Saturday, June 02, 2007

We have a series

2007 Stanley Cup Final - Game 3
Senators 5, Ducks 3
Anaheim leads series 2-1

"I felt it was a goal all along. To me, it felt like I never kicked the puck. I never lifted my foot. I was confident it was going to be a goal. At the same time you never know, but it felt like a goal."
"It's not up to me to decide what happens but it was an elbow to the head. I can't understand how it was missed by four officials. Dean was knocked out. He's okay now but I don't know what the situation will be going forward."
The beauty of last night's game was that we actually saw scoring, lead changes and momentum shifts. In reducing Anaheim's lead in the series to 2-1, the Senators did the one thing that they were unable to do in consecutive losses in California — put the puck in behind the Ducks' defence and then aggressively get in on the fore-check to retrieve it.

Duhatschek also makes the case here that, in light of Alfredsson's "goal," pucks should be allowed to be directed in with the kick of a skate blade, something that I honestly can't agree with given the danger it would put players down on the ice in.

Besides, the last thing the NHL needs is one more comparison to "soccer on ice."


At 11:18 p.m., June 02, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

As a recidivist just in these playoffs, it's time for Pronger to be suspended for at least three games. He apparently has no interest in not hitting people in the head. I tend to root by latitude, so I'm not inclined to pull for Anaheim in the first place, but they really do make it easy to dislike them. Have they had someone suspended in each round, or did they manage to beat Vancouver without?

I guess the Senators can score at even strength after all.

At 11:33 p.m., June 02, 2007, Blogger Wardo said...

The Senators can "score", all right, since you're now apparently allowed to boot pucks into the net. No way should that goal be overruled by the refs. Anybody remember Pominville's goal getting disallowed? So why does this one count?

It's "a series" thanks to the refs. An undeserving team took the game tonight. The way the refs called this game - they totally ruined what could have been an exciting, hard-hitting game. Well, Ottawa got to hit all they wanted, but the moment Anaheim tried to fight for the puck (Ahem, Getzlaf?), pfft, it's a penalty.

The refs should be ashamed of themselves. They handed this game to the Senators. The Ducks had almost no PP time this entire game, remember, and Ottawa was just as aggressive. Truly pathetic.

If Pronger gets suspended, then it's official: the league wants Ottawa to have the Cup.

At 12:14 a.m., June 03, 2007, Blogger Michael said...

Nice to read Alfie is so in touch with his feelings.

At 1:22 a.m., June 03, 2007, Anonymous grace said...

Bitter Leaf fan?

At 1:22 a.m., June 03, 2007, Anonymous Evrviglnt said...

Got to agree with Wardo - some of those penalties tonight were atrocious - it was like watching an NBA game where the referees 'assume' a foul. I understand we're on NBC and they want a family friendly Euro - shoot around, but the officiating this year been unworthy.

And that "goal" by Alfredsson - a truly worrying call after one recognizes how poorly the on ice officials are performing. The rule is clear - no kicking motion.

My beloved NHL - what have you become?

At 1:26 a.m., June 03, 2007, Anonymous grace said...

PS: I totally loved the Canadian flag coming out during the anthem.

At 2:04 a.m., June 03, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

If Ducks (or Leafs, whatever) fans really want to blame the refs, have at it. More power to you. I can only hope that your team (or your not-team, whatever) dwells on the same thing.

The Ducks have no one to blame but themselves. They were called for all of those extra penalties because they had no discipline at all. Was Alfredsson's goal Borderline? Sure, though I emphasize borderline. As I watched it, might thought that was the call on th ice should stand either way, because it was hard to tell the exact sequence on replay. Still, when the Sens score one of their goals because you forget to put five men on the ice, then you should focus on your own problems, and not the refs' problems.

Besides, it takes several bad two minute minor calls to make up for a missed 5-minute and a game misconduct elbowing call. Again, the Ducks need to look at themselves, and not anyone else.

At 2:34 a.m., June 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That wasn't a kick. Get a grip.
And Pronger is a head-hunter. Should get three games if there's any justice whatsoever.

At 4:53 a.m., June 03, 2007, Blogger Doogie said...

If Pronger gets suspended, then it's official: the league wants Ottawa to have the Cup.

Because punishing someone for delivering an elbow to an opponent's face is, you know, a grand fucking conspiracy. You really did fall off a Goddamned turnip truck this morning, didn't you?

Second offence + more severe injury = three games, this time around, I would think. It may only be two, but I'd certainly question if it were any less.

At 6:55 a.m., June 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Pronger does get two games, but the Ducks still win the series after he gets back, does he still get the Conn Smythe trophy?

At 11:06 a.m., June 03, 2007, Blogger Bob said...

After watching the replays, hearing the opinions of the commentators, and reading the comments here, I decided to look at the NHL Rules and decide if Alfredsson's goal was allowable under those rules. My judgment is that the goal is legal. Here are my reasons.

The NHL Rule covering kicking the puck can be found here. It says:

"A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net."

Alfredsson was an attacking player and the puck went into the net directly off his skate, so the question boils down to did he use "a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net"?

My judment is that he DID use a distinct kicking motion. However, the distinct kicking motion did NOT propel the puck into the net.

What I saw was a shot coming toward Alfredsson (puck propelled by the shooter). I saw Alfredsson make a kicking motion with his skate in the direction of the incoming shot, not toward the net. The initial shot is what propelled the puck toward the net, not Alfredsson's kicking motion. Alfredsson's kicking motion changed the direction of the shot causing the goal, but it did not propel the puck into the net.

