Crashers draw ire of Kipper

Miikka Kiprusoff gets an up-close look at Flyers' Mike Richards last month. The Flames netminder...

Miikka Kiprusoff gets an up-close look at Flyers' Mike Richards last month. The Flames netminder says the league should crack down on crease crashers. (Sun File Photo)

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

NEW YORK -- Add Miikka Kiprusoff to the list of goaltenders fed up with crease crashers.

The Calgary Flames netminder has been in plenty of collisions over the past few weeks. He believes the league must crack down on the goaltender interference with the same fervour it has gone after obstruction this season.

"They should call it more," Kiprusoff said yesterday. "It's been like that the whole year but they should be calling it more."

Over the season, goalies such as New Jersey's Martin Brodeur and Vancouver's Dan Cloutier have expressed their displeasure over the collisions, which they believe have increased due to the obstruction clampdown that prevents defencemen from tying up forwards. Cloutier is out with a knee injury sustained in a collision with a charging forward.

Kiprusoff, who saw one goal disallowed last game because Todd Bertuzzi was in the crease and had his mask sent flying during a collision on another occasion, said goalie interference has been on the increase.

"It's hard to call for the referees because they are allowed to go through my crease and stuff like that," Kiprusoff said.

"There's been a few times someone's been in the crease and move out when the shot's coming, so it's tough for the goalies because it's been two-deep in the crease."

Which has meant the normally unflappable Kiprusoff has been having words with either the culprit or nearest official.

Goalies aren't the only ones frustrated.

Flames blueliner Robyn Regehr said defencemen are having a tough time protecting netminders knowing they'll be penalized if they impede opponents.

"Kiprusoff seems to be getting bumped a little more now, so we have to do a better job of protecting. But with the new rules, if a player does make his way to the front of the crease, there's not a whole lot you can do," Regehr said. "You can tie up his stick and, eventually -- you can't cross-check him out of the way -- push him if you get body position."

Which leaves the onus on the referees to ensure the NHL's puck stoppers are safe.

"We'll just have to talk with the referees," Regehr said, "and ask them to keep an eye out for the guys coming in close and making some contact.

"Those guys are usually repeat offenders, so the referees maybe need to be made aware of that fact and it might not happen as much."

Kiprusoff agrees.

"The referees should pay attention, a lot more," he said. "Somebody has to defend the goalies and the defence can't do it as much."


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