Fraser: How was Carolina's goal allowed to count?

Kerry Fraser
11/24/2011 11:47:24 AM
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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! 

Hello Ref,
On Wednesday, the Habs got scored on in the first period when the puck was on top of the net for more than three seconds. As a rule, the whistle should have stopped the play! On top of that, the Carolina player touched the puck with a high stick which should have stopped play when the next player touched the puck. His stick took the puck from the top of the net; his stick was high by the rules, no?
Explain away Kerry!
Jim McColl,
Salut Kerry,
What's up with the Hurricanes' second goal against Montreal tonight? The refs never saw the puck on top of the net?
Jean Francois Desrochers
Hey Kerry,
I'm sure you'll get a lot of emails about this one - why was Carolina's second goal against the Habs tonight allowed to count?  The puck was knocked on top of the net by the Carolina player, and then another Carolina player plucked the puck off the top of the net.  At the very least shouldn't this have been a high stick?  Was watching the Carolina feed of the game and even the Canes announcers thought it should have been high sticking.
Ian Durant

Jim, Jean Francois and Ian:

The goal was scored legally and the explanation on this one is very simple.

High-sticking would occur when a player strikes the puck above the height of his shoulders. Rule 60.5 - Goals, states 'An apparent goal scored by an attacking player who strikes the puck with his stick carried above the height of the crossbar of the goal frame shall not be allowed. The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick. If the puck makes contact with stick below the level of the crossbar and enter the goal, this goal shall be allowed.'

So we have two separate height references on this play. The first is when the puck rested on the top of the Montreal net. Brett Sutter picked the puck cleanly off the top of the netting which was well below the height of his shoulders therefore no high-sticking of the puck resulted. The puck became eligible for Sutter or any of his teammates to play at this point.

Sutter gained possession of the puck, passed to Tim Brent who dished to Anthony Stewart in the slot and his shot found the back of the net - GOAL! At no time was the puck contacted above the height of the crossbar off Stewart's shot.

If Sutter had picked the puck off the net and fired a lacrosse style fling of the puck with his stick above the crossbar only then would the potential goal be disallowed.

It is conceivable however that a player could pick the puck up off the top of the net with a “saucer” lift on the blade of his stick and drop his blade below the crossbar before depositing the puck into the net. The puck would not be contacted above the height of the shoulders so high-sticking would not result and since contact with the puck was below the crossbar prior to entry into the net a good goal would result.

An excellent call was made by the referee on this play. He waived immediately that no high-sticking of the puck occurred when Sutter picked the puck off the top of the Habs goal with his stick. Tres bien mes amis.

Carey Price (Photo: Francois Lacasse/Getty Images)


(Photo: Francois Lacasse/Getty Images)
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