tips are not playing the puck. Think any kind of "baseball" style swing)

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8 minutes ago, CJ Boiss said:

I mean... I hate it; but, at the same time, no forward should ever be given so much time behind the net that they're able to attempt this. Any time someone manages to put one of these in the net, that's blown defensive coverage right there.

Ban it? I dunno. Do we then ban any time a player intentionally plays the puck towards the opposing team's net from mid-air? (this would not include tips, tips are not playing the puck. Think any kind of "baseball" style swing)

Ok, but having the time to do it is not an argument to why they should be allowed to do it. They don't do it only because they have time (Ovechkin has a lot of time to take gigantic wind ups for his one timers from the circle), they do it because they haven't yet been told they can't.  It's currently a legit hockey move.  My argument is that it should not be legit move that is allowed, regardless of ability or time to do it. 

Good point on batting the puck.  But, there is no possession taken.  The time involved of a puck on the stick in batting the puck is equivalent to that of a slap shot or wrist shot.  My argument is fundamentally about taking possession of the puck (travelling) and I think this should not be allowed.  

Batting a puck in mid air does not violate my proposal for a rule change. 

Edited by seagoal

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Sometimes for whatever reason guys skate around with the tip of their stick blade on top of the puck. Granted I've never seen it used during a real game. 

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24 minutes ago, Scythe said:

Sometimes for whatever reason guys skate around with the tip of their stick blade on top of the puck. Granted I've never seen it used during a real game. 

I see it on occasion. There is one guy who will get away with it once in drop in, then he gets slashed. 

I’d rather see lacrosse goals than smaller equipment and larger goals. 

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A little off topic but to me it looks like he clips Rittich in the lid with his stick on the stuff - why isn't that high sticking? Seems there's a double standard on skaters versus goalies on stick contact. I'm not saying it needs to go down a rabbit hole like it has with players where dudes are diving on any stick to body contact (which I can't imagine you'd see much of since you need to keep battling to find pucks) or that incidental contact swinging at a loose puck in the air should be called necessarily but I've definitely seen egregious slashes on netminders called. I am in favor of calling anything that involves recklessly wielding ones stick (particularly if its in someone's grill). For that matter - even incidental contact to the head is called for players. In this instance (or if I'm seeing it wrong an instance similar to what I'm describing) - why wouldn't it be a minor for high sticking?  

Edited by chile57
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I think the older (Myself included) "Get off my lawn crowd" would like this move because it shows another weakness in the RVH.  If Rittich was in a traditional standing post hug mode this move fails.  I say no ban....  for now ;)

My .02 

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While I'm in the camp that doing this and making contact with the goalie's mask should be a high sticking penalty and not a goal, ultimately I think this will fall into the category of "let the kids play."  It doesn't happen that often, this one is a pretty precise one that I'd even have a bit of trouble justifying as high sticking other than a "letter of the law" call, and I don't think it violates the spirit of the game.

This is also probably one of the laziest RVH's I've seen in the NHL in a while.  It's one thing for beer league goalies to rely on playing percentages, but Rittich needs to get back on his feet with Svech setting up with time and space.  The higher percentage play on this is a pass out front which he won't be able to effectively drive out to from his knees.  And if you REALLY want to use RVH here, then he shouldn't be slinking back so much into the net, he should be actively leaning and peeking around the post at the guy with the puck so he knows what's coming.

In terms of the rule change, I would agree that the rule should be that you can't carry the puck on your stick in a manner that you can be standing still and the puck is sitting on your stick, off the ice.  But ultimately I think this falls into the category of plays like what they introduced the coaches challenge for.  It's not such a big problem that it necessitates a rule change (they got that wrong by introducing the challenge).

I also don't like the play, for the record, but I see ways to prevent/defend it as a goalie and don't think a rule change is needed other than calling contact with the goalie's head.

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Eh, this is the first time this goal as been accomplished at the NHL level. I'm fine with it.

It's when it becomes common place is when we should start reevaluating whether or not it should be allowed.

Just put it in the same category as the Spin-o-Rama goals in the shootout. Gimmicky as all hell and pretty unfair to the goalie, but overall not a big enough to deal to make a stink of it.

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21 minutes ago, coopaloop1234 said:

Just put it in the same category as the Spin-o-Rama goals in the shootout. Gimmicky as all hell and pretty unfair to the goalie, but overall not a big enough to deal to make a stink of it.

There definitely seems to be an injustice in hockey that there are way more "non-hockey" things that shooters can pull off that make it way harder on the goalie, but not so much the other way around.

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4 minutes ago, Mroy31 said:

There definitely seems to be an injustice in hockey that there are way more "non-hockey" things that shooters can pull off that make it way harder on the goalie, but not so much the other way around.

To be fair, there's a lot more "hockey" moves in general in a players wheel house. Goaltending is a very niche position.

