What is the Crease in Hockey

What is the Crease in Hockey? Goalie Crease Explained!

Have you ever seen that light blue area on the ice and wondered what that is? Besides being so beautiful in contrast with the white ice, it is also a particular area, the goalie’s area!

The goalie crease is ahead of the goalie’s net. As its name suggests, it is the goalie’s area and is essential to protect and act as a reference to position while saving the goals. The opponents can go into this goalie’s crease on the condition that they will not affect the goalie in stopping the puck.

This was not allowed earlier in history. Entering the goalie’s crease would disallow the goal. The NHL changed this rule in the 1999-2000 season.

What is the Purpose of the Goalie Crease in Hockey?

So, what is the purpose of the goalie crease if any player can go in there? The goalie crease serves three essential functions:

  • It acts as a reference for the goalies helping them in positioning.
  • The goalie can freeze the puck in the goalie crease, which stops the play
  • Protects the goalies and maintains their safety

These are the three significant reasons describing the importance of the crease. Let us discuss them in detail.

The Crease: A Reference for the Goaltender

The most challenging job among hockey players is that of the goalie. A goalie needs to be mindful of his position. The crease helps the goalie in his correct positioning. The goalie has to keep shifting since hockey is fast-paced, and the players are in fast action.

The goalie must be able to predict the coming shot, but still, it is difficult to find an optimal place to stop the forthcoming shots. This is where the goalie crease helps.

The goalie crease acts as a reference point for the goalie to fix his position. The net he has to protect is behind the crease, while the crease lines are ahead of him.

Usually, the goalie can stay at the top of the crease. This crease also helps them not to move far away from their position.

The Crease: A Place to Freeze the Puck 

The goalie can also freeze the puck in the crease to stop the play on the condition that none of the opponent players is closer to him to maintain the game’s flow.

Goalies can also make saves by coming out of their crease. But the goalie cannot go out of his crease to freeze the puck and cause the game to stop.

If a goalie does this, he will face a two-minute penalty for delaying the game.

The Crease: Protection for the Goalie

And the third function of the crease is to protect the goalie during the play when he makes the saves. Players cannot contact the goalie when he is in his crease. If a player does that, he will face a two-minute penalty, or there will be no goal call.

Even when the goalie is outside the crease, players cannot body-check him, but there is no penalty for any accidental contact.

A goalie is considered in the crease even if only one of his skates is in the crease. If a player makes contact with him even in the slightest possible way, it will be an infraction with a minor penalty.

Other Rules around the Crease 

There are some other rules too regarding the crease. Some of them are:

  • Players cannot enter the crease before the puck. The puck must enter first, or there will be a penalty.
  • The defending team cannot take or cover the puck in the crease in any possible way. Doing this will result in a penalty shot to the other team.
  • In case of a fight outside the crease, the goalie is not allowed to join it. He must stay in his crease or face the penalty.

WE HAVE Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

The goalie crease is two-inch thick and four feet and six inches long. It consists of two lines joined by a semi-circle with six inches radius. The semi-circle is six feet away from the goal line.

International Ice Hockey Crease Rule

Players cannot go and stand in the crease intentionally without a purpose. If a player does this, the referee will blow the whistle, stopping the game, and there will be a faceoff in the neutral zone.

Brett Hull’s No Goal 

Brett Hull’s No Goal is one of the famous crease violations that could not be called. It was done in the sixth game of the 1999 Stanley Cup finals. The Dallas Stars were leading three games to 2 when Brett Hull scored the goal and immediately started celebrating.

During that celebration, everyone went along and did not review the play. Upon replay, we see that Brett Hull’s toe was in the crease, and this goal cannot be considered according to the rules.

The officials missed this then, and today it is one of the most famous violations not called.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.