Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon is having a good year. He’s on pace for a career best in scoring. One thing he didn’t have coming into Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils: a power play goal.
Spurgeon got that goal, and he did it in Sportscenter-highlight style, gloving the puck out of mid-air and batting it into the net.
Referee Kevin Pollock was in perfect position for this highlight-reel play, both to appreciate the skill and to make sure that stick was below the crossbar.
In case you’re wondering, it’s perfectly legal to glove the puck, as long as you immediately drop it and play it.
Rule 79 – Hand Pass
A player shall be permitted to stop or “bat” a puck in the air with his open hand, or push it along the ice with his hand, and the play shall not be stopped unless, in the opinion of the on-ice officials, he has directed the puck to a teammate, or has allowed his team to gain an advantage, and subsequently possession and control of the puck is obtained by a player of the offending team, either directly or deflected off any player or official.
A player shall be permitted to catch the puck out of the air but must immediately place it or knock it down to the ice.
Simply put, it’s not a hand pass if you’re passing to yourself. Amazing play by Spurgeon.