Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert was absolutely robbed of a goal Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers. Calvert was driving hard to the net during the 2nd period of a tie game when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hauled him down and the puck deflected off his skate and was ruled a goal. The referees went to review the play and then the play was overturned.
The NHL rule on goals scored from pucks off of skates is as follows:
“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.”
At 17:33 of the second period in the Blue Jackets/Oilers game, video review determined that Columbus forward Matt Calvertused his skate to kick the puck into the net. According to Rule 49.2 “A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net.” No Goal Columbus.
I don’t see how this could possibly have been a distinct kicking motion. It was clearly not intentional, he was falling down and didn’t use his foot in a kicking motion. Plenty of players have been trying to stop as pucks deflected off their skates and those were called goals. Calvert was doing his best to stay on his feet and stop in front of the net. If anything Nugent-Hopkins also deserved an interference penalty on the play. If this is indeed in violation of the NHL’s kicking motion rule, then they need to define the rule much better because I just don’t see it.
The Blue Jackets ended up going on to lose to the Oilers 6-4.