Seattle’s Jaden Schwartz avoided a penalty call for throwing the stick, leading to a breakaway goal for the Kraken on Wednesday night against the Detroit Red Wings.
Schwartz, having just scored to give Seattle a 2-1 lead, was out of position on a cross-ice pass to Wings defenseman Olli Matta. The Kraken defenseman, in a desperate attempt to break up the play, dove to the ice, tossing his stick towards the path of the puck.
Schwartz was successful – not only in deflecting the puck, but in avoiding a penalty.
Rule 53 – Throwing Equipment – clearly indicates that this is not only against the rules, but deserving of a penalty shot:
A player shall not throw a stick or any other object in any zone.
When any member of the defending team throws or shoots any part of a stick or any other object or piece of equipment at the puck or puck carrier in his defending zone, the Referee or Linesperson shall allow the play to be completed and if a goal is not scored, a penalty shot shall be awarded to the non-offending team. This shot shall be taken by the player designated by the Referee as the player fouled.
No penalty was called on the play.
The Kraken recovered the puck, with defenseman Brian Dumoulin sending it up ice for a breakaway goal by Tye Kartye.
Rather than a 2-1 game with a penalty short awarded to the Wings’ Maatta, Detroit found themselves down 3-1.
While the idea of adding an additional off-ice official with the ability to call penalties has been bandied about, this type of play creates a strong supporting argument. There’s no question of positioning, viewing angle, or visibility. There’s not even a judgment call on this one. The video ref upstairs catches this every time.
The Seattle Kraken went on to win the game 5-4 in overtime. Referees were Mitch Dunning (#20) and Jake Brenk (#26), with linesmen Devin Berg (#87) and Tyson Baker (#88).