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4 hours ago, chile57 said:

A little off topic but to me it looks like he clips Rittich in the lid with his stick on the stuff - why isn't that high sticking?

This is my position as well.  not against the move itself just the circumstances around this particular goal.

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5 hours ago, Scythe said:

Sometimes for whatever reason guys skate around with the tip of their stick blade on top of the puck. Granted I've never seen it used during a real game. 

Yeah, I've seen that too.  Definitely annoying and body check worthy, but this isn't taking possession and "travelling" in the same way that skating with the puck on a stick blade/a lacrosse goal is. Great point.

4 hours ago, chile57 said:

A little off topic but to me it looks like he clips Rittich in the lid with his stick on the stuff - why isn't that high sticking? Seems there's a double standard on skaters versus goalies on stick contact. I'm not saying it needs to go down a rabbit hole like it has with players where dudes are diving on any stick to body contact (which I can't imagine you'd see much of since you need to keep battling to find pucks) or that incidental contact swinging at a loose puck in the air should be called necessarily but I've definitely seen egregious slashes on netminders called. I am in favor of calling anything that involves recklessly wielding ones stick (particularly if its in someone's grill). For that matter - even incidental contact to the head is called for players. In this instance (or if I'm seeing it wrong an instance similar to what I'm describing) - why wouldn't it be a minor for high sticking?  

Yes, thank you for bringing this up. It was a point I forgot to mention in my OP: danger to goalie.  A lacrosse goal play encourages, or at the very least allows, players to swing their sticks at the heads of goalies while, illegally-I argue-having possession of the puck and "travelling."   Another good point to add to a case for banning this play.

1 hour ago, Mroy31 said:

While I'm in the camp that doing this and making contact with the goalie's mask should be a high sticking penalty and not a goal, ultimately I think this will fall into the category of "let the kids play."  It doesn't happen that often, this one is a pretty precise one that I'd even have a bit of trouble justifying as high sticking other than a "letter of the law" call, and I don't think it violates the spirit of the game.

This is also probably one of the laziest RVH's I've seen in the NHL in a while.  It's one thing for beer league goalies to rely on playing percentages, but Rittich needs to get back on his feet with Svech setting up with time and space.  The higher percentage play on this is a pass out front which he won't be able to effectively drive out to from his knees.  And if you REALLY want to use RVH here, then he shouldn't be slinking back so much into the net, he should be actively leaning and peeking around the post at the guy with the puck so he knows what's coming.

In terms of the rule change, I would agree that the rule should be that you can't carry the puck on your stick in a manner that you can be standing still and the puck is sitting on your stick, off the ice.  But ultimately I think this falls into the category of plays like what they introduced the coaches challenge for.  It's not such a big problem that it necessitates a rule change (they got that wrong by introducing the challenge).

I also don't like the play, for the record, but I see ways to prevent/defend it as a goalie and don't think a rule change is needed other than calling contact with the goalie's head.

Great points.  There are certainly ways to defend it as a goalie, I just don't think we should have to because the play itself is a violation of an established rule in hockey that you can not take possession of the puck on your blade and proceed.

If the NHL won't allow players to skate with the puck up ice with the puck on the blade, the only difference between that and a lacrosse play is time.  So, they would need to set a time limit that would be perhaps a challenge by a coach.  Let's say it is set at 3 seconds. Then instant replay with a clock could be used to determine if possession was had for too long or not. 

If the only difference on these two is time, then they need to start enforcing that time.

49 minutes ago, coopaloop1234 said:

To be fair, there's a lot more "hockey" moves in general in a players wheel house. Goaltending is a very niche position.

Amen.

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Sorry, I'm having the glitch on here again where I can't edit a previous post...

...but I just rewatched the video and the announcer even says "...up until now an unbeatable Rittich." 

So Rittich was stopping all the hockey stuff and it took a non-hockey play to beat him.  Just sayin' ;)

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10 minutes ago, seagoal said:

If the only difference on these two is time, then they need to start enforcing that time.

I think it should be more like the original rule change before banning the spinorama, which I believe was to change "forward motion" to "continuous motion" to justify the move at first.  So it's not how long it's on your stick, but if you were to take any freeze frame of the motion and recreate that as a still position in real-time, and the puck would stay on your stick, then it's illegal.

I'd put it in the same category as the rule that technically allows a player (with forward momentum) to twist around behind them and grab a puck that is up in the air and then immediately place it in front of them, because that's where their momentum was going, and have that be legal.  Maybe that rule has changed since the one time I ever saw it happen though.

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26 minutes ago, MTH said:

When did this become the lacrosse goal? Was always the 'Michigan'.

Yup.  It's gaining in regularity, mostly in juniors. 

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46 minutes ago, MTH said:

When did this become the lacrosse goal? Was always the 'Michigan'.

