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

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