How the NHL should resolve the puck kicking controversy

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NHL Rule 49.2 has come under scrutiny after Blake Coleman’s non-score in the Flames-Oilers series, but in the latest episode of Zone Time, Justin Cuthbert and Julian McKenzie offer two different approaches to clarify the gray area regarding pucks that end up in the net. on a player’s skate.

Video transcript

JUSTIN CUTHBERT: I think the call on the ice has to count, right? Because it was inconclusive. But at the same time, I think Blake Coleman used his foot to propel the puck over the goal line. So I’m not that friendly, am I? Like, he’s cr– or was like, yeah, he’s trying to prepare for this. No. He put his foot on the puck because he was trying to make sure it went to the back of the net.

I don’t really think that’s disputed. He used his foot to score a goal, so I don’t think they can get too angry. But it was okay, I think, and it wasn’t more egregious than anything we’ve seen in the regular season. I think it’s really simple. They just need to define what a kicking motion is, i.e. if you lift your skate off the ice to propel it, then that’s a kick. If you angle it any way and extend it, whatever, and it goes into your foot, it’s not a kick.

Just set the rule and you’ll have no more – or less gray area. I’m sure there will still be reasons to dispute things, but I don’t know. Again, the Calgary Flames were in, so not too upset.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I will say this. Like, the fact that– I– look, I just– I don’t have a lot of faith in the people who are supposed to enforce these rules. I think for things like a kicking motion or goalkeeper interference, there are too many gray areas that pop up all of a sudden. And it’s too subjective enough, and it gets to a point where something that looks like it should matter ends up not mattering, and then vice versa happens.

That’s why, even though it pains me to say it, I posted this Tweet saying, well, what if we eliminate everything that redirects at all? Like, and– and I know some people will say, like, hey, you take away goals like that. Well, you also take away the confusion and dismay from fans and officials alike about how to rule this stuff.

At this point, look, the referees, even though Gary Bettman will tell you they’re the best in the world, they’ll find a way to screw it up. Why don’t we simplify their job by telling them that we don’t allow goals that happen without skates anyway? They say they don’t want people kicking the puck anyway, because of a league safety issue. Why not make it safer? Why not do that?

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