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Kicking? I Wanna do Some Kicking!


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            Last night in Anaheim, the NHL Rulebook was interpreted in a very creative way. That is the nice way of putting things. What I want to say is that the NHL Rulebook, in particular rule 49, was absolutely ignored.

           

            For those of you who are unfamiliar with the official name of the rule, it is the section of the rulebook that deals with kicking pucks into the net. Rule 49 as of the 2014-2015 season reads as follows:

A kicked puck that deflects off the

body of any player of either team

(including the goalkeeper) shall be ruled no goal.

 

(ii) A kicked puck that deflects off the

stick of any player (excluding the

goalkeeper’s stick) shall be ruled a good goal.

A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player’s skate who

does not use a distinct kicking motion

is a legitimate goal.

A puck that is directed into the net by an attacking player’s skate shall be a

legitimate goal as long as no distinct kicking motion is evident. The

following should clarify deflections following a kicked puck that enters the goal:

(iii) A goal will be allowed when an attacking player kicks the puck and

the puck deflects off his own stick and then into the net.

(iv) A goal will be allowed when a puck enters the goal after deflecting off

an attacking player’s skate or deflects

off his skate while he is in the

process of stopping

 

            In case you missed it, the play I am referring to is Marian Hossa’s goal that gave the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-0 lead in game seven of the Western Conference Final. The link to this play is here: http://streamable.com/y646

            Hossa has his head down and after Anderson paddles the puck into his skates, Hossa attempts to first use his stick to push the puck into the net. After this fails, Hossa uses his right foot to slide the puck in. There is a clear motion from Hossa in which the leg is moved forward to propel the puck into the net. It is a distinct kicking motion. In my mind, there is no reason this goal should have been allowed; however, it was under the NHL’s more “liberal” definition of kicking.

           

            This abomination is not the first example of rulebook interpretation we have seen so far this season. In an afternoon tilt between the Bruins and the Rangers, Lucic scored a goal in a very similar way (http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=792631)

            After the puck went in, Lucic was nearly certain the goal wouldn’t count. Just looking at his body language, Milan was already mentally preparing himself for the next play and had no real celebration to the goal. The referee behind the net hesitated on the play and waived off the goal. Upon review, Toronto decided that the goal would count and would go on to be the eventual game winner.

            In both of these examples, the broadcasters focused on the intentions of the players involved. In both examples, the broadcasters explained that the eventual goal scorers were merely trying to control the puck and settle it down so that a play might be made with the stick but were unsuccessful in doing so before the puck crossed the goal line.

            So what? It shouldn’t matter what the player’s intentions appeared to be as they broke the rules. No player goes out and says “Boy, I’d really like to take one of those delay of game penalties by launching the puck over the glass.” We all say that the player tried to go off the glass and just got too much air under it. With that being said, do we rescind the penalty? Absolutely not. In both examples, the players are not trying to stop and they are completely in control of what they are doing.

           

            The rules that the NHL amended to the rulebook are entirely arbitrary and even have the referees confused. Take a look at Ryan Getzlaf’s goal that was disallowed, confirmed to be disallowed, then “corrected” and allowed anyway: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/gotta-see-it-refs-flip-flop-on-getzlafs-kick-in-goal/

            The funny thing about this ruling is that the referee that makes the call says that the puck went off of a Tampa foot and is therefore a good goal. So are they saying that Getzlaf’s foot never made contact with the puck? It sure looks like it. Maybe the ref (or Toronto more specifically) said that Getzlaf did indeed kick the puck, but then it ricocheted off of a Tampa defender and is therefore allowed. That can’t be the case as rule 49 says “A kicked puck that deflects off the body of any player of either team (including the goalkeeper) shall be ruled no goal.” Again, the rule seems to be completely arbitrary.

            There seems to be a theme with all of these controversial goals. The players that are doing the kicking are all using the side of their skates and using their hip to angle their leg to push the puck into the net. Is the NHL telling the refs and the War Room in Toronto that a distinct kicking motion involves only the knee moving? It would seem that way, but then why was this goal allowed in the playoffs in 2013, before the rule was liberalized? https://youtu.be/NHisYm9bgR4

            It’s faint, but it’s enough. Mika Zibanejad sits on the boarder of the blue paint with momentum taking him towards the net, angles his skate and appears to use his hip to move the puck towards the net. While the majority of the motion comes from his hip, Zibanejad’s knee starts with a slight flex and ends almost entirely straight. This would appear to be the knee flex that the league would look for in determining a goal; however it seemed to be missed ore ignored. The Senators would soon after tie the game and eventually win it in overtime putting the Habs down 3-1 in the series.

            It’s not like the NHL is allowing all goals that are kicked in. They have to draw the line somewhere. And they did with Boone Jenner early on this season: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=675436

           

            Wait….. That’s the one they disallow? How is that any different from Hossa’s goal? Lucic’s? If you look closely, the inside of his foot is used and he almost appears to knock it in as he falls backward. It just seems a bit arbitrary at this point.

            But then we have this one. My personal favorite no goal due to kicking this year has to be Zach Parise’s goal against the Blues. I’ve started the video where the review begins: https://youtu.be/DdEKM8JZwrY?t=1m45s

            Is this a kick? Yup. Under the rules, should it be disallowed? You bet. But why can’t you kick the puck in the net?

