In the course of your hockey reading, you may have heard discussions about revoking the trapezoid rule. Didn’t happen as of today, but maybe you aren’t clear on the rule to begin with. The rule was instituted as part of the post-lockout 2005 rule reformation package, and it was designed to stimulate more opportunities by the offense. It was nicknamed the “Marty Brodeur Rule” because he can play a puck so well; even outside the crease, it was felt it gave him and other goalies like him, an unfair advantage. To be honest, Brodeur wasn’t always a goalie; he started playing hockey as a forward, so having this “exceptional” skill is no surprise.
Many people who have watched hockey for more than 5 years pretty much hate this rule. Most newer fans don’t know what it was like to see goalies in action prior to the rule change and just accept it as a rule of the game. The rule is not imposed by the IIHF and there was no such restriction during the Olympics. If you can remember back to February, you saw hockey games without the trapezoid. (Personally, it’s something I would prefer to forget, but not because of the no trapezoid rule.)
Anyway, let me break the trapezoid rule down into BlondeSpeak for you:
What the NHL rule book says:
1.8 Goalkeeper’s Restricted Area - A restricted trapezoid-shaped area behind the goal will be laid out as follows: Five feet (5') outside of each goal crease (six feet (6') from each goal post), a two-inch (2") red line shall be painted extending from the goal line to a point on the end of the rink ten feet (10') from the goal crease (eleven feet (11') from the goal post) and continuing vertically up the kick plate (see diagram on the page iv preceding the table of contents). (Paint code PMS 186).
How it was interpreted by a sports writer:
''A goaltender may not play the puck outside a designated area behind the net. This area is defined by lines that begin on the goal line, six feet from each goal post, and extend diagonally to points 28 feet apart at the end boards. Should a goalie play the puck outside this area behind the goal line, a minor penalty for delay of game will be imposed. The determining factor will be the position of the puck.''The New York Times/ Jason Diamos/ September 16, 2005
Goalies are not allowed to color outside the lines!
No, seriously, all this rule does is create two patches of ice, in the corners, where the goaltender can't play the puck. But even seasoned goaltenders rarely ever played the puck there anyway, it's way out of position and out of many younger goalies comfort zones.
In my opinion, if a goalie is skilled enough to be able to play the puck far from the net but still get back into the crease to make the all important saves, I say let him do it. It adds real excitement to the game and additional thrills to goalie fans like me.
(Editors note: Once again, I would like to point out that I am not an expert, I did not see the replay. The purpose of this post is to simplify hockey stuff for those with who want a simple explanation but don't want to look stupid by asking. If you already know the ins and outs of the trapezoid rule, and it insults your intelligence, my most humble apologies, you must obviously not be blonde.)