Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cheater!: Explaining Erat's Penalty Shot

This edition of "Cheater!" answers a question that several friends had following Erat's penalty-shot goal during game three, namely: "What the !@#$ is going on here?!"

I knew they were rare, but I did not realize  the quasi-historic treat Pred Nation got on Tuesday, as we watched Martin Erat's penalty shot goal. reports that it had been over two years since the last playoff-penalty-shot-goal.  In fact, Erat's goal was just the 19th goal on 59 total attempts in playoff history.

The Video (Ok, I couldn't find video of the penalty, but here's Erat scoring on a penalty shot, and its just as fun to watch).

The Basics: If a offensive player is on a breakaway, and a defender fouls him from behind, the result is a penalty shot (the most awesome penalty of all time!)

The Rule:  Rule 25 is damn long states in part:

"There are four (4) specific conditions that must be met in order for the Referee to award a penalty shot for a player being fouled from behind. They are:
(i)  The infraction must have taken place in the neutral zone or attacking zone, ...;
(ii)  The infraction must have been committed from behind;
(iii)  The player in possession and control ... must have been denied a reasonable chance to score...
(iv)  The player in possession and control ... must have had no opposing player between himself and the goalkeeper."

Infractions that will result in a penalty shot are: 
  1. Being fouled from behind, via Holding, Hooking, Tripping, and Slashing
  2. Deliberate illegal substitution
  3. Deliberately dislodging the net
  4. Falling on the puck in the crease
  5. Picking up the puck in the crease
  6. Throwing something at the skater (Pred Favorite Scotty Hartnell uses his glove as an example... poorly)

NFL Comparison:  No really good comparison, and the penalty shot is pretty self explanatory.  However, the best comparison I could come up with was this: when the defense jumps offsides, the offense often gets a "free play".  I suppose this is the "free play" of the NHL... not really though.  

Can you think of a better one? Leave it in the comments.


  1. Thanks to Twitter, Pred Nation came up with some better examples than I did:

    jwhouk: The NHL equivalent of the NFL's "defense offside" is the delayed penalty. Penalty shot is more like a free kick.

    smashville: Perhaps the basketball free throw reference would be more apt. Player fouled in the process of shooting gets FTs.

  2. Thanks for the explanation! I had been wondering what that whole thing was about!

  3. Hawks fan here. Love the blog and the dedication to the game of hockey. It's a beautiful game if you know the rules and understand the positioning and "objectives" of each player within the system that the team runs.

    Go Hawks! Looking forward to the rest of the great series.