What is the one rule change in hockey, that I would change? What is the one rule change that could make the game more interesting? What is the one rule change that is small but could change up the whole strategy of the game? For me it’s, if the team on the Penalty Kill scores a short handed goal, the Power Play is over!
I am sad that it is not my idea and that I heard this from Jeff Marek on a podcast quite a bit ago. However, if you think about it, it could be one of the best rule changes and for a few reasons:
- More aggressive pk strategies & more short handed goal opportunities
- New Power Play strategies
- More pressure on the powerplay
- Bigger momentum swings
More Aggressive PK Strategies ( to lead to more goals or scoring opportunities )
This one is one of my favorite rule changes to think of. If you take a team like the Hawks (I know they’re on the back nine but stay here…) Take a player that rarely gets out there on the PK, say Patrick Kane. In this season alone he has only over 6:00 min on the PK. (Natural Stat Trick – I am also not sure how many of those minutes would be face-offs where there are just a few seconds left, especially neutral zone draws where you hope you can spring the winger on a rush with a guy getting out of the box.) However, if you were put Kane at the top and play a diamond kill, and thus being able to spring him free with a home run pass or icing, that would bring huge excitement to a kill. You would have several other teams emulating that. Think of the Oilers with McDavid. The interesting thing then would be, shots from the point. Do those guys block it? Or do they let it thru and hope it gets blocked or deflected back out to spring them? Or do you kill 5-3 and have a speedier winger float up at the blue line waiting for an outlet pass? There are so many new options for a PK.
New offensive PPs
With new defensive strategies, there would be a new power play setups. Do you not worry about giving up a goal and continue? Or do you have a winger or a speedier d man run the powerplay and try to play an umbrella style to prevent the pk from breaking out? We already see teams playing very close attention to the box with a few seconds left in the PP, but now, would the team be just as cautious if the penalty kill was to send out one of their best offensive threats? The d-men couldn’t pinch as close either because of the threat of letting up a breakaway (which is always there but if you give up the goal 42 seconds into the power play, you still have time to work. However, if you do that with this rule change, you just wasted 1:18 of pp time). With the threat of giving up precious PP time, do power plays get more conservative?
More pressure on the PP
With knowing that if you let up a shorthanded goal, you PP is done, does that put more pressure (especially in a big game) on the PP? There have been almost 200 shorthanded goals during this season alone (Fox Sports). That could be almost 200 times that a power play got ended early and then who knows what would have happened. Think of it in a big game or a playoff game!
Bigger momentum swings
In the big games especially playoff games, you see how loud or how quiet a crowd gets after a big kill. Think of a big short handed goal that ends the power play! How much more momentum would that generate? How much more excitement in the game would there be if you this rule was implemented?
I am a huge fan of the game and love the product that there is now. However, this could be a neat rule change to try even if for a day or a pre-season to see if this idea has anything to it!