Every puckhead's been there: Your team takes a dumb penalty in its defensive zone; their opponents pull the goalie and bring on another offensive weapon during the delayed call; and you insert your entire fist in your own mouth as the physically exhausted penalized team desperately tries to gain possession of the puck to earn a whistle.
It's frantic, it's chaotic, it's nerve wracking; and if a new rule change submitted to the NHL this week is eventually approved, it could all get a hell of a lot worse.
The idea is to only whistle after the penalized team actually clears the puck out of their defensive zone. So, instead of possession, they would have to totally get the puck out. That could create more offensive chances for the team that's about to go on the power play with extra attacker out. Also, if the puck is in the offensive zone and the offensive team gets called for a penalty, then the team in the defensive zone, if they have the puck, can carry the puck up and shoot it into the zone; but, this time, the goalie stopping it behind the net won't stop play. His team will need to clear the puck out of the zone.
Our first thought, of course, was about how convenient it is for a St. Louis Blues official to be pushing for this "power play before the power play" rule when his team is converting at a 40 percent clip; wonder how the Anaheim Ducks will vote, considering they have as many power-play goals as wins right now.
That said, it seems this proposal and the recently-enacted faceoff rule both seek to give the power-play team vastly increased chances for conversion, while really twisting the knife into the penalty killers. It would discourage penalties while increasing scoring. Bettman just got a chubby.
Major drawback? Well, the quality of play during a delayed penalty is usually freak-show ugly, and this would just add a few more moments of frantic scrambling.
So here are the questions:
1. Pass or Fail: Only getting a whistle on delayed penalty when the penalized team clears the zone?
2. Would you ever support an even more extreme change to the current power-play format, in which every penalty would be a major; giving teams two minutes to score as many goals as they can? (This is something Lou Lamoriello has suggested, and it's always stuck in the back of our minds.)