Thumbs down to the ongoing confusion about what constitutes a "good goal" that is propelled into the net by a skate. The first goal in yesterday's 4-2 win by the Boston Bruins over the New York Rangers was a deliberate attempt by Boston's Milan Lucic to score a goal that way. He slid his right skate to make contact with the puck, thus, changing its direction, and sending it into the net. "No goal" was the call on the ice. Video review changed the call and the Bruins were ahead 1-0. The ref's opinion was easily supported, but so was the decision to award the goal. If that sounds crazy, it fully explains the problem the NHL has dealt with for what seems forever. And there is only one solution, which is to allow all goals scored directly from skates. You hear it said that players, especially goalies, would be in danger if kicking at pucks became legal, but kicking at pucks is legal. You just can't kick them into the net. It doesn't mean players don't use their skates to try to control pucks, to free them from scrums. What players don't do is kick wildly with their skates, near the crease or anywhere else on the ice. They wouldn't start doing that if a rule said they could score goals with their skates in any fashion. As it is, they try to score goals with their skates and hope they get the benefit of the rule that nobody really understands.
Thumbs up to Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, for delivering the Saturday quote of the night. After the Senators welcomed him back to the net with little help in a sloppy third period that led to Toronto’s 4-3 overtime win, Anderson said, “You never know which point will cost you." Well, Craig, if the Senators miss the playoffs by a point, that’s the one. I suppose Anderson could be criticized for not filling the glass half full with a reminder that Ottawa managed to get one point, but there was no way to be positive about what happened to them against the Leafs. The Senators led 2-0 after two periods and it was like every other game the Leafs have played recently. Toronto seemed interested in hearing the final buzzer and not much else. The only way Ottawa could lose was the way Ottawa lost - by putting two points in the standings prematurely. Craig Anderson, and not Andrew Hammond, must be the goalie that gets Ottawa into the playoffs. Anderson stopped a penalty shot and a Phil Kessel breakaway in overtime and he did his part to return to action with two points. Instead, it’s all about the point lost.