Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse scored a goal with his skate that was ruled legal. Video review confirmed that Nurse did not use a distinct kicking motion in Thursday night’s game when he scored to cut the Winnipeg Jets’ lead to one.
Nurse converted a rebound from an Alex Chiasson one-timer, beating Winnipeg netminder Connor Hellebuyck. Nurse turned his right skate as he was stopping, angling the puck into the net.
Referee Graham Skilliter signaled a goal on the ice. The call was confirmed with the NHL’s Situation Room after video review.
Using a skate to deflect the puck into the net is legal, provided the player doesn’t propel the puck into the net with a ‘distinct kicking motion’.
Rule 49.2 covers the legality of kicked pucks as they relate to goals.
A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net with his skate/foot. A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who kicks a puck that deflects into the net off any player, goalkeeper or official.
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. A puck that is directed into the net by an attacking player’s skate shall be a legitimate goal as long as no distinct kicking motion is evident. The following should clarify deflections following a kicked puck that enters the goal:
(i) A kicked puck that deflects off the body of any player of either team (including the goalkeeper) shall be ruled no goal.
(ii) A kicked puck that deflects off the stick of any player (excluding the goalkeeper’s stick) shall be ruled a good goal.
(iii) A goal will be allowed when an attacking player kicks the puck and the puck deflects off his own stick and then into the net.
(iv) A goal will be allowed when a puck enters the goal after deflecting off an attacking player’s skate or deflects off his skate while he is in the process of stopping.
Kicked-in goals are subject to video review, but only as deemed necessary by the referees and league. Kicked pucks are not eligible for a Coach’s Challenge. The review criteria for kicked pucks is as follows:
(iv) 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 / NHL Situation Room determines that it was put into the net by an attacking player using a distinct kicking motion, it must be ruled NO GOAL. This would also be true even if the puck, after being kicked, deflects off any other player of either team and then into the net. This is still 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.
Clearly, the puck entered the net off Nurse’s skate. Based on the movement of his right leg, it’s apparent that he intentionally and deliberately contacted the puck with his skate. The Situation Room’s challenge was in determining whether or not there was a distinct kicking motion. Moving your skate in the act of stopping or even adjusting your skate angle for a deflection are both legal. In this case, the league ruled the latter. Nurse may have intentionally redirected the puck with his skate, but he did so without a distinct kicking motion.
Though the Oilers would eventually tie the game and, later, take the lead, they ultimately fell to the Jets 5-4 in overtime.
Officials for the game were referees Graham Skilliter and Steve Kozari with linesmen Mark Shewchyk and Derek Nansen.