November 03, 2011
Danny Briere(notes) was the second shooter in the Philadelphia Flyers' shootout order against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night, and pulled off quite the move: Skating into the zone; stopping short to give Johan Hedberg(notes) a snow shower as the goalie lunged for the puck; then skating around Hedberg to tuck the puck into an empty net.
Quite the move … but was it legal?
The Devils eventually won the shootout and the game, 4-3 over the Flyers.
Shootout attempts are governed by the same rules as penalty shots, meaning that Rule 24.2 applies here:
"The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent's goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete. No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the goal), and any time the puck crosses the goal line or comes to a complete stop, the shot shall be considered complete."
You've seen the attempt and read the rule; now, here's the NHL from its War Room blog explaining why this Briere attempt was deemed legal and the goal was upheld:
On the second shootout attempt by Philadelphia, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Daniel Briere kept the puck in motion and that the puck never came to a complete stop and thus it was a good goal.
Missing from that explanation: Whether Briere continued moving the puck forward towards the opponent's goal line. Because when the Flyers forward stopped skating, he put the puck on his backhand to stop its forward progress. No, it didn't stop moving — but it stopped moving towards Hedberg just as Briere stopped too.
The spin-o-rama type move where the player completes a 360° turn as he approaches the goal, shall be permitted as this involves continuous motion.
The NHL believes the puck never stopped moving, and technically that's correct. But one could argue it stopped moving "towards the opponent's goal line," which is an essential part of the rule.
We feel Briere's goal shouldn't have counted, either via a literal translation of the rule or the spirit of the thing. But we will say this: It was a hell of a tribute to Luis Mendoza's breakaway goal in "D2: The Mighty Ducks," as Crossing Broad noted. What say you on this goal?
Pass or Fail: Danny Briere's stop/start shootout goal against the Devils.