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Fraser: Matthias' goal something I've never seen in all my years

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Kerry Fraser
3/15/2013 1:27:00 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!

Should Shawn Matthias's goal against the Bruins Thursday not have been a tripping penalty against Matthias? When on a breakaway, if a player goes for a head-first dive and misses the puck and takes the player down it's called a tripping penalty. Just wondering what the difference is going the other way?
 
Thanks,
Craig McTaggart

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Hey Kerry,
 
What is the ruling on the goal that Shawn Matthias scored against Boston last night? He appeared to slide and take out Dougie Hamilton without making any contact with the puck…  just an attempt.
 
Isn't that interference? Or tripping?
 
Keep up the great work!
Jacob Ritchie

Craig and Jacob:

There is a bizarre offensive play made by Shawn Matthias, the likes of which I have never seen in all my years in the NHL. All of us have seen players lunge for the puck in a foot-race but never have I seen a guy gain possession, pop back up and take it right into the 'house.'

Typically we see the defensive player make a desperation dive in an attempt to contact the puck and sweep it away from an attacker who has the lead body position on a drive to the net. A tripping infraction results when an opponent is taken down through physical contact as a result of the slide and prior to the puck being touched first. On plays where the puck is touched almost simultaneously with body contact, it most often deemed a legal play by the referee's naked eye in real time.

This is what occurred when Matthias dove from a deficient position, fully extending his stick toward the puck. Dougie Hamilton had the lead lane and took a peak over his shoulder to see Matthias diving for the puck. In an effort to prevent Shawn Matthias from contacting the puck, Hamilton chopped his stick in a downward motion at Matthias' stick to prevent puck contact.

From the referee's position on this bang-bang play (the same camera angle we have) it would look as though both players went for the puck with their sticks and that Shawn Matthias was successful in contacting it first. Only through replay do we see that this was perhaps not the case.

I fully understand and support the referee's quick decision on this unusual play and truly believe that many of us would have done the same.

Shawn Matthias made a great play on the penalty kill following a Bruins turnover, the likes of which I have never seen before.

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Keep this date on your calendar: Sunday, March 24 for the NHL Alumni-NYPD joint effort at Madison Square Garden to benefit Hurricane Sandy Relief fund. The event is being organized by Benoit Hogue and Junko Kobayashi, President of The Stan Lee Foundation. Please see details below:

A charity hockey game - Rivals for Relief

Madison Square Garden
Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 12:00 Noon
NYPD Hockey team versus NHL Alumni team

Benoit Hogue, Pat Lafontaine, Bruce Driver, Dan Blackburn, Ken Daneyko, Ron Duguay, Jim Dowd, Pat Flatley, Darius Kasparaitis, Vladimir Malakhov, Grant Marshall, Eddie Mio, Brian Mullen, Krzysztof Oliwa, Michel Petit and Mick Vukota, coaching by Ron Greschner, Ed Hospodar and special appearance NFL great Boomer Esiason and others.
 
We had some families reach out to us to see if we could give them tickets and we need help in having people sponsor them. We and the Sandy victims would be grateful if you and others like your organization would sponsor groups to attend the game. So many have lost everything and a little entertainment is probably the exact thing that they could use right now.

Check out, this video of the NYPD hockey practice, talking about cops and what they lost.

http://youtu.be/TvMP94LI2yY >

With the majority of the proceeds going toward the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City - Hurricane Sandy Relief, we are striving for a large turnout so we can support the rebuilding efforts in those areas.

1) To buy tickets:

http://www.thegarden.com/events/2013/march/rivals-for-relief-2013.html

2) There is also a tax deductible donation alternative.

Every contribution helps as well as all the emails, Facebook posts, and Twitter tweets to promote and share this info with all the people that you know in order to help us let everyone know how important this effort is for those families.

Hamilton and Matthias (Photo: Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
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