Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov is making a name for himself with some memorable stickwork on goals.  Tonight, it was the fact that he didn’t score that let the Canes’ overtime winner stand.

A shot by Sebastian Aho hit Svechnikov, who was positioned in front of the net. He turned and swung at the puck, driving it off the crossbar.  It ricocheted directly to Vincent Trocheck, who fired the puck past Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss.

Referee Marc Joannette immediately – and emphatically – signaled a goal on the ice.



In overtime, plays eligible for a Coach’s Challenge are automatically reviewed by the league.  The NHL’s Situation Room took a look at the play to confirm the Canes’ game-winner.  Their ruling:

The Situation Room supported the Referee’s call on the ice that Andrei Svechnikov’s stick was below the normal height of his shoulders when he contacted the puck prior to Vincent Trocheck’s goal. The decision was made in accordance with Rule 38.10 and 80.1.

The aforementioned Rule 38.10 covers missed stoppage events, which, in this case, would have been the puck played with a stick above the shoulders.   Rule 80.1 addresses pucks played with a high stick.

80.1 High-sticking the Puck – Batting the puck above the normal height of the shoulders with a stick is prohibited. When a puck is struck with a high stick and subsequently comes into the possession and control of a player from the offending team (including the player who made contact with the puck), either directly or deflected off any player or official, there shall be a whistle.

The league confirmed the call on the ice made by referee Marc Joannette, that Svechnikov’s stick was not above shoulder height.

“Because it didn’t go directly in the net, the high stick is the shoulders, not the crossbar,” said Islanders coach Barry Trotz, on the explanation of the call. “They felt it wasn’t over the shoulders, therefore it’s in play and a good goal.”

Here’s the fun part:  If Svechnikov’s deflection had gone directly into the net, the goal would have been waved off.

While Rule 80.1 allows for a puck to be played by a stick at or below shoulder height, the standard for goal scoring is different.  Goals cannot be scored directly off a stick above the height of the crossbar.

Svechnikov’s stick was clearly above the crossbar. He’s lucky the puck went off the crossbar.  Had he tipped it in, it would have been no goal.

Since the tip was merely a play on the puck, that’s a good goal.