Arizona Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz needed video review in order to complete his first career hat trick, after his third goal was scored into a displaced net.
Arizona’s Barrett Hayton fired a shot on goal from the right faceoff circle. Blues goaltender Thomas Greiss stopped the initial shot, but inadvertently kicked the puck into the crease with his left skate. St. Louis collapsed on the net, with defenseman Colton Parayko battling the Yotes’ Clayton Keller and center Braydon Schenn literally crashing the net and knocking it off the pegs.
The puck squirted into the slot, where Schmaltz fired it into… well, into where the net would have been.
After review, the goal was awarded to Schmaltz, giving him the hatty.
“It was kind of a weird play,” Schmaltz said about his awarded third goal. “I thought their guy pushed it off initially but I didn’t really know, so I just tried to whack it. Lucky enough they buzzed it right before they were ready to drop the puck for a faceoff. Fortunate to get that bounce.”
That buzz was the league sending notice to the on-ice officials that a second look may be needed at the play at the net.
The NHL’s Situation Room automatically reviews the legality of potential goals, including pucks deflected in by a high stick, pucks kicked or batted in, and goals scored on a displaced net. This play is not eligible for a Coach’s Challenge.
The league’s decision was based on Rule 63 – Delaying the Game:
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 attacking player must have an imminent scoring opportunity 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.
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.
There’s no formal definition of an ‘imminent scoring opportunity’ but it’s safe to say that if a goal was scored less than two seconds later, that’s rather imminent.
The rule previously required that a player have shot the puck or be in the act of shooting when the net was displaced. That rule was changed a few years back to allow for the more permissive ‘imminent scoring opportunity’ within the rule.
“Pretty cool,” Schmaltz said. “I feel like our game as a line and the team has been trending in the right direction and got rewarded tonight. It’s always fun when you can score and contribute in a big win like that. Lot of fun out there. Happy to get the first ‘hatty.'”
The Arizona Coyotes went on to shut out the St. Louis Blues in a 5-0 win. Referees were Peter MacDougall (#38) and Brandon Blandina (#39), with linesmen Brandon Gawryletz (#64) and Devin Berg (#87).