Montreal Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson caught Detroit’s Lucas Raymond on the face with his stick. There was no penalty on the play.
I’ve absolutely no idea how the refs missed this though. pic.twitter.com/UTdC3ZD6OD
— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) January 27, 2023
The refs didn’t miss it. They got the call right.
A follow-through on a shooting motion is not considered high-sticking. Here’s rule 60:
A “high stick” is one which is carried above the height of the opponent’s shoulders.
Players must be in control and responsible for their stick. However, a player is permitted accidental contact on an opponent if the act is committed as a normal windup or follow through of a shooting motion, or accidental contact on the opposing center who is bent over during the course of a face-off.
A wild swing at a bouncing puck would not be considered a normal windup or follow through and any contact to an opponent above the height of the shoulders shall be penalized accordingly.
A ‘shooting motion’ does not necessarily need to be a shot on goal. That includes a clearing attempt, as on this play.
“It’s a follow through and the stick is not even above the normal height of his shoulders,” tweeted retired NHL referee and current ESPN Rules Analyst Dave Jackson. “Not a penalty.”
Sometimes no call is the right call.
The Detroit Red Wings went on to win the game 4-3 in overtime. Officials for the game were referees Chris Schlenker (#3) and Francis Charron (#6), with linesmen Caleb Apperson (#77) and David Brisebois (#96).