Let me begin this article by saying yes, I am probably a biased writer on this subject. I have spoken with several friends who could not care less about Dallas and have all agreed last night’s “kicking motion” call was bull.
There is no way the call cost the Stars the game—they simply did not step up in overtime when they needed to.
But my question is: how can they define an intentional and unintentional kick?
As a former hockey player, I have wound up (more than once or twice) with the puck in my skates. Regardless of meaning to or not, in the craziness of the game, it ended up getting kicked, sometimes to my stick, sometimes into the net.
So, how is this rule able to accurately be enforced?
I will point out that from what I saw, it appeared to me as though Brenden Morrow of the Dallas Stars had no clue the puck was at his feet. It also seemed, if he was trying to kick it in, he didn't put much effort into it. Yes, my eyes are biased. Take that analysis as you wish.
With the officiating in the playoffs already in question, last night was a double black eye to the league’s ability to make decisions. I understand the decision to a degree, though I see no way of truly enforcing it properly.
Is the answer to do away with the rule? The NHL is always trying new crazy ideas to draw in fringe fans; Maybe it should do away with the rule all together.
If the rule is to put the puck past the goalie, what is wrong with a kicking motion? Would that not require goaltenders to make even flashier saves? Wouldn't flashier goalie saves result in more and more fans coming out to games?
I must admit, I am torn on this subject to some degree—I have merely written this article to see how others feel about the call.
I’m not so much angry about the fact it may have changed the outcome for the Stars. Moreover, I am angry with how the NHL office seems to have seen something much different from what everyone else saw.