PSU goalie Matt Skoff stops Wisconsin's Jedd Soleway during the Badgers’ 3-2 win last Saturday night. (Photo c/o of Abby Drey of the CDT)
Penn State (6-24-2, 2-15-1-0 B1G) hosted the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers (21-9-2, 12-5-1-0 B1G) last Friday and Saturday night. Penn State dropped Game 1 by a 4-2 score but it was Mark Zengerle’s goal with 20.3 seconds left in overtime last Saturday that lifted the Badgers to a 3-2 win and a sweep of the weekend series.
Claude Giroux and the rest of the Flyers forward group have been held scoreless in each of the last two games. Nick Grossmann, a defenseman, scored the only Flyers goal in a 2-1 loss to the Devils on Tuesday.(Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com)
The talk of the morning is about the Flyers near game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation. What nobody seems to be talking about is how the Flyers forwards seem to have disappeared.
By the time the Flyers managed one of their best chances against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils in Tuesday night's 2-1 loss at Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers forwards had been held without a goal in the last 124 minutes.
While the NHL's clarification of a kicked-in goal may be flawed, it's helped the Flyers on at least one occasion, such as this no-goal on J.T. Miller in a 2-1 win over the Rangers on Oct. 24. (Photo Courtesy of nypost.com)
The NHL's GM meetings wrap up Wednesday in Boca Raton, Fla., bringing a new slate of proposed rule changes. While none of them gained much ground, it's still interesting to look at how the NHL could change if they do in the next several years.
5. Goalie fights: While these were not discussed at this week's meetings, but rather by GMs in November following the Ray Emery/Braden Holtby affair, goalie fights are still a hot-button topic. Suspensions ranging anywhere from three to 10 games for a goalie leaving his zone to fight were proposed -- similar to a player leaving his bench in a fight -- but nothing resulted at the time. Fighting amongst goalies doesn't occur nearly enough throughout the season to warrant that drastic of a rule.
4. Extending overtime/going 3-on-3: The Flyers have taken 12 of their 65 games to overtime this season, needing the shootout for eight of those occasions. The shootout has become far too commonplace in the NHL, and steps to reduce it are entirely plausible. Perhaps a 10-minute overtime featuring several minutes of three-on-three action before resorting to the shootout could work well, because after all, Flyers fans have seen enough shootout struggles over the years.
3. Video review expansion/Coach's Challenge: Expanded video review policies may have benefitted the Orange and Black in last night's loss to New Jersey, but they may hurt more than they harm. The flow of the game is fine the way it is, and doesn't need additional video reviews. Considering how much time can run off the clock during play, the idea of a Coach's Challenge is unnecessary and offers little benefit for what it would detract. It works excellently in football (most of the time), but would not work at all in the NHL.
2. Further goalie protection: As far as I'm concerned, goalies shouldn't be fair game in their crease or behind the net. While coming out of the crease to play the puck can lead to players taking some liberties, the incentive should still be there for goalies to make the risky play. If that involves penalizing all goalie contact outside of the crease, I'd be fine with that. Penalizing all goalie contact -- including in the crease -- is a good idea in theory, but it causes too much gray area for when a defender pushes an opponent into his goalie.
1. Redefining a kicked-in goal: Allowing kicked-in goals is no good for anybody, as it would lead to hyper-sharp skate blades flailing wildly in front of the net. It's still frustrating though, to see goals get disallowed because of a slight deflection off the skate. Scoring would increase, and it would be a much safer alternative than allowing kicking. NHL players are the best in the world, and this would allow them to utilize their skills even more.
Rob Riches is a contributor for Flyerdelphia, and his Flyers Five appears every Wednesday here and on Sports Source on Cavalier Radio 89.1 WYBF-FM. You can follow him on Twitter @Riches61.