Probably an Ohio State fan trying to get Michigan removed from the language.  On a side note, I was at the game when the Michigan happened ;)

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My only argument against it is that it brings the players stick up to head proximity. From that perspective, you could make the argument that it's unsafe in the same way high sticking is considered unsafe.

The "travelling" analogy is a weak argument. In this case, he didn't take much more than a half stride. You can take a step with the ball in basketball without it being considered traveling. 

The goaltender's defense on this is easy. Go mask to post. If a player still tries this, then we're back to my original point above that it could be dangerous.

With the current state of the NHL trying to increase scoring by reducing the size of goaltending equipment, what would be the reason (other than safety issues above) they would want to ban this. Right now this clip is going viral through multiple social media channels. Even non-hockey fans are re-posting this. These kind of ridiculous highlights get a lot of attention, something the NHL desperately wants. I just don't see a ban happening.

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3 minutes ago, goalieThreeOne said:

With the current state of the NHL trying to increase scoring by reducing the size of goaltending equipment, what would be the reason (other than safety issues above) they would want to ban this. Right now this clip is going viral through multiple social media channels. Even non-hockey fans are re-posting this. These kind of ridiculous highlights get a lot of attention, something the NHL desperately wants. I just don't see a ban happening.

Just to argue with you for shits and giggles.

Remember that Krug clip from the playoffs where he skated across the entirety of the ice to lay a big hit without his helmet? NHL just imposed a rule where that type of play would force Krug to put his helmet back on or get off the ice.

This is despite that clip being shared everywhere.

They're kind of all over the place with how they implement rules.

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8 minutes ago, goalieThreeOne said:

My only argument against it is that it brings the players stick up to head proximity. From that perspective, you could make the argument that it's unsafe in the same way high sticking is considered unsafe.

The "travelling" analogy is a weak argument. In this case, he didn't take much more than a half stride. You can take a step with the ball in basketball without it being considered traveling. 

The goaltender's defense on this is easy. Go mask to post. If a player still tries this, then we're back to my original point above that it could be dangerous.

With the current state of the NHL trying to increase scoring by reducing the size of goaltending equipment, what would be the reason (other than safety issues above) they would want to ban this. Right now this clip is going viral through multiple social media channels. Even non-hockey fans are re-posting this. These kind of ridiculous highlights get a lot of attention, something the NHL desperately wants. I just don't see a ban happening.

Great post.  Thanks.  You reminded me of a possible criticism of my own argument that I thought of....but first:

-my traveling analogy first stemmed from the delay of game penalty given to the skater at center ice skating with the puck on his blade.  This happened in an NHL game, essentially them saying -- You can not take possession of the puck on your stick in the same way a goalie can in their gloves.  Skaters can't even use their gloves to carry the puck.  Possession of the puck in this sense is not allowed. So, because the lacrosse goal is the same thing other than time, I think it makes sense that the NHL should ban the lacrosse goal OR regulate the amount of time a skater is allowed to have the puck in their possession on the blade of their stick.

Here's what I thought of earlier as a critique of my own argument that you reminded me of: in basketball, players are allowed more freedom to "travel" near the goal in the box (is it called the Key? I forget).  So in the prime scoring zone I think they can travel 2 steps as opposed to the normal 1 step elsewhere on the court?

The lacrosse goal in hockey would qualify as analogous to this which might blow up my ban argument but would in fact support my subsequent suggestion that the NHL should then regulate time (or steps, as it were) allowed with the puck on the blade.

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Personally, I am not in favor of banning the lacrosse goal. It is exceedingly rare. It is difficult. It is exciting and attractive to fans. I agree with the "if you are given the time and space and opportunity by your opposing professional hockey players, and you have the nerve and talent to do it against a professional goaltender with the knowledge that teammates, opposing players, fans, and analysts will all roast you if you don't get it perfect, go for it" rationale.

I think the most egregious "highlight" play that should be banned is the "slow walk-in with 12 dekes" shootout attempt. A shootout is, of course, a gimmick, an individual skillset—it is not really the game of hockey, in the sense that there is no passing, defense, teamwork, etc. But it should at least attempt to mirror the realities of the game of hockey, and that is where the slow walk-in shootouts are more of an aberration. There is virtually no situation in a game where a forward would have that much time to execute so many moves. Even when a player has a clearrrr-cut breakaway from the penalty box or from a shot-block on the other side of the ice, they still hustle and get that shot off ASAP. They know there are several opposing players skating hard behind them.

The easy solve would be to add a shot clock for each shootout attempt. I'm not talking about anything too brief—maybe 3 or 4 seconds (it's not as quick as it sounds). Kane's attempt, from picking up the puck to it crossing the goal line, was just under 6 seconds by my count. A shorter timeline would generally ensure that players need to get in there and take a shot pretty quickly. If they elect to sprint their ass off to afford themselves a little more time to deke or shoot, that's their prerogative.

Not perfect, but anything would be an improvement over this bullshit...

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