The Los Angeles Kings saw a goal waved off after being scored with a high stick. The play was reviewed by the league, but the specifics of that review are what made the play interesting.
A high stick on a goal is a league-initiated review. A high stick in the attacking zone that should have resulted in a missed stoppage is only reviewable via Coach’s Challenge. The specifics of the high stick are critical.
There are a few considerations on this play.
Did the high stick lead directly to the goal?
If the puck was deflected in by a high stick, the stick must have contacted the puck at or below crossbar height.
From Rule 78.5:
Apparent goals shall be disallowed … when the puck has entered the net after making contact with an attacking player’s stick that is above the height of the crossbar. Where the puck makes contact with the stick is the determining factor.
In this case, Kings forward Carl Grundstrom appears to deflect the puck above crossbar height. The officials need to assess whether the puck goes directly in, or if it’s played after the stick contact.
Was the puck touched after being played with a high stick?
The determination here – for a puck that is high-sticked but does not lead directly to a goal – is based on shoulder height. If the puck contacts the stick above shoulder height,
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.
If so, who played the puck after the high stick? The puck contacted the Ducks goaltender, then bounced off the leg of Grundstrom, who turned his foot in an attempt to redirect the puck towards the goal.
The next player to touch the puck was Anaheim defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who inadvertently pushed the puck off his goaltender and over the goal line.
Was that enough to be considered possession and control of the puck? Or was that all still part of the initial deflection?
The call… and the review
Referee TJ Luxmore signaled a goal on the ice. The NHL’s Situation Room decided to take a second look. Since this was league-initiated, the only part they can review is if a stick above the crossbar deflected the puck into the net. The stick was clearly above the crossbar, so the review would focus on what happened next.
The league felt that Grundstrom’s deflection did lead directly to the goal; the puck was not controlled by any other player on either team. That determination meant the crossbar height – not shoulder height – was the standard. Therefore, the goal would not stand.
The NHL’s official ruling:
Video review determined that Carl Grundstrom’s stick was above the height of the crossbar before he directed the puck into the Anaheim net. According to Rule 78.5 (vi) that states in part “Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the Referee . . . When the puck has entered the net after making contact with an attacking player’s stick that is above the height of the crossbar. Where the puck makes contact with the stick is the determining factor.”
From ESPN rules analyst and retired NHL referee Dave Jackson:
Los Angeles player high sticks the puck. It hits goalie then possibly an Los Angeles player’s skate. It squeaks through the goalies legs and is deflected into net off an Anaheim stick.
A high stick is in effect until possession and control is obtained. It was ruled “no control“ by Anaheim, therefore no goal.
The Kings, undeterred, continued their rally, ultimately tying the game and sending it to overtime before falling in the shootout.
Referees for the game were Kyle Rehman and TJ Luxmore. Linesmen were Travis Gawryletz and Jonny Murray.