EA Sports thrives each year to make sure that the NHL video games feel as realistic to the real NHL as physically possible. However, if you have played the NHL video game franchise over the course of its existence, you have joined an online game where the opponent takes the realism out of the game by “ragging the puck” after they have taken the lead. Ragging the puck refers to when a player gets the lead and holds the puck in their defensive zone to try and run out the clock. This doesn’t happen in real NHL games and EA Sports implemented a fix for this in NHL 24.
A user on Twitter that goes by the name of @EKiOriginal posted a short 24 second clip of himself ragging the puck in his defensive zone. At the time, the score was 0-0 to start of the first period. After a little over 3 minutes of ragging the puck in the defensive zone, Seth Jones of the Chicago Blackhawks received a 2-minute minor penalty for delay of game since he was the last player to touch the puck. EA Sports ended up Retweeting the Tweet to all but confirm that this was indeed a new penalty added into NHL 24.
It is great to see that EA Sports is finally adding in a feature to try and get rid of Puck Ragging. There is nothing realistic about Puck Ragging and it takes the fun out of a potential intense battle on the ice. There is nothing worse than being down 1 goal in a close game and your opponent tries to kill the entire third period by holding the puck behind their net.
There is no official word as to when team holding the puck receive a penalty, but according to the video it appeared to be about roughly after 3 minutes. The penalty officially goes down on the stat sheet as a delay of game and the announcers acknowledge the fact that the refs want to see the puck moving to keep the game fast.
Unfortunately, this new way of getting a delay of game penalty is not going to stop players from Puck Ragging permanently. What it is going to do is prevent players from killing half a period, an entire period, or even multiple periods by holding the puck behind their net.
A majority of online players do not end up ragging the puck, but there are always a few players every year that tries to pull this stunt and it is extremely frustrating. This is a great first step by EA Sports to try and eliminate this problem and it will be very interesting to see how much this actually reduces Puck Ragging.