Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Holland's Rule

According to Ken Holland, goalies should be limited in their ability to play the puck. Apparently, the league's 30 General Managers agreed with him. Yesterday, they voted to stop goalies from being able to play the puck behind the net. Holland's argument is
``The goaltenders are so good at handling the puck,'' said Holland, a former minor-league netminder. "A lot of teams don't go in to forecheck out of respect for their abilities. So how do we limit what they can do so teams are more encouraged to forecheck? "With forecheck comes pressure, with pressure comes scoring chances and also odd-man rushes.''
A major example of this is New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, who is one of the best goalies at puck control and is an integral part of the Devils' stifling defense because of his ability to keep opposing forwards from the puck. I don't agree with Holland that goalies should be limited in their ability to play the puck by taking away their ability to play behind the net. I'd rather see goalies become fair game behind the net so they can decide for themselves whether or not to go back there. To keep them from playing the puck behind the net completely is too much, in my opinion. The vote does not make it law but shows just how many people are for it. Personally, I think there are better ways to bring more scoring to the game and making goalies fair game behind the net is one of them. Why should they be protected? If they're going to play like a third defenseman, they should be treated like one.


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