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Fraser: Did Ryan Callahan kick in a Rangers goal?

Kerry Fraser
5/24/2012 4:28:49 PM
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Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry Fraser wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.ca!

Hey Kerry,

Just got done watching Game 5 between the Devils and Rangers. I'm really scratching my head after a goal was allowed to stand that clearly looked like Callahan had kicked in. Should the ref have disallowed the goal on the ice? I've heard the arguement he was trying to stop, but since when do players stop like that? While it looked like a kicking motion to me I don't understand how he "directed" it in. Thanks
Mike Morgese
Hey Kerry, a puzzling question struck me while watching Game 5 between the Rangers and Devils after Ryan Callahan's questionable "kicking" goal.  If in some situation, a player was behind the net and kicked the puck towards the front of the net, maybe trying to get it to a teammate, and the puck ended up bouncing off the goalie and went in, would the goal count?  I know a player is not allowed to have a kicking motion to score a goal but what if he kicks the puck, maybe not even towards the net and it goes in off of the other team somehow?  Thanks.
Jeff - Orlando, FL
Mike and Jeff:

Thank you for your question concerning how Ryan Callahan's goal could be deemed legal by the referee on the ice and then verified through video review. I also have it as a good goal as result of a deflection as opposed to a distinct kicking motion.

Rule 38.4 iv) situations subject to video review, qualifies "a distinct kicking motion is one which, with a pendulum motion, the player propels the puck with his skate into the net. "

The presence of a distinct kicking motion was not easily determined on this play as Ryan Callahan cut through the top of Marin Brodeur's goal crease with Dainius Zubrus attempting to tie up the NY Ranger on the back check.  Callahan was in a glide path with the majority of his weight on the inside edge of his right skate as he approached and was gliding through the crease. This provided a push back on Zubrus and would control his direction so as to avoid contact with Martin Brodeur inside the crease.

There is no question in my mind that Ryan Callahan was focused on the puck that was thrown in his direction from the corner by Artem Anisimov. I also believe that as the puck approached he deliberately turned/moved his left skate to redirect the puck into the net. From a camera angle behind Callahan we see a small snow shower resulting from his left skate (potential kicking motion foot) that provides a thread of evidence that some form braking motion was being utilized by Callahan or at the very least to stop the leg skate's forward motion toward the net. Given the glide path to through the crease and the repositioning of Callahan's left skate (including stopping action with that skate) I would deem contact with the puck as a deflection as opposed to a distinct kicking motion.

Jeff, in answer to your question on a puck that would enter the net through a deflection following a distinct kicking motion we find the answer in a continuation of rule 38.4 iv); "This would also be true even if the puck, after being kicked deflects off any other player of either team and then into the net. This is still NO GOAL. See rule 49.2"

Rule 49.2 further clarifies, "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who kicks a puck that deflects into the net off any player, goalkeeper or official. The following should clarify deflections following a kicked puck that enters the goal:

i) A kicked puck that deflects off the body of any player of either team (including the goalkeeper) shall be ruled no goal.

ii) A kicked puck that deflects off the stick of any player (excluding the goalkeeper's stick) shall be ruled a good goal.

iii) A goal will be allowed when an attacking player kicks the puck and the puck deflects off his own stick and then into the net.

A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who kicks any equipment (stick, glove, helmet, etc.) at the puck, including the blade of his own stick, causing the puck to cross the goal line."

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Kerry Fraser

Kerry Fraser

Kerry Fraser is an analyst for the NHL on TSN and That's Hockey 2Nite on TSN2. As one of the league's most recognizable senior referees, he's worked 1,904 NHL regular season games and 261 playoff games during his 37-year career.

Got a question on rule clarification, comments on rule enforcements or some memorable NHL stories? Kerry wants to answer your emails at cmonref@tsn.ca!

You can also follow Kerry Fraser on Twitter at @kfraserthecall!

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