*Crickets*

            I have absolutely no idea why kicking the puck in the net is illegal in the NHL. None whatsoever. Is it because of safety? In a league that continues to allow fighting, I am reluctant to say that they draw the line at kicking pucks into the net. Is it a soccer-like mentality? Possibly. Think about it: why are soccer players not allowed to use their hands?......Because it’s soccer…? I doubt you’ll get a better answer from a soccer fan. It’s just the point of the game to use your feet. I absolutely think goals like the one Parise scored should be allowed. Darren Pang said it best in the video claiming that if you can get the puck from your stick to your skate and kick it into the net, it is an incredible play and should therefore be allowed.

            I mean take a look at this play by Mike Cammalleri in the 2009 playoffs: https://youtu.be/Elo4IQSfWVI

            It’s hard to see, but Cammalleri is in front of the net, gets an airborne rebound that he controls in the air with his leg and then swings his stick like a baseball bat to direct the puck into the net. If Cammalleri didn’t get the puck with his stick and it somehow had enough mustard behind it to end up in the net, it would have been disallowed. But why? For what purpose? It still would have been an incredible play. Is it an integrity factor? Is it the idea that the league wants hockey to look the same as it did 75 years ago? I think it’s the byproduct of a league that is overly reluctant to change.

            At any rate, I see goals being intentionally kicked into the net being declared legal sometime in the near future. I think the rule as it stands is laughable as long as goals that are obviously kicked in continue to count. I have no problem with the rulebook being changed to allow for kicking pucks into the net. I think it will add new creativity to offense. What I don’t like is the fact that kicking pucks into the net is declared to be illegal in the rulebook, yet the War Room in Toronto continuously says that it is permitted so long as it doesn’t look cool.

 

That’s all I’ve got. What about you guys? Am I way off on the goals I discussed? Do you think that disallowing kicked goals should be more strictly enforced?

To quote my favorite band that was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, “Scream at me until my ears bleed.”

 

Thanks for the read

Ian

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  I think the goal was allowed because Hossa, he never once changed the angle that his skates were at. They were sideways well before the puck got there, so a strong argument could be made that since his skate blade never stopped and continued in one fluid motion, that it was indeed not on purpose.

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I think the goal was allowed because Hossa, he never once changed the angle that his skates were at. They were sideways well before the puck got there, so a strong argument could be made that since his skate blade never stopped and continued in one fluid motion, that it was indeed not on purpose.

Yes that and i don't think there was any distinct kicking motion...and i'm ok disagreeing on that.

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That puck was at least directed in by his skate if not kicked. No goal IMO.

Well, exactly. There doesn't need to be a "distinct kicking motion"* - if the player is directing the puck deliberately with his skate.

IMO, Hossa was clearly directing the puck with his skate.

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IMO, Hossa was clearly directing the puck with his skate.

 

 I think he was directing it also, but the way he went about it, was the only way he could have got away with it, and that was never altering his skate angle. It was close enough that when the call was made "good goal" by the refs before reviewing it, that clinched it. There was not video evidence to over-turn the call. If the call was no goal by refs first, that would have been the outcome also...it was that close that the original call by the refs was gonna stand up, either way they called it.

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@jammer2

 

I thought he clearly altered his skate angle

 

.http://streamable.com/y646

 

 

I dunno bro, even Johnson points out that his angle never changed. It seemed like he was heading in that direction with or without the puck being involved. He basically had to cheat that way, or risk colliding with the post.

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I saw no kicking motion. The league has allowed a lot more liberal definition this year. Years past, yeah, likely not a goal and I would have argued it should have been. This is one rule that needed tweaked and I think the league got it right. Do they still miss one? Sure. But I think last nights goal was a goal and they got it dead on.

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I thought it was a distinct soccer kick motion into the net and said as much in the chat room last night while we were waiting for the ruling.

 

It's going to be one of those things where we each see slightly different things (and the league obviously agreed with those who say no), but to me he clearly changed his leg and foot angle and directed the puck into the net.  

 

I do think the intent was to try to get it to his stick, but that shouldn't be relevant.  A kick is a kick.  I'm glad it was a goal because I was cheering for the Hawks, but I really question the reasoning on that call.

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I don't think he was "trying to score" as much as keep the puck in front of him so he had a chance at it.

But he was clearly directing the puck where he wanted it to go (IMO).

I have no dog in this fight, but wouldn't want that to count against my team.

@jammer2 makes the good point that there wasn't clear evidence to overturn either way.

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I saw no kicking motion.

 

I came to the exact same conclusion. Funny, how people can look at the exact same re-play and come to such different conclusions!

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I came to the exact same conclusion. Funny, how people can look at the exact same re-play and come to such different conclusions!

 

That's always amazed me as well.   I suppose that's the hell the cops go through trying to talk to witnesses of something.

 

That said, I have no idea how you don't see a kicking motion.   :ph34r:

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@ruxpin  I will rewatch it without my glasses and I might see what you see....lol.  :ph34r:

 

Don't forget to set the contrast way up and the brightness way down.   You want a bluish hue, too.

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It's under subsection five of the rule:

 

(v) A goal will be allowed if the player plays on a team that has

high viewership and ticket sales, thereby ensuring that said team

will appear in the Stanley Cup final and boost league revenue.

 

:ph34r:

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It's under subsection five of the rule:

(v) A goal will be allowed if the player plays on a team that has

high viewership and ticket sales or threatens to move to Kansas City thereby ensuring that said team

will appear in the Stanley Cup final and boost league revenue.

:ph34r:

Your copy and paste missed a phrase someone.

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