"Calgary got screwed here": NHL insiders react to disallowed Coleman goal

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Insiders around the National Hockey League are all over the place when it comes to Blake Coleman’s disallowed goal against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.

Some loved the call.

Others hated it.

The play would have given the Flames a 5-4 lead late in the third period and likely would have forced a Game Six in Edmonton.

Here’s how the discussion unfolded on Twitter and TV from the moment of the goal:

Spittin’ Chiclets commentator and former Oilers player Ryan Whitney @ryanwhitney6
Backlund is something else that was a sick move. Please be no goal please be no goal please be no goal.

Sportsnet commentator Kelly Hrudey during the game
We have the referees with the tablet. I’m not sure what they’re looking for yet… (Responding to playt-by-play announcer Chris Cuthbert’s suggestion refs were looking at Coleman’s deflection) That’s too close to overturn it, it seems to me… That would be a tough call… I think you’ve got to give it that’s an attempt to stop skating. Oh boy, that’s hard to tell. I wouldn’t want to be making that call… I don’t know how that you can rule that’s a kicking motion.”

Spittin’ Chiclets commentator Paul Bissonnette @BizNasty2point0
Yes. What a goal Blake Coleman. Now lock it down. LOCK IT DOWN. Flames

Hockey data writer Corey Sznajder @ShutdownLine
Blake Coleman scoring a big goal while falling down, as usual.

Hockey writer Sean McIndoe Down Goes Brown @DownGoesBrown
That’s a goal.

Elliotte Friedman @FriedgeHNIC
No goal, kick. Wow.

Chris Cuthbert
That is a stunning call. And one that’s going to get talked about for a long time.

Former NHLer PJ Stock @PJStock28
Terrible call.

Ryan Whitney @ryanwhitney6
Kicking the puck in is not allowed!!! Learn the rules Coleman!! No goal!!

Paul Stewart, former NHL ref @PaulStewart22
Hockey isn’t soccer. But consider this: You can legally kick the puck in all 3 zones. Can deliberately kick a loose puck toward the net so long as it doesn’t cross the goal line. A teammate could tap it the final fraction of an inch over the line, though, and it’s a good goal.

Pittsburgh sports columnist Dejan Kovacevic @Dejan_Kovacevic
That’s the right call. Again, they can’t just let absolutely everything off the skate count. You start altering the sport. No question Blake Coleman juts that left skate forward for the purpose of putting the puck in the net.

RUN IT BACK™️ @tmlfaninvan
Blake Coleman is confused because when he played for Tampa every goal was totally fine.

Elliotte Friedman during the intermission
I thought it was a good goal. I think he’s crashing into the goalie and he’s getting kind of pushed in by the defencerman and sometimes when the defenceman pushes you in that gives you more latitude to do things.

Sportsnet’s Jennifer Botterill
Maybe he’s trying to be subtle with it but it does look as though from some of those (replay) angles that he makes an effort to make sure that there’s contact with that puck… He was looking at the puck for most of the time. It’s not as if he was faced the other way and it was an accidental contact… I think there’s a level of awareness for him, he’s still watching this puck to know where he wants to make contact.”

Sportsnet’s Kevin Bieksa
Before I state my opinion, I don’t care who wins this game. I’m not cheering for either team… I think this is a kick. I think it was the right call to disallow the goal. While it looks like he’s directing the puck in the net, it’s a little bit grey. What is a kick? Everyone thinks a kick is when you kick the puck. What he’s doing right here is he’s trying to kick the puck in the net and hide it… He’s gliding on his flats trying to kick the puck into net… Why is his one leg extending? I’m thinking about the Mens Rea, I’m thinking about the guilty mind right now… He did a great job of hiding his intent because we’re all on different sides but I think his intent was to kick it in and hide it.”

Sportsnet’s Ron MacLean
I know as a referee, I would want Calgary to win. I would feel like I made the right call but I would feel somehow it’s unjust.

Justin Cuthbert Yahoo Sports
It was far from a textbook kicking motion, but after a critical review it was ruled that Coleman had propelled the puck across the goal line using an illegal motion with his skate. It was an impossible call at the time, and the result was cruel. There was no question that Coleman’s skate put it over the line, and that he set up his blade to make contact with the puck. But to call it a “distinct kicking motion” is a massive stretch, and the puck appeared to be heading into the back of the net regardless.

TSN’s Craig Button
I thought it was a terrible call. I thought it was no distinct kicking motion.

Calgary hockey commentator Eric Francis of Sportsnet @EricFrancis 
Better team won the series, no question. Great series that deserved a better finish than a game marred by a video reply call that will be talked about in Calgary for a long time.

Down Goes Brown @DownGoesBrown
You’re going to wave off a goal with no kicking motion that was going in anyway? This league.

CHED hockey commentator Reid Wilkins @ReidWilkins
I thought the Coleman goal would count. The NHL rulebook says a goal doesn’t count if the player uses his skate to propel the puck into the net. Best I can figure, at slo mo, they ruled Coleman peeked down at the puck and turned his skate just enough to make sure it went in.

TSN commentator Mike Johnson
What is a distinct kicking motion? He was doing it on purpose. It was intentional. No doubt. But to me when you turn your foot sideways and you’re stopping and if you want to slide your foot into it in a stopping manner, that’s one I would let stand as not a distinct kicking motion. I thought that was a good goal. It thought that should have counted.

TSN host Jermain Franklin @TSNJFranklin
Bad call… NHL has allowed redirected goals off the skate all season long. There is no way they could have definitively deemed that to be a kicking motion. #whatever

Calgary TSN Salim Nadim Valji @salimvalji @salimvalji

Objectively, I have to agree with Jermain. It looked like Coleman was trying to stop and the puck happened to bounce onto his skate while he was being pushed in by the Oilers blueliner.

