Unfortunately for the Islanders, kicked goals don’t count — even if they deflect in off the goaltender.
New York’s Devon Toews made a nifty soccer style kick that deflected off Hurricanes goaltender Curtis McElhinney. Referees Dan O’Rourke and Francis Charron discussed the play before waving off the goal. Video review confirmed the call on the ice.
From Rule 49 – Kicking:
49.2 Goals – Kicking the puck shall be permitted in all zones. 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.
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.
There’s no question Toews intentionally kicked the puck with a ‘distinct kicking motion.’ His right skate didn’t move as part of his skating stride, nor was it merely angled to deflect the puck. The Isles winger used his foot to propel the puck towards the net.
It was a great attempt by Toews to center the puck. If an Islander player had been there, it’s likely an easy goal. Even an inadvertent deflection off a defenseman’s stick would’ve resulted in a good goal. A kicked puck going right in off the goalie though, is a no-goal.
“I didn’t even see it,” Toews said, admitting to the kick after the game. “I was just trying to kick it back to my stick and it ended up in the net. I don’t know the ruling or anything. I trust they made the right call, so I guess it was no goal.”
Islander head coach Barry Trotz – as much as he would’ve liked to have seen his team pick up a late goal – agreed with the call.
“We were still winning the game,” said Trotz. “It’s a funny rule. He was below the goal line, trying to put it towards the front of the net. It’s the right call.”