Under the rule, both conditions must be satisfied to disallow the goal. Therefore, based upon what I saw and the rule, Alfredsson's goal should count.

I should point out that this judgment is not based upon any precedent. I have not been paying enough attention to the playoffs to have seen any other instances of goals being allowed or disallowed based upon this rule. It is quite possible, as Brett Hull said, that this rule is not being applied uniformly and that Alfredsson's goal was similar to previously disallowed goals. Hull may be right on that.

I should also say that I have no rooting interest at all in this series. I am a lifelong (44 yrs) hockey fan living in the US, but I am not a fan of the Ducks nor the Senators.

I'd be curious to hear the reasons why other people disagree with my analysis and think the goal should be disallowed based upon what they saw and based upon the relevant rule.

At 11:48 a.m., June 03, 2007, Blogger Paul Nicholson said...

I honestly don't see why a kicking motion isn't allowed to score a goal. I understand there are safety concerns, but a kicking motion is allowed by a defender to clear the puck, or by an offensive player to move the puck to his stick, so would it really change that much?

Since the rule is so hard to judge now, i don't think offensive players are holding back from using their skates, they just want the puck in the net. Once it's there, let the refs decide and they might get luck (like last night).

Getting rid of the rule would clear up all these controversial goals and make things much simpler. Puck is in the net, and the goalie wasn't interfered with, the goal didn't leave its moorings, the whole puck crossed the line, and the puck wasn't played in with a high-stick. Goal. See how simple

Really, i don't think the rule is changing any behavior on the ice and last night is evidence of it.

At 12:00 p.m., June 03, 2007, Blogger JavaGeek said...

Three days ago the Senators were all but dead and now they're alive and well?

They still have to win game #4 in Ottawa (otherwise it's 3-1).

I wouldn't exactly call last nights game a complete domination by Ottawa either. Giguere had an off day (he doesn't have too many of those), and Ottawa had more powerplays then they will likely get on Monday.

At 12:18 p.m., June 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come Pronger and the other Anaheim defense are allowed to take a free hand and grab at Senators heading into the zone?
Isn't that what Stephen Walkom described as obstruction?
It's amazing the amount of interference Anaheim is allowed to get away with.
If they can't obstruct opposition forwards you find out how really mediocre guys like Beauchemin really are.
It helps that the Ducks have a former NHL VP as GM too, Blowhard Burke

At 12:22 p.m., June 03, 2007, Blogger rosco said...

can anyone define what a "distinct kicking motion" is? i have watched the replay several times, and it certainly looks like alfie moved his foot out to deflect the puck; he started dragging his foot only to move it further out from his body so he could contact the puck. the movement looks like a kick, albeit away from the net. does a "distinct kicking motion" need to be towards the net?

moreover, how can one satisfy the "propel the puck into the net" element? after alfie kicked the puck, it went into the net. the puck would have veered wide of the net, but once it hit alfie's foot the direction was altered towards the net. wouldn't this element only be negated if the puck did not go into the net or if it deflected off another object? do you want to introduce the idea of intent - i.e. he intended to kick the puck into the net, etc.?

the initial call on the ice to disallow the goal seemed to be the correct one; let's let the conspiracy hounds drum up reasons why it was overturned.

another banner day for gary bettman and his band of goofs.

At 1:10 p.m., June 03, 2007, Blogger Bob said...

Rosco, thanks for weighing in. I think we can determine what a distinct kicking motion is and I think you and I and everyone else agree that Alfredsson did make a distinct kicking motion. You and I also agree that the motion was not directed toward the net.

I think there is a distinction to be made between deflecting and propelling, for instance the boards deflect pucks, but they don't propel them. Look at it this way. If the puck had been stationary on the ice, Alfredsson's kicking motion would not have propelled the puck into the net. Had the puck been moving away from the goal (not merely wide, but say toward the blue line), again, Aflredsson's kicking action would not have propelled the puck into the goal. The netward acceleration of the puck was caused by the shooter, not by Alfredsson's kick in this case, so I don't think it's correct to say his kick propelled the puck into the net. He clearly made a kicking motion toward the puck, but the result was his skate redirected (deflected) the puck toward the goal.

Oddly enough, I also agree that the on-ice referee's call was reasonable. If you watch the replay, Alfredsson's skate does move distinctly toward the net fractions of a second after he deflected the puck. At game speed, the referee saw the puck hit the skate and the skate move directly toward the goal. Therefore, from this perspective, Alfredsson kicked the puck into the goal. Not allowed. But the replay officials got a better look and saw that the kicking motion was directed away from the goal so they allowed the goal. A correct reversal in my judgment.

I don't think you need a conspiracy theory to explain why this goal was allowed. All you need is a person reviewing the evidence to see it and interpret it as I did. That doesn't mean there isn't a conspiracy. It only means you don't need a conspiracy to explain this ruling.

At 4:44 p.m., June 03, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I honestly don't see why a kicking motion isn't allowed to score a goal. I understand there are safety concerns, but a kicking motion is allowed by a defender to clear the puck, or by an offensive player to move the puck to his stick, so would it really change that much?

The difference is that players are routinely going down on the ice to block shots, etc., in their defensive zone. If you have a situation where, say — Selanne is coming in on Volchenkov, the defender goes down to block a shot, Selanne fans on said shot but manages to instead give the puck a boot toward the net — it could be unbelievably ugly.

Goaltenders also have to be protected in this instance, as they can be (and have been) cut by skate blades. Just ask Clint Malarchuk.


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