Checking The Laundry: Inconclusive Goals

I would like to apologize to our readers for the delay in publishing of this weeks edition. Andy and myself were very busy, especially with our radio show kicking off this week. We got off to a slow start and, I'll admit, pretty bad. But as we got more comfortable on air, the show got better.

Anyway, This week Andy and I look at some breakaway chances that, after the player was taken down, was called for a penalty shot, or were they?

Tyler: Penalty shot, no. Penalty? Yes.

Rule for penalty shots is that the player (in this case, Crosby) must be on a clear breakaway. This was not the case, in Crosby’s situation, it looked to me as though Miller caught up to him and was beside him, not behind him.  Therefore, a penalty shot should not have been the call, but it was.

The fact that Miller hit Crosby’s leg and tripped him, before Miller’s stick hit the puck, would call for a penalty. That fact you can’t deny though, is that this play was punishable by the rules of the NHL, but the Penalty Shot rule.

Andy: Okay Tyler, just because I proved you wrong and said "Cindy" Crosby was a cry baby on last week’s CTL, doesn’t mean he doesn’t get fouled. I have to admit though, he’s one of the most skilled guys in the league, but he’s also overrated. He’s better than average, let’s leave it at that.

When you write “the player (in this case, Crosby) must be on a clear breakaway. This was not the case.” Do you mean that it was not a clear breakaway? If so, why was there no puck in front of him? For a breakaway to occur the player (Crosby) must be alone with the goalie (Luongo), and he was until Miller came in. It doesn’t matter whether Miller might have turned into a lightning bolt, gone in front of Crosby, and poke checked him.

At the moment of the foul, Crosby was on a clear breakaway, but I doubt he could have scored on Luongo with Miller on his tail. This was Miller’s fault by taking a risky dive at Crosby, especially in sudden death overtime.

Tyler:  No, Crosby wasn’t on a clear breakaway. Miller was right beside at the time of the foul, therefore no foul. The rule I’ve grown up with since I started playing hockey (age five) is that for a penalty shot, you must be tripped or hooked, while still on the breakaway, not after the player catches up to you!

In the video clip above, it is clear that Miller was beside Crosby at the time he “tripped” him. So, unless everything I have been taught as a player was false, there should have been no penalty shot here.

Andy: Jarkko Ruutu wasn’t actually tripped or hooked until he was taken down. If you watch the video closely, you see Ruutu having perfect balance until he misses the backhander. For all you hockey players out there, what happens when you’re skating on one foot and you put all your upper weight on your stick in order to hit the puck, but you miss the puck? Exactly, you fall.

I don’t think the hooks had much to do with it, they could have been called later on to give the Penguins a power play, but this wasn’t penalty shot worthy.

If you look at Ruutu in the penalty shot and his stick handling before he was tripped, they’re basically the same thing. So, how did Ruutu succeed in the penalty shot and not the initial try? For starters he had a nice distance between him and the goalie, and there were no defensemen pressuring him. Also, he was not skating on one skate when he backhanded it in, or was at least balanced.


Thus, it would be reasonable for him to fall when being pressured by the defensemen, while skating on one foot only about one meter away from the goalie. It might have been a dive by Ruutu, but at the very least, he just lost balance when he took the shot and fell.


Tyler: I think that was Colaiacovo, wasn’t it? Anyway, he stuck his stick in Ruutu’s side and put a little tug on it when he pulled back, not once, not twice, but three times!


If you do something like that enough, no matter how little, eventually it’s going to cause the player to fall. We forget that these players are moving much faster than they seem to be. The ice is very large and with those “tiny” players skating on such a large surface it can sometimes make it look like the players are moving very slowly.

However, that is not the case, the average NHLer skates at speeds upwards of 32km/h (20m/h for you Americans). Anyone traveling at that speed is going to be set off balance by even the smallest tug.


So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that the penalty shot was deserved in this case. Colaiacovo hooked him when he was on a clear breakaway. Ruutu never got a shot off, of any kind, thus making this one a penalty shot, not just a penalty.


