Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Weird Rule Denies Blues

The man to the left is NHL referee Tim Peel. Tim has never played in the NHL, but it took a weird bounce tonight for him to score his first NHL goal. Technically, he won't get credit, but let's be honest in saying that sometimes the ugliest goals are the most memorable. In tonight's game between the visiting Florida Panthers and the St. Louis Blues, it was tied early in the first period when Tim Peel beat Panthers netminder Roberto Luongo with a solid deflection for which I believe neither Peel nor Luongo were ready. I'm not sure if Peel is a Blues fan having been born in Hampton, New Brunswick, but I can't imagine he was feeling too hot after scoring his first goal in over 1250 NHL games in the way that he did.

Here's the video of Peel's first NHL goal.
As you saw, the second referee announced that the goal will not count and the Blues play-by-play broadcaster was right in that goals cannot be scored directly off the referee. Rule 78.5, Section iii states the following:
So while it appeared that Robert Bortuzzo was set to be awarded the goal, the officials made the correct call in denying Bortuzzo his second goal of the season after it deflected off Peel in the corner and all the way to the middle of the ice. I can understand why Peel was shaken up - that's a long way for that puck to travel off the midsection of an unsuspecting official.

How often does one see that play? Well, it happened to Calvin De Haan last season while with the Hurricanes against the Bruins when a puck deflected into the net off Francois St. Laurent. This goal, too, was disallowed.
In other words, it happens enough for a rule to be written, but not often enough that remember the last time it happened.

In any case, the NHL officials are doing their jobs well in knowing the rules. And it seemed like Tim Peel was well out of the way of that dump-in by Bortuzzo, but it just goes to show you that you should never take your eye off the puck as a fan or an official.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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