Tied 1-1 after three periods, the short-handed Sabres headed into sudden death hoping against hope to pull out a tight one at the First Niagara Center. Their hopes were answered by defenseman Mark Pysyk, who managed to tally what was one of the most remarkable goals in recent memory.
Following up on his own blocked shot, Pysyk clashed with Coyotes keeper Mike Smith and center Martin Hanzal. The puck deflected off a stick, flipped into the air and landed in a rather unexpected place—the back of Smith’s pants.
Oblivious to the puck resting in his Jockeys, the Coyotes keeper retreated backward into his own goal. His posterior crossed the plane of the goal, and after several confusing moments, referees blew a whistle.
It was a confusing moment, but after some investigation the puck was dug out of Smith’s pants, and officials awarded the Sabres the game-winning goal.
Questions immediately emerged concerning whether the goal should’ve been allowed.
“Should a scramble take place or a player accidentally fall on the puck and the puck be out of sight of the Referee, he shall immediately blow his whistle and stop the play.”
According to Pat Iversen of SB Nation, the NHL has defended the ref’s decision to allow the goal.
“At 3:47 of overtime in the Coyotes/Sabres game, video review supported the referee’s call on the ice that Mark Pysyk’s shot deflected into the air and landed in goaltender Mike Smith’s equipment and, while attempting to make the save, Smith’s momentum propped him and the puck completely across the goal line. Good goal Buffalo.”
Feel free to read that last line as “Butt goal Buffalo.” I find it catchier.
Smith didn’t find anything amusing about the goal but did manage to cork off one of the best lines you’ll ever hear during Monday night’s postgame presser.
Mike Smith on OT goal: "I guess if they don't see the puck, they're supposed to blow the whistle. That's not what happened."— Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdonPHT) December 24, 2013
Smith on effort: "It's an honest game and if you don't play how you're supposed to play... you get it jammed right up your butt."— Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdonPHT) December 24, 2013
Wise words from a man who received the karmic equivalent of a size 16 Dr. Marten in his rear.
We all knew there would be another Butt Fumble one day, but no one ever expected the second iteration to help out a New York team.
Merry Christmas, and a happy Butt Goal to all!