The ghost of Marty Brodeur strikes again.
Thursday night’s game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins was a very gentlemanly affair, with only three penalties called on the night by referees Kelly Sutherland and Pierre Lambert. Only one – a tripping call on Toronto’s Zach Hyman – was a physical foul. The Leafs were also called for too many men on ice.
The lone Penguins penalty came against their goaltender – and it’s all Brodeur’s fault.
Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray picked up a two-minute minor for playing the puck behind the goal line outside of the trapezoid.
The goaltender’s restricted area penalty was added in 2005, effective for the start of the 2005-06 season. Brodeur is often credited with inspiring the league to enact the rule due to his adept stickhandling. His ability to make passes and clear the zone, coupled with the Devils’ then-effective neutral zone trap, made it difficult for teams to gain entry into the offensive zone.
1.8 Goalkeeper’s Restricted Area – A restricted trapezoid-shaped area behind the goal will be laid out as follows: Seven feet (7′) outside of each goal crease (eight feet (8′) 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).
27.8 Restricted Area – A goalkeeper shall not play the puck outside of the designated area behind the net. This area shall be defined by lines that begin six feet (6’) from either goal post and extend diagonally to points twenty-eight feet (28’) apart at the end boards.
Should the goalkeeper play the puck outside of the designated area behind the goal line, a minor penalty for delay of game shall be imposed. The determining factor shall be the position of the puck. The minor penalty will not be assessed when a goalkeeper plays the puck while maintaining skate contact with his goal crease.
Murray nearly got to the puck in time to avoid a call, but that moment’s hesitation cost him a penalty.
The Penguins bailed out their netminder on the penalty kill, much like he did for his teammates en route to a 3-0 shutout victory over the Leafs.