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I have a question about the second goal scored by the Sharks in Game 1 on Wednesday night. That goal should not have counted as Roberto Luongo was interferred with by the Shark's player - if you look real close at the replay he does a cross check to Lu's arm and he was impeding Lu to start with, so Lu could not have gotten up to defend against that goal?
And then I heard you say on TSN that the Canucks' goal should not have counted as you said Mason Raymond interferred with the goalie? How was one different than the other?
Lynda Clark - Surrey BC
I was thrilled for Roberto Luongo, who followed up a shelling in Edmonton in his previous outing with an outstanding performance in game one of the Canucks—Sharks series last night. In spite of the final outcome, ‘Lu' demonstrated his ability to rebound as a top goalkeeper in the League while maintaining confidence and focus under intense pressure swirling around the Canuck goalkeeper circus. It was a great performance from a true professional.
Let me explain the difference between the incidental contact that Roberto Luongo received from the stick of Tommy Wingels as opposed to the deliberate push Mason Raymond with Antti Niemi as both goalkeepers were positioned inside their blue paint.
On the Sharks' second goal (video link), eventually scored by Dan Boyle, the puck was thrown toward the Canuck net by Joe Pavelski from the half-wall. Tommy Wingels established first position on the puck at the edge of the crease on Luongo's paddle rebound of Pavelski shot. As Wingles pressured his stick down it is clear that his focus and contact is purely on the puck as Luongo also extended his paddle/stick along the ice to contact the puck.
Vancouver's Derek Roy then contacted and shoved Tommy Wingels from the back/side causing Wingels to bump Luongo and the puck to pop forward a couple of feet in front of the right side goal crease. Wingles fought against the contact from Roy and while maintaining focus on the loose puck fell forward to stab the puck from between Dan Hamhuis and Mason Raymond and onto the stick of Dan Boyle who pinched deep into the low slot.
The contact initiated by Derek Roy on Tommy Wingels resulted in Wingels making incidental contact to the arm of Canuck goalkeeper Roberto Luongo as stated in rule 69.1—If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
The flip side to this play occurred after Antti Niemi made the initial stop on a shot by Kevin Bieksa. Canuck attacker Mason Raymond was first player on the rebound and banged at the puck and the right pad of Niemi from close range. Everything to this point was well within the confines of a legal play at then net until Raymond changed his focus from the puck and extended his arms to deliver a solid push/shove to the chest of Niemi. This deliberate contact from Raymond knocked the Shark goalkeeper off his butterfly set onto his backside and deeper into his goal crease. Niemi was unable to regain his position as the puck slid underneath him across the line.
The intentional/deliberate contact initiated by Mason Raymond is defined and addressed in Rule 69.3—If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
Herein lays the distinct difference in the legality of player contact with the goalkeeper from game one last night in Vancouver in what is sure to be a hotly contested playoff series.