Between The Pipes: Goalie Interference

By Taylor Dupuis

Dupuis with the Ryerson Rams. Photo by Alex D’Addese.

What’s up guys? Taylor here back for yet another year with Around The OHL and I got a feeling it’s going to be a good one. With plenty to talk about, it’s safe to say there won’t be a shortage of content for “Between The Pipes”. I’m not going to bother wasting any more time here so let’s dive in, shall we?

Now this may still be a sensitive subject to you Oilers fans out there and something I’m sure a lot of you are waiting to be clarified… cue the grey that is goalie interference. Starting to ring some bells Oiler fans? If not, maybe I need to mention games four and five where there appeared to be a missed goalie interference call (according to Milan Lucic) which evidently resulted both in losses for the Oil. Here’s a fresh reminder what he had to say.

“A guy falls on the goalie and wraps his hand around the goalie’s pad… I don’t even know what goalie interference is anymore, to be perfectly honest.”

Ahhh, you and I both Milan, you and I both. Now I understand the NHL has tried to attack this rule head on by implementing video review on goalie interference calls. Kudos to you NHL, kudos to you for leaving some gaping holes that still cause games to be decided but this grey area that absolutely nobody can seem to figure out.

As per the NHL, the goalie interference rule is subject as follows:

69.1 Interference on the Goalkeeper:
This rule is based on the premise that an attacking player’s position, whether inside or outside the crease, should not, by itself, determine whether a goal should be allowed or disallowed. In other words, goals scored while attacking players are standing in the crease may, in appropriate circumstances be allowed. Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal; or (2) an attacking player initiates intentional or deliberate contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his goal crease. Incidental contact with a goalkeeper will be permitted, and resulting goals allowed, when such contact is initiated outside of the goal crease, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact. The rule will be enforced exclusively in accordance with the on-ice judgement of the Referee(s), and not by means of video replay or review.

Now, we see it every year, fans bitching and complaining about refs. Realistically, it all boils down to one common trait… consistency. So among every penalty call, consistency is the one thing that is currently lacking. The reason that people, including myself, get so pissed off about this issue is that you may as well flip a coin to decide what the call is going to be. How many times have you sat and watched a video review, thinking you know what the call is going to be, simply to be the furthest away possible from it. Even play-by-play announcers are dumbfounded when the ref turns his mic on to announce what the ‘War Room’ told them to announce to a crowd of 20,000. Is it time for a change? Absolutely.

The goalie interference rule needs to be made more “black and white”, no more “this is how it’s called on Tuesday’s and this is how it’s called on Wednesday’s” sort of thing.

Now here’s where I channel my “inner Trump”.


Currently the crease plays no role whatsoever whether a goal is waived off or not. The rules can say what they want but on every review, the determining factor is whether the player made contact with the goalie or not. Some cases see the goalie outside of his crease and the player makes contact with him and the goal is waived off. Other cases, the player is in the crease with no contact and it’s ruled a goal. At times, there’s a bit of contact and who knows what the call is going to be. If you want to stop seeing this inconsistency grow more and more here.

On behalf of every goalie out there, here’s a little PSA…

Us goalies live in that crease. We take care of it, we clean it, we scrape it up when it’s too clean, we protect it when someone trespasses, it’s our home.

Why not keep it as simple as you possibly can. If a player is inside the crease, waive it off. If he’s outside the crease, fair game. What if your own defenseman pushes a player into the crease, then what? To me, that’s fair game. If your D establishes position, make the opposing player battle for legal position.

What about when the goalie is out of the crease and makes contact with a player, what now?

Simply tell him to shut up and stay in his ‘home’.

I’m not an expert by any means but even to review these plays, you only need to look into very few factors.

Who pushed who? Was the player inside the crease or was the goalie out on the white ice?

On top of that, would this not increase net front battles and increase scoring if goalies aren’t challenging as much? Forget this whole making goalie equipment smaller debate, I’d love to see proper changes being made so that everyone’s not at home scratching their heads!

Thoughts? Don’t be shy, I want to hear them.

— Taylor Dupuis #29 —

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