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Make some fun, happy time ~ Alex Ovechkin

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hockey in BlondeSpeak - Penalty Shots

(Semi-serious hockey post… yeah, right! Before I begin, anyone with any hockey knowledge who reads this and would like to point out any errors, please bash away, comments always welcome! But, I do not profess to be an expert, so please don’t expect 100% accuracy.)

I have questions, I want answers. What, exactly, constitutes when a penalty shot is called?

Let’s break this down, the blonde way. (Don’t get insulted, all you blondes. I am one of you).

So, the whistle blows and the zebra crosses his fists above his head. The crowd moans and the opposing team gets a penalty shot. Why, you ask?


Here is what the NHL says:

Rule 25 - Penalty Shot

25.1 Penalty Shot – A penalty shot is designed to restore a scoring opportunity which was lost as a result of a foul being committed by the offending team, based on the parameters set out in these rules.

And, 25.8 Infractions – Refer to the Reference Tables – Table 13 – Summary of Penalty Shots for a list of the infractions that shall result in a penalty shot being awarded (see specific rule numbers for complete descriptions).

There are four (4) specific conditions that must be met in order for the Referee to award a penalty shot for a player being fouled from behind. They are:

(i) The infraction must have taken place in the neutral zone or attacking zone, (i.e. over the puck carrier’s own blue line);

(ii) The infraction must have been committed from behind;

(iii) The player in possession and control (or, in the judgment of the Referee, clearly would have obtained possession and control of the puck) must have been denied a reasonable chance to score (the fact that he got a shot off does not automatically eliminate this play from the penalty shot consideration criteria. If the foul was from behind and he was denied a “more” reasonable scoring opportunity due to the foul, then the penalty shot should be awarded);

(iv) The player in possession and control (or, in the judgment of the Referee, clearly would have obtained possession and control of the puck) must have had no opposing player between himself and the goalkeeper.

A penalty shot is awarded to a player who is deemed to have lost a clear scoring chance on a breakaway by way of a penalty infraction by an opposing player. A breakaway, in this case, means that there are no other players between the would-be shooter and the goaltender of the defending team. Generally, the penalty shot is awarded in lieu of what would normally be a minor penalty, so the fouled team will not get both a penalty shot and a power play from a single infraction.

According to NHL rules, various infractions during a breakaway that can lead to a penalty shot being awarded include: a goaltender deliberately dislodging a goal-post (delay of game), a defending player using a stick or any other part of his body to interfere with the attacking player, a goaltender or other player throwing his stick to distract or hinder the attacking player, or any other foul committed against the attacking player from behind. In addition to this, a penalty shot is awarded to the opposing team if a non-goalie player intentionally covers the puck in his own team's goal crease.

Here is what the Blonde Girl says:

BlondeSpeak: If an opponent, with no other player between him and the goalie, is denied an attempt to shoot and possibly score a goal due to a penalty on him from behind, he can be awarded a penalty shot by the ref.

Forget all the other conditions and requirements. Basically, if you see a player being given a penalty shot, the above in BlondeSpeak is basically how it happened and is probably all you really need to know. Whether we agree with the refs or not, they make the call.

Doesn’t seem fair, does it? I mean, there was no guarantee that the player was actually going to score! But, now he gets a chance to make another attempt, one on one, like a shoot out? Yeah, I don’t like it either. I especially don’t like it when it happens TWICE against our baby Bear goalie.

Penalty shots, like shoot outs, will give you a heart attack. They suck…Any questions?


  1. Well, there's some technicalities. If the player can get the shot off, there should not be a penalty shot, if he can't, there should be a penalty shot rewarded.

  2. I know, point taken! That's why I included the 4 NHL conditions. But my original question when I saw those two against Neuvy, was what basically happened to have them awarded? Got the answer but wanted it broken down to the simplest explanation (hence BlondeSpeak). Thanks for reading & commenting, though!

  3. lol, nice. Nowadays, though, the ref doesn't do the crossing of the arms over the head anymore... more like the full-arm point to center ice. :)

  4. Yeah, but I couldn't get a picture of that!!

  5. Ah. Well. I guess it's okay then. =P hahaha