Around The NHL: Do Goalies Need Protection?

November 19, 2011, by

Around The NHL is going to be a new feature running here on a weekly basis. We will consolidate the big news around the league and discuss them here. 

Lucic Runs Miller

The biggest news of the week came during the Boston Bruins/Buffalo Sabres game, when Milan Lucic appeared to take a run at goaltender Ryan Miller (video below). It sparked a big debate about whether goaltenders need to be “off limits” when playing the puck outside the crease. The arguments on both side are good arguments, and it is something we will likely see addressed at the GM meetings. Lucic was not suspended for the hit, and was given a two minute penalty for charging.

Carter Wants Out?

It looks like Jeff Carter wants out of Columbus after eight games. There have been numerous reports on Twitter, stemming from an article run by RDS, that Carter has requested a trade from the Blue Jackets. CBJ is off to a 3-13-2 start and a -27 goal differential, despite making big moves for Carter and James Wisniewski in the offseason. Both the team and Carter’s agent have denied the reports.

Those Surprising Panthers

The Florida Panthers spent the GDP of a small country filling out their roster this offseason with the hopes of making the playoffs. After 18 games, the Cats are in second place in the Southeast division, and in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Newcomers Kris Versteeg, Brian Campbell, and Tomas Fleischmann are leading the way, with home grown players Dmitry Kulikov and Stephen Weiss adding additional support.The Jose Theodore/Jakob Markstrom duo has been great in net as well. Whether they can keep it up for the entire season is still unknown.

Boston Returning To Form

The Rangers aren’t the only team on a seven game win streak. The Bruins have won seven in a row, and have climbed back into the playoff picture after a 3-7 start. Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand all have had impressive point streaks to help the B’s get back into contention.Tim Thomas has won four in a row.

Categories : Around the League


  1. Keeps says:

    I guess I don’t have to tell you guys at this point where in weigh in on goalie safety, but one thing I will be interested in following is if teams are willing to give up comparable value for Carter since he is tethered to an 11-year contract. I think that could make GM’s a little gun shy…

    • Dave says:

      Yea, that contract is a doozy. But Carter is still very young and can put up big numbers.

  2. bob says:

    Florida and Columbus are definitely suprising the experts.Florida with a complete overhaul with a mish mosh line-up and questionable goaltending,nobody expected much.I’m shocked and I doubt its going to last.On the other hand,Columbus seems to be a complete mess.I don’t think they are going to turn it around so easily.Carter seems to be a cancer.An expensive one at that.I expect a shake up coming soon.

  3. Leatherneckinlv says:

    I am all for a goalie being fair game once he is out of the crease and subject to being crushed by a body check like any other player

    • Keeps says:

      I’ve seen you make this argument several times now, but aside from claims that it is “soft” or “not old school” to protect the goalies, I have yet to hear you support your claims with any actual facts relating to this issue. What substance can you offer to counter 1.) the rulebook explicitly saying that goalies “are not fair game” and the fact that goalie equipment isn’t designed for body checks? And please don’t reply with the straw man argument of “if they don’t want to get hit, don’t leave the crease”, because goalie’s playing the puck works to everyone’s advantage, because if goalies could play the puck behind the net, it would lead to defensemen getting injured more frequently on the puck pursuit…

      • Keeps says:

        *if goalies could not play the puck behind the net

        • Leatherneckinlv says:

          They have more protection equipment wise than the other players, they are hockey players, they choose to veer from the crease, so why should other players on opposing teams not have the right to play the puck or the body on a goalie? Why give an advantage to a goalie? He has enough sanctuary in his crease. Flat out he is a hockey player and physical contact is a major part of the game so he should be subject to the same rule and conduct as any player once he leaves the paint to play the puck

          • Keeps says:

            Fair points, however it is not about the amount of equipment, it’s about the type. Goalie equipment simply is not build to protect from a body check. Do you advocate redesigning the gear so a goalie can safely be hit?

            Also a goalie has far less mobility than a regular player, so how do you account for the disadvantage of avoidance?

            I’m sorry but I simply don’t buy the argument that the crease is enough “sanctuary” for a goalie. An NHL crease is only about 8×6. Soccer goalies for example have creases that far exceed the size of a hockey crease. It is unrealistic to expect a goalie to simply remain there if they don’t want to be hit.

            As to one of your remaining points and to Dave, I am not in any way trying to absolve goalies from physical contact. I am addressing what happened to Ryan Miller and similar situations. Of course contact is part of the game and every goalie should be prepared for it. However, the notion that they should be able to be checked like regular players is simply not supported by the reality of the modern game.

            • The Suit says:

              Agree, which is why the rule states goalies aren’t fair game…and its a good rule at that

  4. Dave says:

    Goalies shouldn’t be touched in the crease. Beyond that, there should be an attempt made to not hit the goalie. Going out of the way to level a goalie should be a penalty, but if there’s contact outside the crease, it shouldn’t be an issue.

    • bob says:

      I agree with you Dave,I don’t particularly like the idea that you cannot make any contact at all.To me that would give the goalie too much control and may lead to goalies taking advantage.Obviously Lucic went to hit him like he was any other player.The fact that he got hurt has made it more of an issue than just a normal penalty for running the goalie.