Friday, November 4, 2011

Video: Did Danny Briere's Shootout Goal Violate Rules?

The boundaries of what is and what is not a legal move in an NHL shootout keeps getting pushed further and further.  The latest controversy about what is and is not a legal attempt came Thursday night when Flyers forward Danny Briere drove hard in at Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg before slamming on the brakes.  Hedberg dove out at Briere attempting a pokecheck and Briere walked around him for the easy finish.  The only problem was that Briere appeared to violate Rule 24.2.
Rule 24.2 in part:
"The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent's goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete.”
Here is the video via The Score:
When Briere slammed the brakes he clearly used his backhand to stop the puck from rolling forward towards the net, which should have deemed the attempt illegal.  According to Tom Guilitti at Fire and Ice Briere knew he was close to if not violating the rule
 “He kind of surprised me with the poke check and I almost fell,” Briere said. “I wanted to keep moving forward but he kind of surprised me and I stumbled and almost stopped completely. I know the rule. You’re not allowed to go backwards and you’re not allowed to stop completely. To be honest, I wasn’t trying to stop completely. I just got surprised and stumbled a little bit.”
In the end the goal was allowed to stand because the NHL focused on the fact the puck stayed in continuous motion and never came to a complete stop.  So the question now becomes is the focus of the rule on forward motion to the net or continuous motion because it would change what sorts of attempts we could see in the future.