TAMPA BAY, Fla. -- It will make all the highlight shows but was it legal?
Martin St. Louis’ shootout goal propelled the Tampa bay Lightning to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
St. Louis performed a spin-o-rama and then brought the puck back to his backhand before roofing one past a stunned Corey Crawford.
“It was pretty close,” Crawford said after the game. “It looked like maybe he stopped for a second and then kept going. They think they made the right decision so we just have to live with it.”
Rule 24.2 covering penalty shots and shootout attempts states “the puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent’s goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete.”
Whether the puck was kept in motion towards the goal on St. Louis' tally is the big question. Continuation is a word used often in these situations. Replays show a distinct, but quick, new move.
“I need an explanation on that last goal in the shootout,” Joel coach Quenneville said. “That’s something I need someone to tell me exactly what the rule is. You can’t lose your forward motion or momentum. It looked like it was a complete stop.”
Quenneville did not think the move by St. Louis was reviewable and never did get an explanation from a referee. The spin-o-rama part of the sequence is allowed as stated in the rules, “the spin-o-rama type move where the player completes a 360 degrees turn as he approaches the goal, shall be permitted as this involves continuous motion.”
As for St. Louis, this one ranks up there for him.
“I find I have more success when I have fun with it,” he said. “If I try to keep it simple, I beat myself. I was just thinking about the All-Star game. That one is probably my favorite. It worked.”
Other players weren’t sure which way to think.
“I would have to see it again,” Jonathan Toews said. “As far as I’m concerned I think you can still see his left foot moving forward so it looked alright to me. You want to argue as much as you can there is evidence there to call it back bit it sucks.”
Except it’s not the feet that have to keep moving towards the goal, it’s the puck.
Two of the three shooters from Tampa Bay tried a spin-o-rama move and one succeeded in winning the game. But was it legal? Hopefully the NHL will tell us if it wasn’t.