Blues vs Avs: Another Reason the Goal Should Have Counted

In the Avalanche’s 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues, the game winning goal was one surrounded by controversy.  Maybe surrounded isn’t the right word.  Briefly huddled around?  Anyways, here it is, in case you missed it:

The NHL Situation Room blog explained the decision this way:

At 14:07 of the second period in the Blues / Avalanche game , video review was inconclusive in determining if the net was completely dislodged before the puck crossed the goal line. There for,  the referee’s call on the ice stands. Good goal Colorado.

78.5 (x)  When the net becomes displaced accidentally. The goal frame is considered to be displaced if either or both goal pegs are no longer in their respective holes in the ice, or the net has come completely off one or both pegs, prior to or as the puck enters the goal.

The question of whether the net was off it’s pegs was inconclusive, so the “call on the ice” stands.  Two things about this:

First, there was no call on the ice.  If there was, it was done in secret.  The ref neither signaled goal or no goal (wash out).  That is academic, but interesting to note.

The second thing is another rule that could have been applied, from section 25 of the NHL rulebook, Awarded Goals, and rule 25.2, which states:

25.2 Infractions – When Goalkeeper is On the Ice – A goal will be awarded when an attacking player, in the act of shooting the puck into the goal (between the normal position of the posts and completely across the goal line), is prevented from scoring as a result of a defending player or goalkeeper displacing the goal post, either deliberately or accidentally.

I think we can safely say that this is what happened.  Not only did the Blues players take the net off it’s moorings, they carried the puck in with them as well.  You could say that the puck wasn’t shot by an Avalanche player, but you could say that a shot was what put the puck into the defenseman (OK, it was a pass) in the first place.  And if you check out rule 78.4, Scoring a Goal, the second paragraph states:

A goal shall be scored if the puck is put into the goal in any way by a player of the defending side. The player of the attacking side who last touched the puck shall be credited with the goal but no assist shall be awarded.

If the net had stayed on it’s moorings, the goal would have counted.  The Blues knocked it off, and therefor the right call would have been to award the goal anyways.

The unfortunate part is that this was the game winning goal.  Had the Avs tried to score in the third period, rather than sit back and defend a one goal lead, they might have scored another goal or two, and St. Louis fans might feel a little less screwed over by the call (which they weren’t, really).

The Avs have won seven in a row at home, which is a stark contrast to the beginning of the season.  Maybe they can keep it up against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who were shellacked by the Sharks tonight.

Research, for the win.

Research!

(I don’t photograph well)

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