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Joe Pavelski put the puck over the Nashville Predators’ goal line with 15:52 left in the first overtime of Game 4 on Thursday night.
Unfortunately for the San Jose Sharks, he did so from his stomach, while laying on top of goalie Pekka Rinne, have barreled into him on a confusing, controversial play that ended with the Sharks have a goal waved off on the ice and then having the ruling confirmed by the NHL War Room.
It was a mess of a play.
The no-goal call was upheld, sending Sharks coach Pete DeBoer into a fury.
Was he checked from behind by a Predators player? Was he tripped onto Rinne by Shea Weber? Did he land on the goalie by his own volition?
According to the NHL Rulebook, a goal is allowed if it’s scored when the attacking player is shoved or fouled into the goalkeeper “after having made a reasonable effort to avoid contact, makes contact with the goalkeeper at the time a goal is scored.”
Two issues here. The first is whether Pavelski made a reasonable effort to avoid Rinne. The second is “at the time a goal is scored.” This isn’t a bang-bang play as the puck crosses the line, but rather a goal that was scored by the player literally pinning down the goalie with his body.
Honestly, there are arguments to be made for it being a good goal and for the ultimate decision by the officials and the NHL. Was it a good goal? Probably. Was the NHL going to end a playoff game and give the Sharks a 3-1 series lead on a play in which the Predators goalie was sandwiched between the goal-scorer and the ice? Never.
What did you think?
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