Former NHLer Brendan Morrison @7bmo
You CANNOT kick a puck with your skate blade on the ice while stopping. Virtually impossible especially at that speed. Terrible call NHL and 100% disagree.

Vancouver Sportsnet commentator Jason Brough  @SadClubCommish 
Thursday night in Canada, millions of people openly debated whether or not a piece of rubber was kicked or not. The issue remain unresolved at press time.

Reid Wilkins @ReidWilkins
Did I think the Coleman goal would count? Yes.
Did the Flames lose leads in every home game in this series? Yes.
Did the Oilers top players absolutely throttle the Flames top guns? Yes.

Eric Francis @EricFrancis
“Depends whet you call a distinct kicking motion. If somebody is on the ground and you lift your foot up and kick them in the head, that’s a distinct kicking motion. If you slide your foot on the ground it’s not a distinct kicking motion.”
– Darryl Sutter

Eric Francis @EricFrancis
Blake Coleman “I don’t think I understand the rule. Getting pushed, trying to keep my foot on the ice.
I haven’t watched it enough but in live speed I felt like I was in a battle.
My understanding is u can direct the puck but you can’t kick it. I didn’t feel like I kicked it.”
Coleman contd. “It’s unfortunate that was such a big part of the game and influenced the way it all went down. There’s no intent – just trying to get there. I opened my foot but my understanding is you can redirect the puck as long as you don’t lift your foot.”

Eric Francis @EricFrancis
Shame of it for the Flames is that the puck was about to cross the line anyway.

Toronto sports commentator Sid Seixeiro @Sid_Seixeiro
NHL made the right call on Blake Coleman last night. I think Calgary’s bigger issue was Jacob Markstrom’s inability to stop a beach ball.

The Athletic writer in Vancouver Wyatt Arndt @TheStanchion
Blake Coleman’s vibe in the presser is very much that of a man who has just recently won two Stanley Cups lmao. Nonplussed.

St. Louis hockey commentator Andy Strickland @andystrickland
Terrible call

Los Angeles sportscaster Noah Friedman
Blake Coleman did not kick this puck in for what would have been the go-ahead goal. Calgary got screwed here. And if this is the reason for them potentially losing by 1 goal, there’s a little bit of Edmonton bad luck in ‘em.

Sportsnet analyst Justin Bourne @jtbourne 
Point I’d add is you’re *allowed* to knowingly put the puck in the net with your skate, redirections etc. Can’t distinctly kick it. So Coleman’s “intent” doesn’t really matter, he’s gotta have that skate on the ice to avoid post, may as well use it to help puck along

Hockey writer David Pagnotta @TheFourthPeriod
Coleman knew what he was doing.
“Distinct” kick? No. But did he push/direct it in? Doesn’t matter now.

New York hockey writer Stan Fischler @StanFischler
If “Do-Overs” were allowed in hockey, the disallowed Flames goal would have counted and Dan Vladar would have been Calgary’s goalie. Markstrom was off his mark.

Sean McIndoe Down Goes Brown @DownGoesBrown
One of the most controversial calls of the year helps eliminate a team, and the NHL’s official explanation is 42 words long, over half of which is just a cut-and-paste of the rule. Super helpful stuff.

Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey @SpectorsHockey
I have no dog in this fight but that didn’t look like a “distinct kicking motion” to me.

The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian @hailey_salvian
Official rule:A goal cannot be scored on a play where an attacking player propels the puck w his skate into the net using a distinct kicking motion. A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player’s skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion shall be ruled a goal

Sportsment Montreal Eric Engels @EricEngels
I don’t really care if Coleman meant to kick it or not. It was a 50-50 call and the puck was going in even without him touching it. A good goal, as far as I’m concerned.

Boston Globe hockey writer Kevin Paul Dupont @GlobeKPD
Forget whether or not puck would have crossed goal line (likely) without skate contact….I just don’t see the kick…
Flames will regret being denied Coleman goal. Bigger regret will be booting away leads of 2-0 and 4-3 on home ice in an elimination game. Sign of a champ is knowing when to close the deal, and how to close it.

My take

When I first saw the play, I thought it was a good goal, a typical goal against the Oilers in a big game, with the other team storming the net and propelling the puck in by whatever means necessary.

It was only after watching the third or fourth replay of the goal that I saw what NHL hockey ops clearly saw, a distinct kicking motion by Blake Coleman that put the puck in the net.

How many times have I seen soccer aces like Lionel Messi, Harry Kane and Crisitano Ronaldo make this exact same touch to score a goal?

Many, many, many times.

It was a sharp, deft and sure side foot of the puck into the net. It wasn’t inadvertently deflected in. It was acvertent. It was done on purpose. It was a brilliant finish, as the Euro football commentators would say, a classic touch.

The goal was properly disallowed.

And finally, after the agony of the 2017 series against the Ducks when several major rulings on goals went against the Oilers, Edmonton actually got a favourable call at a huge moment of a big game.

Was there a bit of karma at play here? Coleman was earlier seen in the game cross-checking Mike Smith to the ice in the crease, with no call from the ref. Coleman played a rough and borderline dirty game all series. If he’d been an Oiler, I would have loved him for it. As a Flames player, I disliked him.

The best thing about the NHL’s call? That puck was going in the net if Coleman had not touched it. His illegal play cost his team the goal and likely the win.

Who says the Hockey Gords don’t exist?

Surely not I, not any longer.

Source: EdmontonJournal