Behind Frederik Andersen’s In-Game Tape Job
The Toronto Maple Leafs took home a sound win against the Winnipeg Jets on opening night – and starter Frederik Andersen looked rock solid in the 7-2 victory, to boot.
Midway through the game, though, he was one of two Toronto players to get a slap on the wrist for equipment infractions.
First, the team saw forward Leo Komarov earn a two-minute penalty for ‘illegal equipment’, with the officials citing his high visor placement as the culprit behind his punishment.
Not long after Komarov was given his polarizing penalty, though, Andersen found himself under fire – and while he wasn’t given any official infraction on the board, he did hold up the game a bit while the official came over and taped over his knob and grip for him.
Yes, that actually happened in-game. Take a look:
Another equipment violation for the Leafs, but this time the officials just make Andersen cover up his blue-coloured grip tape pic.twitter.com/gntTWyklI4
— InGoal Magazine (@InGoalMedia) October 5, 2017
A couple of readers raised questions about the situation, which certainly hasn’t come up in a game very often (if at all).
The infraction in question, though, can be found in the NHL’s Official Rule Book; this one, unlike Komarov’s situation, wasn’t anything discretionary at all.
According to the NHL’s Rules and Regulations, Section 3, Rule 10.2, the knob on a goalkeeper’s stick has to follow some pretty strict regulations:
“In the case of a goalkeeper’s stick, there shall be a knob of white tape or some other protective material approved by the League. This knob must not be less than one-half inch (1/2”) thick at the top of the shaft.
Failure to comply with this provision of the rule will result in the goalkeeper’s stick being deemed unfit for play. The goalkeeper’s stick must be changed without the application of a minor penalty.”
Andersen had gone out with blue tape used for both his grip and the knob, which the NHL doesn’t allow – while the rule doesn’t say anything about the grip portion of the taped area, it appears that the knob itself must be made using only white tape.
The reasoning behind this is supposedly so officials don’t see the knob (which would most commonly be taped up with black tape if the goaltender wasn’t using white) and assume it’s the puck, which could cause confusion and potentially result in plays blown dead or reviews gone awry. And while it seems less likely that the officials are going to confuse a blue knob for the puck, strict interpretation of the rules only permits white tape – hence the official’s impromptu tape job on the ice.
Luckily for Andersen, this particular rule specifically states that the ‘illegal stick’ is to be changed without the application of a penalty – if the Leafs had taken two illegal equipment penalties on opening night, it’s hard to imagine head coach Mike Babcock or general manager Lou Lamoriello would have been all that forgiving of the offending players.
Still, Andersen could have easily avoided the ordeal altogether. Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals also uses colored tape for his grip; when he showed InGoal how he tapes his knob, though, he used white tape to finish off the job.
— InGoal Magazine (@InGoalMedia) September 1, 2017