Patrick Roy - sure he wasn't playing, but man, he was great! (photo by Rick Dikeman)

As the Goalies Go

Last night, while sitting up in the Purple seats and watching the Leafs and Canadiens play a fantastic game of hockey, something very unusual happened. Mikael Tellqvist was substituted into the game. While that isn't itself unusual, what was odd was that at the start of the third period, Belfour was back in net.

Generally, a goalie plays the entire game. If they're replaced, they don't come back. This has been the argument used for allowing goaltenders to avoid the penalty box for as long as I can remember. Yet here we were, nearing the end of the second period, and Tellqvist has replaced Belfour in goal. At the start of the third, Belfour was back. Clearly this argument doesn't stand up (unlike Belfour, who's on the ground constantly).

So why not? Let's innovate, and finally make goalies responsible for their actions. Every team has at least two goaltenders, and if one is injured, they always call up somebody from the farm team; nobody can argue that putting a goalie in the box will leave an open net.

Goalies have been coddled enough - if you slash somebody there's no reason for a teammate to be punished in your place; it's your crime, it should be your time. Besides, it would be funny to watch the over-equiped goalies dash from the penalty box to the bench so that their team can get back to even strength until the next whistle.

As for the game? Much to the ill-benefit of both teams, the Leafs won.


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