Early Days, Many Controversies

From The New York Times Slap Shot blog:

The N.H.L. season is not yet a week old, but controversy is in midseason
form. If you think there’s as much to cry about as cheer about so far,
well, you’ve got company.

The Panthers, for example, felt victimized in
their season opener Sunday against the Oilers when Shawn Horcoff looked
to perhaps kick the winning goal in with his right skate (at about 1:25
in this video and sorry for the commercial) although, as George
Richards wrote in The Miami Herald
, “Replays showed that Horcoff
turned his foot as the puck struck him, moving the puck into the goal
like a soccer player. The goal went under review at replay central in
Toronto, but it was allowed. The rule states that a player cannot make a
deliberate kicking motion at a puck and put it through.”

Horcoff looked to be trying to stop a centering pass with his skate,
stuck his leg out, got the lucky bounce past Tomas Vokoun in Florida’s
goal, and that’s your game winner. The Panthers thought there was a
distinct kicking motion, but their opinion doesn’t count.

This sort of directed-but-not-kicked goal persists in the N.H.L., and as
we’ve noted often before
, it is one of the worst rules in the game.
This isn’t soccer. But the guardians of the rules, the league’s general
managers, have somehow lost sight of that.

Continue reading “The Morning Skate: Early Days, Many Controversies” >>


  1. Stu Hackel says:

    Greg, Don’t know if they are more artificial, but I don’t disagree. Of course, the shootout doesn’t actually boost scoring (although it does artificially award a bonus point in a tied game to the winner of a skills competition). I don’t like the minor for delay of game for shooting the puck over the glass, either, but I do understand how it came to be, with defenders under pressure just hoisting the puck into the stands. I don’t know how best to prevent that, but I’m open to suggestions.

  2. kemaner says:

    Now with just a few simple clicks, you can own a luxury timepiece that will make you the envy of everyone else! You can go to that cocktail party wearing that impeccable timepiece, or to that business meeting and impress your clients and catch people’s attention.

  3. baruch says:

    Can’t wait until an infallable pan-optic computer can detect, determine and report all hockey infractions within seconds,  Imagine the whistle shreik emanating from the scoreboard, a synthesized voice declares “GOAL ALLOWED, NO DETECTABLE INFRACTION.” 

    but seriously, if we are talking about changes, if we have to keep the shootout, definitely the 3-2-1-0 point system is the only way forward.  It will mess up the relation to historical stats, but overtime and shootout are ruining the game as it is.  Frankly, I don’t mind having ties.  Abolishing ties messed up the historical comparisons too.

    The kicking rule should also be rolled back as you suggested Stu. 

    But on a more general point, and I guess this should better be directed towards Dave Stubbs and/or whoever is running this blog, is whether Stu’s feed (it is mainly a feed from his NYT column) belongs in its prominent space on HIO.  HIO is about the Habs.  If I want to read about general hockey controversies and such I will go to the NHL or THN sites. HIO (not to mention FHF) is the place I go for HABS News I don’t want to be sidetracked into other generalising issues here. 

    What do others think?


  4. Bahamut-Prime says:

    I agree he re-directed it but here’s a easy way to figure out if it was a good goal or not, JUST GET RID OF THE DAMN RULE.

    I don’t understand why anyone cares if players kick it or not. It seems to me even more ridiculous as that foot in the crease goal. People still talk about the controversy of that 1999 Brett Hull goal foot in the crease goal. As a modern fan though I dont care I think it should be a good goal because the rule is ridiculous. They eventually did away with it though there is still some other dodgy disallowed goals due to goaltender interference.

    But I think they should do away with this rule too, the only explanation I’ve heard for it is that it’ll increase the chance that players might cut one another. So if that is the reason then just make the rule that the skate needs to be on the ice, much easier to call on a replay.

    I’ve never understood the point of this rule and doesnt bettman want more goals anyways, might also make for some nice shootout goals if they do away with the rule.

  5. Gorges_the_great says:

    No one’s arguing that he intended to put the puck in with his skate. What he didn’t do was kick the puck. He redirected it which according to the rules is a goal.

    Here’s a refresher: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=15589

  6. derfab says:

    p.s. That’s a five-gamer. Puck is in the corner with other players battling, Pomminville 20 feet away. Cheap, dirty, illegal, unecessary hit.

  7. derfab says:

    Based on that decision and a mediocre lineup, it’s going to be a very  long year for Florida. That puck is kicked in dummies. There is no other possible intention on the play but to put the puck on the net with his foot. C’mon Stu, does he have to have Ben Cahoon holding the snap?!

  8. Greg says:

    Stu, on the topic of directing the puck in with your skate, in your article you wrote: Could there be a more artificial method of boosting scoring? Yes. Absolutely.  

    1) The shootout

    2) Penalties for pucks over the glass

    3) 4-on-4 overtime

    The list really goes on…

    “I lined up next to him at a faceoff, looked over and said “Hi Rocket”. All he did was growl.”

    -Gordie Howe

  9. adamkennelly says:

    Devils P3L just cleared waivers – Habs should have grabbed him – or do it on re-entry.  He can be our “local” guy instead of Darche and actually serve a purpose against certain opponents.

