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Alex Galchenyuk’s controversial goal sinks Rangers

The Montreal Canadiens defeated the New York Rangers 2-0 on Monday night, and Alex Galchenyuk scored a 2-0 dagger with 2:51 left in the 3rd period...With his foot. The NHL's "Situation Room" upheld the goal...

But the Rangers were not amused, especially given that J.T. Miller "scored" a similar game-tying goal against Philly which was waved off last Thursday:

I grew up playing soccer before I took up hockey as a teenager, and the fact that he both extends his leg and straightens his knee equal a kick in soccer. As far as I understood it, the point of the rule is to allow goals where a player simply turns his skate to allow the puck to deflect into the net off of his skate, but denies goals where the player extends his leg to propel the puck into the net.

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers

Comments

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My immediate reaction was, “how can they allow that?”.  Then I remembered this was the NHL we’re talking about, so….nothing to see here.  Business as usual.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 10/28/13 at 11:03 PM ET

Laran's avatar

Yes he straightens his leg out to make contact with the puck but never does he kick or swing his leg.  Good goal.

Posted by Laran on 10/28/13 at 11:08 PM ET

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Not a kick.  At all.

Posted by Garth on 10/28/13 at 11:43 PM ET

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my immediate reactions was…how long are the announcers gonna go without mentioning the kick?

Posted by brians neck on 10/29/13 at 12:08 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

It was an obvious and intentional deflection off the skate. There is no swinging motion of the foot. It’s a good goal.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/29/13 at 08:24 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

That’s not a kick. In soccer, that’s a trapping motion. He never swings his skate, just sticking his leg out to stop it and angling his foot so it deflects towards the goal. Good goal.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 10/29/13 at 09:24 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

I have to disagree. He doesn’t just stop his skate, he actually moves it toward the puck and in doing so I believe he is “kicking” the puck into the net.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 10/29/13 at 09:47 AM ET

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he actually moves it toward the puck

Moving your leg towards the puck (by the way, he was in motion towards the puck, how do you suggest he not move his leg towards the puck?) is not the same as a kick.

If that’s a kick then any hockey stride is a kick and, hell, simply walking is kicking.

Posted by Garth on 10/29/13 at 09:52 AM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

His skate stops, repositions, then directs the puck forward. While it’s not a full-on kick by definition, it does seem like this shouldn’t be a goal due to its deliberate nature. It would be one thing if he just stopped and deflected, but there is a definite motion in there as well.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 10/29/13 at 10:21 AM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 10/29/13 at 09:24 AM ET

This is not soccer.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 10/29/13 at 10:22 AM ET

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While it’s not a full-on kick by definition, it does seem like this shouldn’t be a goal due to its deliberate nature.

It shouldn’t count because he tried?

There’s a reason the rules say “distinct kicking motion”.  If it’s not a full-on kick by definition then it counts.

This is not soccer.

It’s also not a distinct kicking motion.

Posted by Garth on 10/29/13 at 10:45 AM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Posted by Garth on 10/29/13 at 10:45 AM ET

I guess we’ll agree to disagree that it was a good goal. Ultimately, I don’t give a rip about the Rangers. If the Wings were on the receiving end of that call, this comment thread would look totally different.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 10/29/13 at 11:32 AM ET

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I guess we’ll agree to disagree that it was a good goal.

The only disagreement is that you don’t like the rule as it is.  You said yourself that it’s not a kick, therefore under the rules it is a good goal.

Posted by Garth on 10/29/13 at 11:39 AM ET

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Looked like a kicking motion but a guy can move his skate to stop and in doing so redirect the puck. Judgment call.

Posted by Puckbubba on 10/29/13 at 11:58 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

The reason for the kicking rule isn’t to differentiate this game from soccer, but to protect goalies (and down defensemen) from swinging blades in the crease. A deflected puck off of any part of the body or stick counts, unless the stick is over the crossbar OR if the sharp skate is swinging.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 10/29/13 at 12:31 PM ET

Paul's avatar

via Craig Custance of ESPN,

I guess I still don’t know what a distinct kicking motion is because it sure looked like Alex Galchenyuk directed Montreal’s second goal in with his skate against the Rangers, a goal the Situation Room allowed to stand after checking the replay. Maybe there’s a difference between distinct kicking motion and directing a goal in; maybe there shouldn’t be. It’s hard to guess Galchenyuk’s intent or whether his skate was strategically placed to aid in scoring the goal, but the vagueness of the rule doesn’t help either. There has to be a better solution.

Making my way across the web today and listening to some hockey shows, I’d say it is 50/50 on goal or not.

Me?  I say goal.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/29/13 at 12:35 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

My initial reaction wants to say “yeah, look, that is a kick” but really I’m seeing that in no way could that motion result in a kick. Though he moves his foot in a forward motion toward the puck and the goal, his skate blade appears to not leave the ice. To me, that reposition to redirect in conjunction with the continuation of his skating momentum is what keeps it from being a kicking motion.

Would be nice to see the Rangers disallowed goal from the philly match for comparison. Not that it really matters. It’s not like the NHL going to do anything consistently reasonable anyway.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 10/29/13 at 12:41 PM ET

Paul's avatar

SnLO, you must be reading KK from bottom to top… Here is the no-goal you wanted to see.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/29/13 at 12:43 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/29/13 at 12:43 PM ET

LOL thanks Paul. Now I understand why I missed it. I read the headline and thought “ugh! more whining” and didn’t open the post. So it’s my fault.

And I didn’t mean it (my comment) as a knock on this post. Maybe I should have used the word “interesting” instead of “nice”.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 10/29/13 at 12:53 PM ET

Paul's avatar

No problem here SnLO.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/29/13 at 12:56 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

In follow-up to my comparison notion:

J.T. Miller “scored” a similar game-tying goal against Philly which was waved off

Interesting quandry that goal. He didn’t make any form of a kick. He only repsotioned of his back-foot, his forward momentum propelled the puck into the net. Of note, he kept his skate on the ice too. But it is not a classic re-direct. and that is most likely the basis the goal was disallowed. IMO, that should have been a goal.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 10/29/13 at 01:22 PM ET

Paul's avatar

via Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

The Post has heard the NHL’s explanation of the rulings on Miller and Galchenyuk in addition to the basis for all decisions on such calls via an email correspondence with NHL Senior VP of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy.

The league uses five criteria developed in consultation with general managers as a basis for the decisions, which Murphy stressed, are not finalized until the play “is watched in real speed two or three times …this is most important to get a true feel for the play.”

The criteria are provided by Murphy are as follow: “1. Was there a distinct kicking motion? 2. Did the distinct kicking motion propel the puck into the net? 3. What direction was the skate/ player facing? 4. Did the puck have enough inertia/ force to go into the net on its own and the skate just changed the direction of the puck? 5. Did the skate just change the direction of the puck?”

Regarding the call on Miller, who had the puck carom in off his skate as he attempted to get his stick on a rebound while driving to the net with speed from the left side, Murphy wrote: “Miller’s review was: distinct kicking motion, propelled the puck, skate was facing the net, the puck had no inertia in the direction of the net; the skate provide the inertia.”

Regarding the call on Galchenyuk, who was also driving to the net but appeared to slow down/stop in attempting to handle a two-on-one pass, Murphy wrote: “We felt the puck hit his skate and went in the net. There was no distinct kicking motion, the puck had force/inertia of its own, Galchenyuk was attempting to control the pass.”

Murphy also added the league sends difficult reviews to a group of eight or nine GM’s, “to get their feedback to be sure we are clear in the direction they are giving us.”

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/29/13 at 03:17 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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