Is there a crease rule?

From: Diana

Comments: I had always thought that opposing players were not allowed in the goalie crease. I have noticed over the last few years that it is being allowed during every game. I even recall a goal being scored once this season with an opposing player behind our goalie. Is there no longer a crease infringement rule, was there ever a crease rule? I seem to remember a Stanley Cup finals overtime game years ago where there was a huge debate on whether a Dallas players toe-pick was in the blue paint. Can the mighty all knowing Mailbag guy clear this up for a confused fan?

Reply: It’s always best to get knowledgeable answers from the experts, so for that we have posed this question to Joe Ernst, the VP of Hockey Operations for the ECHL (and a Buffalo native)…

-The Mailbag Guy

Reply from Joe Ernst: I remember that rule vividly as it cost my Sabres a possible Stanley Cup!!

We don’t have a “crease rule” however if a player inters with a goalie while the goalie is in his crease it is goaltender interference. If it is deemed incidental contact while the goalie is out of his crease it is play on.  So in all, the goalie must be able to play his position and not be intentionally interfered with while in his crease or making a save. Incidental contact is a judgment call on whether or not a goalie could play his position.

Hope this helps and thanks for opening a wound!! Sure you don’t want to talk about missed field goals to the right? 🙂

– Joe