Andy: Who’s cigar have you been puffing Tyler?! First off, it’s Colaiacovo, and it’s surprising that he didn’t miss Ruutu on one of the hooks, hit himself in the head and then have to miss a month or two.


Secondly, me and you both know those were soft tugs and those will not knock you down IF you were in Ruutu’s position. If Ruutu had actually been going at full speed like you said, he would have crashed into Andrew Raycroft, and we would have had a nice draft pick at the end of the season. However, Ruutu began to turn and try to go around Raycroft.


Ruutu had just received a pass and was attempting to gain full control of the puck and then he was taking a right turn at the same time. No one’s stupid enough to do that at full speed, he must have been doing it at a steady pace.

Since he was doing it at a steady pace, it’s not that easy to knock him down with three tugs. Tyler, I understand that maybe a hockey player like you gets knocked down on three tugs, but as for Jarkko Ruutu, it just doesn’t work the same way with him.

Tyler: No Penalty shot, for two good reasons. First of all, this was not a clear breakaway; Handzus came in from the side of the ice, and not down the middle. Not to mention that the defender was with him all the way and Handzus never really got in front of him.

Secondly, Handzus got off a shot. In the rule, does it not state that the ref can’t call for a penalty shot if the player on the breakaway gets a shot away? That’s what I’ve been told, and that has screwed me a few times in the past.

On more than one occasion, I’ve been denied a Penalty shot because, quote’ “You got a shot off kid, now stop complaining or your gonna get one (a penalty) too...” If I didn’t get a Penalty shot, why should Handzus?

Andy: Was that Mark Messier? Oh well, back to the video. Even though I was talking about the video. “If I didn’t get a penalty shot, why should Handzus?” because Handzus doesn’t get knocked down with three tugs. Next question—ah, there it is. This was clearly penalty shot worthy. This was very similar to the Ruutu one, he came from the side, and tried to shoot, but was fouled during his attempt.

I apologize for the crappy quality of the video (courtesy of Tyler Hill), but it’s a little blurry on his “shot.” I just see Handzus do a backhand with his stick, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it was at the puck. Perhaps he lost control, and the puck got caught up in his skates and he missed the puck or whatever.

Even if he got the shot off, he was fouled when doing so when he was on a breakaway, therefore he deserves a penalty shot. I don’t watch too many Flyers games so I don’t recall this happening, maybe Alan can help us out on this one.

Tyler: “...he came from the side, and tried to shoot.” He tried to shoot, he did shoot. That was one of my reasons that he should have been awarded a penalty shot, because he got a shot away on the initial rush.

In fact I can't even respond to this. All I can say to our readers is re-read my first argument on this video. It pretty much sums up my thoughts on Andy’s pathetic argument that starts off talking about Mark Messier for some reason. 

Andy: Their don’t seem to be many “Avery videos” related to our topics anymore, but let’s see what I can pull out from this one. If you’re a goalie and you just covered the puck, you’re happy and whatnot. However, what happens if Sean Avery throws himself at you, then you’re pissed.

Although there was a story behind Avery actually getting pushed into DiPietro, let’s not forget its Avery. When Avery does something that might’ve been an accident, it’s most likely on purpose. So you can see that it’s reasonable that DiPietro wanted to stick his blocker up Avery’s butt.

Its evident that Sean Avery was walking like a drunk man and trying to regain his balance. Plus, a soft cross-check would’ve knocked him down. To conclude; it wasn’t intentionally done by Avery, but he deserved the outcome, not from this incident, but from many in the past and many to come.

Tyler:  “When Avery does something that might have been an accident, it’s most likely on purpose.” Really, that’s the base of your argument?

So you're saying it had nothing to do with the fact that Avery kept getting pushed from behind? All he was doing was positioning himself in front of the net. Not to mention, the fact that he never touched DiPietro. Instead, he fell on the Islanders players in front of DiPietro. So you were wrong Andy, it’s not reasonable for DiPietro to want to stick anything up any part of Avery.

Andy: You know what Tyler? Let’s let the people decide! Would YOU want to shove something up Avery’s butt or any other part of his body? Vote on the poll, if you can’t see it, view the article in single page mode, so it’ll appear and you can vote!