In last night’s Detroit and San Jose game, there were not one but two Red Wings goals reviewed in the first period. I was away from the computer while the game was played live so I was unable to get instant live reaction from Red Wings fans. I think even the most staunch of Red Wings conspiracy supporters will admit that each deserved a review and each call made by Toronto was the right one.
It also seems that with these two plays we can get a better sense of how the NHL is interpreting their own poorly written rule. While there’s been precedent that this is how they’ll call it, we’ll always call foul until they fix the wording in the rule they go by, DVD or not.
This is a bit out of order from the actual sequence in the game, but first we’ll take a look at the goal that was allowed:
Even though Holmstrom’s skate did move as it struck the puck there’s a couple of important factors to look at. First, Holmstrom waved at the puck first with his stick and missed as it entered the crease. While the NHL doesn’t rule intent, it’s certainly tough to stay that he could kick it in while waving and missing. Second, and most importantly, was the puck was a “deflection” off his skate. The puck did not grossly change direction off his skate; which brings us to the goal that was not allowed:
Here, while you can certainly make an argument for the “distinct kicking motion” that everyone falls back on, the major factor in the ruling was that the puck went past the net and then was “kicked” back against the original direction of the shot and into the net. Not a deflection, as we see above. I think that even if Zetterberg’s skate moved in a more natural “stopping motion” then we’d still have seen the goal called off.