Around the League - Playoff Edition - Wk 1: Extended version

Jason Gregor
April 22 2010 10:29PM

This has been the best first round of NHL playoffs that I can remember. We’ve already seen one upset, Flyers (although I said I should pick them, but stupidly didn’t), the Bruins are one win away from another one, while the Predators, Avalanche, Senators and Coyotes aren’t going away quietly. And the most physical and entertaining series has been the Canucks/Kings, and I fully expect them to go seven games.

While the games have been great the biggest head scratcher has to be what is deemed a “distinct kicking motion”, although the ridiculous conspiracy theories emanating out of Vancouver are a close second.

The league doesn’t want LA to win anymore than they want Vancouver to win, regardless of what Canuck fans think. So please stop the outlandish theories, and ask why your team can’t kill a penalty instead.

While I laugh at the conspiracy theorists, I can understand why Canuck fans would be annoyed by Mike Murphy’s decision to disallow the Daniel Sedin goal. In case you missed it here it is.

Here’s the explanation Murphy said on CBC after the game explaining why he disallowed it.

“It had to be propelled some way. Not with a distinct kicking motion, but with a kicking motion, that made it move back the other way. It wasn't a deflection. It wasn't a redirect. It was a kick. That's the decision we came up with.”

But this is what rule 49.2 in the NHL rulebook says regarding 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.”

 Based on the rule book, Sedin’s goal should have counted, but when I asked Blues head coach, Davis Payne his thought’s on the call he shed some new light on the situation. The league sent out a video about goals off of skates that would be allowed or disallowed.

“The rule video that came out indicates that if you provide some momentum or thrust for the puck going in a different direction, it’s the same as a distinct kicking motion. You provide enough momentum for the puck to go in the net with your foot, then that is the intent of disallowing that type of play.”

Davis said he wasn’t surprised they disallowed the goal; however, he did agree that more clarity is needed.

New rule needed?

Should the league allow goals that go off the skate if the blade is on the ice at the point of impact, regardless if it is kicked in or not?

“Finding a way to use your feet, finding a way to increase scoring and finding a way to clarify it because we don’t want the skates up off the ice seems good, so it might not be a bad idea to table,” said Payne when I asked him.

If Sedin actually knew what he was doing in that split-second then to me that is a great play and should be counted. Others will argue this isn’t soccer, so kicking is out of the question.

I think the league has to decide one way or the other. Either they allow goals if the skate blade is on the ice (They can’t encourage a real kicking motion off the ice or players will end up getting cut) or go the other way and any goal that goes in off the skate is disallowed.

Pick one side and live with. Right now there is too much of a grey area, and even with instant replay they can’t get the call correct.

Which side are you on?

Random thoughts

Martin Brodeur isn’t the goalie he used to be, but blaming him for the Devils’ first round exit isn’t right. The Devils scored nine goals in five games, on Brian freaking Boucher. If they can’t score on Boucher, how do they expect to win?

Ilya Kovalchuk has won a grand total of ONE playoff game in his career. I wonder which team will over pay him this summer. He is a great offensive player, but he hasn’t won anything to date.

What is going in pro sports? We’ve seen too many men in the CFL and NFL championships cost a team the game, and now we’ve had 16 too-many-men-on-the-ice penalties this year. The Buffalo Sabres are probably done after having six skaters on the ice in OT in game four.

Johnny Boychuk has been the surprise of the playoffs so far. The Edmonton native spent five years in the AHL, before finally cracking the Bruins lineup this year. Not only is he averaging over 26 minutes a night, he’s looked like Scott Stevens with some bone-crushing hits v. the Sabres. It is hard not to root for a guy who pays his dues and finally get rewarded.

I don’t think Joe Thornton doesn’t care, I just don’t think he can elevate his game. He only possesses regular season intensity.

Washington and Philly will be one hell of a series. The Human Rake v. Ovechkin will be an outstanding matchup.

The Nation gets more love

The Folks at River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton have noticed lots of traffic courtesy of our readers and they want to reward those of you who are fight fans. They gave me five pairs of tickets for this Friday night’s Let’s Get It On MMA fight card at the River Cree. First five people to email gregor@theteam1260.com will be going.

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#53 OILERSORDEATH
April 23 2010, 02:28PM
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Good I'm glad they disallowed the goal, thats payback for all the dirty hits n cheesy goals they scored. Eff Vancouver Eff their a$$hole fans. When Oilers are out I cheer for LA. Plus how can you not like Doughty! Dudes a stud and Canadian! not Swede!

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#54 TonyT
April 23 2010, 04:42PM
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@OILERSORDEATH

Besides the racial sentiment, I fully agree with the above statement.

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@Jason Gregor

I still can't believe how many boxing and MMA organizations this city has. I just hope that they don't ruin the sport with overkill.

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