  10. habs365 says:

    The goal too hard to call, looked like a goal to me But the hit on Pominville, WOW dirty. Hit from behind, elbow to the head, that should be good for a suspension of 5 games just to let the rest of the league know they’re not fooling around this year sometimes those hits are career ending. 

  11. Greg says:

    Also I don’t think that was kicked-in.  The reason I don’t mind the “no-kicking-motion-rule” is because it’s always pretty easy to tell on the replay. Horcoff’s goal looked clean to me. Definitely directed it in, but no kicking motion.

    “I lined up next to him at a faceoff, looked over and said “Hi Rocket”. All he did was growl.”

    -Gordie Howe

  12. sholi2000.com says:

    Appears to be that he moved the foot to position it for a goal.  A kicking motion.  Should have been no goal according to the rules. 


    They Call Me Shane

  13. Greg says:

    You can position your foot so that the puck bounces off it and in, you just can “sweep” the puck in with your foot.


    “I lined up next to him at a faceoff, looked over and said “Hi Rocket”. All he did was growl.”

    -Gordie Howe

  14. fuhgawz says:

    ya i seen that as well thought right away no goal

  15. Greg says:

    Actually the worst rule in the game is the automatic 2 min penalty for shooting the puck over the glass.

    3 intentional play stoppages and their punishments:

    1) Icing – faceoff in the defensive zone, no change for offending team

    2) Intentional Offside – faceoff in the defensive zone for offending team

    3) “Intentional” puck over the glass – 2 minute delay of game penalty

    Ridiculous. Pick one, and make it the rule for all three. Since the rule was changed to make intentional puck-over-the-glass plays a penalty, I think we can safely stop calling it “intentional”. Who would deliberately make that play knowing it’s a penalty? Nobody.


    “I lined up next to him at a faceoff, looked over and said “Hi Rocket”. All he did was growl.”

    -Gordie Howe

  16. Dr-Watson says:

    I believe that you are missing the point of the terminology there, never the less, what would your propose that it  be called.

  17. avatar_58 says:

    I *still* have no clue what an intentional off side is

  18. cunningdave says:

    The rule is ridiculous and shouldn’t exist.  Kicking motion should be fine.  Why not?  You can do everything else in the game with a kicking motion, why not score?  Will it stop players from playing with sticks?  No.  Less rules makes for fewer interruptions and a better game.

  19. Gorges_the_great says:

    I think the reason why the kicking motion isn’t allowed is because they don’t want six players kicking at the puck in the crease at the same time. That would be pretty dangerous.

    I think you’re right too that if you take out redirecting the puck into the net with your skate you have to take out passing the puck with your skate or kicking the puck out of the zone when you lose your stick and definitely you’d need to take out the ability to use your glove in the defensive zone.

  20. RJB says:

    Everytime I see that Seabrook hit, I cannot believe the announcer thinks that Seabrook was “selling it”. What an idiot

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
    – Bilbo Baggins

  21. Stu Hackel says:

    RJB – The announcer is former Habs goalie Brian Hayward.

  22. Gorges_the_great says:

    Repositioning your foot isn’t a kicking motion. These goals happen a
    couple times a season. According to the rules, I agree with the final call
    that it’s a good goal. I don’t see any controversy with this goal being
    inconsistent with the rules.

    And on the bigger issue of whether this kind of goal should be allowed, I don’t see why not. Is there any real difference between a player repositioning his skate to angle a puck in and a player who deliberately shoots the puck in off someone else’s skate? Both have made deliberate use of a skate to score a goal. As long as people aren’t kicking at the puck (which is dangerous) I don’t have a problem. And I’m not going to be worried about hockey becoming too much like soccer until players start heading it in. I’m fine with the rule the way it is.

  23. habs-hampton says:

    The problem isn’t the rule itself, but its that nobody really understands how to apply it. Whenever I see a puck go in off a skate, I figure it is 50-50 on whether it is allowed or not. No one can (or has) clearly define “a kicking motion”. I say you should be allowed to kick it in, ’cause at least everyone will understand  the rule.

  24. habsfansince91 says:

    Wizniewski suspended two games


  25. sholi2000.com says:

    I wanna know what that idiot Avery was saying.

    They Call Me Shane

  26. avatar_58 says:

    Uhh….2 games for a gesture and only 1 for a slash to the ankle + stick in the face ala Cammalleri? Look I’m a habs fan all the way but wow…

  27. TomNickle says:

    For those of you who were saying that the Hjalmarsson hit was clean.  They just showed the reverse angle on Pardon the Interruption, the angle is clear and reveals something that wasn’t clear on the early angle.

    Hjalmarsson not only blindsides Pominville, but he raises his left arm and elbows him in the back of the head during the hit too.

    But like you guys have been saying all day, it wasn’t dirty and there was no intent.

  28. andrewberkshire says:

    Wiz is a repeat offender, that’s the only reason he was suspended at all imo.

  29. habfab14120 says:

    Causing an offside whistle rather than, perhaps, turning over the puck because you are being pressured.  Less evident in the world of tag-up offsides, but we see it in youth hockey.  A player will obviously know that a teammate is inside the blue line, but will still fire the puck into the zone if opponents are pressing.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.