There are bizarre goals, and then there’s what happened in the Swedish Hockey League on Saturday night at Färjestad.
Leksand, their opponents, prepared for a faceoff in their defensive end. Färjestad slowly regrouped around the blue line, without a sense of urgency to get to the faceoff dot, where the linesman was ready to drop the puck.
Drop the puck, the linesman did, without a single Färjestad player lined up for the faceoff. Gabriel Karlsson, Leksand’s veteran captain, won the draw (obviously), stood there for a moment observing his stunned opponents, and then fired the puck down the ice toward the Färjestad goal.
Where it went in. Because goalie Fredrik Pettersson Wentzel was too busy drinking from his water bottle to notice that play had started. Watch this insanity:
Wentzel was so oblivious to the play that he initially thought a fan had thrown a puck by him from the stands.
According to Expressen, there’s a rule on the books in the SHL that says players must be lined up for the faceoff within five seconds of the linesman being ready to drop the puck; if not, he's free to have a faceoff without both teams set.
Färjestad players claimed they were waiting for a conversation between the referee and their coach to end, before they joined the faceoff. On the replay, there didn’t appear to be an official at the Färjestad bench.
Of course, teams have been known to take a few moments before a faceoff for a breather. Not saying that's what Färjestad was doing, but still ...
So as the adage goes: You snooze, you lose.
OK, well you don’t always lose, as Färjestad won the game 5-1. But something tells us we can expect their prompt attendance in the faceoff circle for the rest of the season.