In the latest episode of Days of the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks are of the beleath that the NHL is out to get them!
The backing to this claim is in game 3 of their series between the Los Angeles Kings, a goal scored by the Canuck’s Henrik Sedin was turned over due to a kicking motion. Also, within the game, the play was in the Kings zone as the far referee was seen raising his hand to call the penalty, only milliseconds later putting his hand down and not calling the penalty.
Here is the video explaining the disallowed goal:
So do the Vancouver Canucks have a case here?
Simply answered: Hell no!
The definition and the simple black and white call of what is a “kicking motion” has been widely disputed. The fact is, it is not black and white, it is quite complicated at times. The rulebook is as follows:
49.2 Goals – Kicking the puck shall be permitted in all zones. A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net. A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who kicks a puck that deflects into the net off any player, goalkeeper or official.
A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player’s skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal. A puck that is directed into the net by an attacking player’s skate shall be a legitimate goal as long as no distinct kicking motion is evident.
The NHL houses some extremely talented athletes, Henrik Sedin is of course not an exception. I say extremely talented athlete and not just extremely talented hockey player because the majority of players have played other sports, and for many of them that other sport was soccer. The hand foot coordination from soccer spans to the hockey rink where the loss of a stick leaves you defenseless and only left to kick the puck, a simple drop the puck between your legs to kick it up or even something as deflecting a pass from your foot to your stick.
In my opinion, an opinion of someone who has played hockey, has played soccer, believe that Henrik Sedin did indeed kick in the puck. My rationale includes the stated above, but also that a kicking motion is not simply a lifted skate and a foot motion from your side to the front of your body like a soccer kick. A kicking motion is also when a player intentionally stops and positions his skate to deflect the puck into the net. This is what Sedin did in this instance.
To counter the officials call, or more so not call – the referee made a mistake by deferring to the closer referee. It was indeed the wrong thing to do and a botched call, but it was just that, a botched call. Nothing more, nothing less.
Lastly, to put this “conspiracy” to rest, the NHL is not out to get the Vancouver Canucks. The reality is the are good regular season, but come playoff season, the team is slightly better than the San Jose Sharks. The Canucks have only twice gone to the Stanley Cup finals, both times losing. The remaining times they find it difficult to get pass the first round, only as of late have they been able to succeed pass the first round to later be knocked out in the next series.
So who is really to blame for all of this? Not the referees that is for certain, as any sports athlete knows, a referee does not decide a game, only you the athlete does. But then again, I do not like the Vancouver Canucks and I think Roberto Luongo is overrated (career .918 save percent & 2.57 goals against average) , so perhaps I just may be a part of the conspiracy.