In his 17-year career, Marian Hossa has scored 534 goals across the regular season and playoffs. Most have come from his stick. In Game 7 of the 2015 Western Conference Final, Hossa scored the game-winning goal with his skate.
Referee Kelly Sutherland immediately called it a goal on the ice. Of course, the NHL’s Situation Room took another look at the play. The NHL’s official ruling:
At 13:45 of the second period in the Chicago Blackhawks/Anaheim Ducks game, video review supported the referee’s call on the ice that the puck deflected off Marian Hossa’s skate and into the Anaheim net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 49.2 “A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player’s skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal.” Good goal Chicago.
There’s certainly no question that the puck went in off Hossa’s skate. His foot was moving forward at the time contact was made with the puck, and that forward movement propelled the puck into the net.
The motion, though, looked to be part of Hossa’s skating stride. His foot was already moving forward before the rebound came off Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen. That likely contributed to the league’s determination that Hossa’s skate movement did not constitute a ‘deliberate kicking motion.’
Remember, the league tweaked Rule 38 prior to the start of the 2014-15 NHL season to allow for more leniency in the way it was interpreted. The updated rule covers situations subject to video review:
(iv) Puck directed or batted into the net by a hand or foot or deliberately batted with any part of the attacking player’s body. With the use of a foot/skate, was a distinct kicking motion evident? If so, the apparent goal must be disallowed. A DISTINCT KICKING MOTION is one which the player propels the puck with his skate into the net.
If the Video Goal Judge / League Office Video Room determines that it was put into the net by an attacking player using a distinct kicking motion, it must be ruled NO GOAL.
However, a puck that enters the goal after deflecting off an attacking player’s skate or that deflects off his skate while he is in the process of stopping, shall be ruled a good goal.
“There is no distinct kicking motion on the play,” referee Kelly Sutherland told the 17,375 in attendance at the Honda Center. “We have a good goal.”
Chicago went on to win the game 5-3. They face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final, which starts on Wednesday, June 3.