The St. Louis Blues scored the game-tying goal Thursday night with the net off the pegs. After review, the call on the ice was confirmed. Good goal Blues.
But, wait. How can you score a goal when the net’s off? I mean, it’s right there in the rulebook, in Rule 78.4:
A goal shall be scored when the puck shall have been put between the goal posts by the stick of a player of the attacking side, from in front and below the crossbar, and entirely across a red line the width of the diameter of the goal posts drawn on the ice from one goal post to the other with the goal frame in its proper position.
The goal frame shall be considered in its proper position when at least a portion of the flexible peg(s) are still inside both the goal post and the hole in the ice. The flexible pegs could be bent, but as long as at least a portion of the flexible peg(s) are still in the hole in the ice and the goal post, the goal frame shall be deemed to be in its proper position. The goal frame could be raised somewhat on one post (or both), but as long as the flexible pegs are still in contact with the holes in the ice and the goal posts, the goal frame shall not be deemed to be displaced.
Right. That’s in there when it comes to goals being scored. This is also the rule that the broadcast team was leaning on when disputing the call.
This is not, however, the complete picture.
The NHL rulebook also specifically addresses situations when the net is displaced by a defensive player. If that happens after the puck has been shot, the goal still counts, as long as the puck would have entered the goal frame had it not been bumped off the pegs.
While it was St. Louis forward Oskar Sundqvist whose body knocked the net off its moorings, it was Dustin Byfuglien’s actions that caused Sundqvist to make contact with the net. Since Brayden Schenn had already shot the puck, it’s a good goal.
Check out Rule 63.6:
In the event that the goal post is displaced, either deliberately or accidentally, by a defending player, prior to the puck crossing the goal line between the normal position of the goalposts, the Referee may award a goal.
In order to award a goal in this situation, the goal post must have been displaced by the actions of a defending player, the puck must have been shot (or the player must be in the act of shooting) at the goal prior to the goal post being displaced, and it must be determined that the puck would have entered the net between the normal position of the goal posts.
When the goal post has been displaced deliberately by the defending team when their goalkeeper has been removed for an extra attacker thereby preventing an impending goal by the attacking team, the Referee shall award a goal to the attacking team.
The goal frame is considered to be displaced if either or both goal pegs are no longer in their respective holes in the ice, or the net has come completely off one or both pegs, prior to or as the puck enters the goal.
The NHL’s Situation Room cited 63.6 in their explanation.
From the NHL:
At 13:52 of the third period in the Blues/Jets game, the Referee initiated a video review to determine if the puck crossed the Winnipeg goal line between the normal positions of the goal posts. The original call on the ice was “no goal”. The Situation Room informed the Referees that the puck entered the Winnipeg net between the normal position of the goal posts. The Referee then awarded the goal to St. Louis because of the actions of Dustin Byfuglien caused the Winnipeg net to become displaced as Brayden Schenn was in the act of shooting the puck into the Winnipeg net.
The decision was made in relation to Rule 63.6 which states in part, “In order to award a goal in this situation, the goal post must have been displaced by the actions of a defending player, the puck must have been shot (or the player must be in the act of shooting) at the goal prior to the goal post being displaced, and it must be determined that the puck would have entered the net between the normal position of the goal posts.”
Good goal St. Louis.