The shootout -- that crowd-pleasing insult to competitive team hockey, purist pietism and unpredictability -- has produced its share of controversies. Chief among the debates: The spin-o-rama shootout move, a weapon that has drawn the ire of baffled netminders around the hockey world.
The latest dust-up comes from the land of sheep, "Lord of the Rings" exteriors and Australian personality conflict: New Zealand, which saw the Canterbury Red Devils win their second NZIHL title (the Birgel Cup!) on this move by Valery Konev over the weekend:
To the surprise of no one, the team that just saw their Birgel go bye-bye wasn't happy that the goal was allowed after initially being waved off.
Here's what the goal looked like from the back of the net:
From Fairfax NZ News, the defeated Southern Stampede doth protest:
The shot was initially ruled out by the referee nearest the net due to not maintaining forward momentum during the play, but the Red Devils players did not realise and stormed the ice to mob Konev and celebrate the championship. The officials got together and reversed the call, sending the Red Devils players into celebration again as the Stampede faithful booed loudly.
Stampede captain Simon Glass' protestations to the referees were to no avail as the Southern side had to watch their opponents lift the Birgel Cup for the second straight year, this time at their mostly empty arena by the time presentations were made.
That makes it sound pretty shady, right? "No goal! Hey, look, players celebrating! Aw, let'em have their fun! Spin-o-rama, shmin-o-rama!"
But as every hockey fan knows: It's all about "continuous motion" on the spin-o-rama attempt, and you'd have a hard time proving that Konev meet that standard. It certainly wasn't the egregious bending of the rules that Marty St. Louis's infamous shootout goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011 was.
It was a good goal, and the only controversy comes from the on-ice official who initially called it a bad goal, which automatically qualifies him to work an NFL game next weekend, we imagine.
Meanwhile, Chris Botta's years-old question still stands: When will we see a goalie go Hextall on these pirouetters?