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Vanek on controversial disallowed OT goal: ‘It’s a terrible call’

Jan 25, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT

St. Louis Blues v New York Islanders Getty Images

The New York Islanders have voiced their contention with a controversial call that overturned what looked to be the game-winning goal against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

Thomas Vanek appeared to score the winner in OT on a scramble in front of the net. The puck hit off his skate then slid under Jaroslav Halak and over the red line, with the referee behind the net signaling right away that it was a goal.

The call on the ice, however, was overturned after review. The decision: Vanek, according to the league, kicked the puck with his left skate. The Islanders then lost in the shootout, missing out on the full two points.

“I think it’s a terrible call,” said Vanek afterward, as per Long Island Newsday.

“I don’t know if it’s who we are … If that’s Pittsburgh or a top team, that’s maybe a goal. It’s just a terrible call. We all know what a kicking motion is.”

His head coach, Jack Capuano agreed with that assertion, though he didn’t speak at great length about the call.

“To me, the referees made the right call on the ice,” said Capuano.

  1. timmons94 - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    as a Pens and just a huge hockey fan, what a joke…
    when Vanek scored, i turned it off- btw- Howie and Butch are as good as it gets…..saw later it was 3-3 after ot, caught the shoot out…What a joke, the Islanders are fighting for their playoff lives and deseved 2 pts not 1…Although Steen had no luck in the game, what a great shootout goal…
    never figured how NFL refs miss calls everyone else sees clear as day, and now the Toronto war room apparently started drinking at 10am today.
    as a Pens fan, I say u screwed the Islanders big time- not cool

    • seniorteacherdot - Jan 26, 2014 at 8:05 PM

      As a Pens fan who watches all their games, not a correct statement. The Pens have had so many goals reviewed and not allowed. Kunitz has had a lot of goals reversed. Know your facts, not your bias.

  2. joey4id - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    idk, it didn’t appear to be a distinct kicking motion, but the puck was propelled forwardly into the net. It sure wasn’t a deflection from a shot. So! No goal is the right call.

    Rule 49.2

    “A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player’s skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal. A puck that is directed into the net by an attacking player’s skate shall be a legitimate goal as long as no distinct kicking motion is evident.”

    • lindseyspag - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      And did you see a distinct kicking motion? No you didn’t. Vanek wasn’t even looking there and was being pulled by Steen the other way.

      • joey4id - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        Yo! Did you read my comment? “it didn’t appear to be a distinct kicking motion, but the puck was propelled forwardly into the net”, and it came off his skate. You can’t be 100% sure he didn’t kick out. We can be absolutely sure the puck was propelled into the net off his skate.

    • shortsxit34 - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:34 PM

      Joey is actually right, as far as how the NHL has been calling similar plays. They have been waiving off goals whether they were a pendulum-type kick, or a puck propelled into the net while a player was stopping.

      The thing that’s baffling about this is that they’ve been ruling that way for several seasons and still have not bothered to change the wording in the rulebook. Even if they are consistent, you can point out the rule and show them that it’s being implemented incorrectly.

      This happens every season, there’s always a controversy, then the league just lets it go so we can have this discussion again next season. Either allow them or don’t allow them, but they need to make a choice that’s crystal clear to everybody and stick to it.

    • dewman8810 - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      Nope. That was the wrong call. Goals are allowed in many cases where the puck deflects off a player’s skate because he was in the motion of stopping… even though the skate “propelled the puck forwardly”. It doesn’t matter what direction the skate is moving or if it is stationary. Vanek was skating toward the net, had his leg pushed by the defenseman’s leg which then hit the puck. That was absolutely the wrong call. The ref got the call right, Toronto got it wrong. That puck was not kicked in. Anyone who has watched hockey for a long time knows that’s the wrong call.

      • joey4id - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:48 PM

        Was Vanek in the “motion of stopping”? Clearly he was not. “Anyone who has watched hockey for a long time knows that’s the wrong call.” So, are you implying the folks in Toronto have not been watching hockey for a long time? They are 100% certain it wasn’t the wrong call.

    • bcisleman - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      That’s not the way the rule reads, Joey. It was propelled by the kinetic force generated by striking Vanek’s skate. If there was no distinct kicking motion, it was a good goal. This is doubly true as the goal on the ice was a goal requiring incontrovertable evidence of said kicking motion.

    • tigerwho1 - Jan 26, 2014 at 6:22 AM

      I’m confused by ur remark. No kicking motion! Goal disallowed! Right call? Do u watch hockey?

    • tigerwho1 - Jan 26, 2014 at 6:25 AM

      Ummm Joey. Lmao… U said no kicking motion! How is it the right call? Pay attention

  3. sjsharks66 - Jan 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Terrible call! The NHL is really dropping the ball lately. However, the “if it’s another team” comment just makes you look like a dbag. Many top teams get terrible calls on goals. Example; look at LA a few days ago.

    It’s not like the league is out to get the Islanders.

    • mp1131211 - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:00 PM

      Who are you talking to?

    • miketoasty - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      That’s the way I felt too. I understand that it’s a terrible call and that you are disappointed with the refs but saying that if it was another team it would have been a call is embarrassing.

  4. Stiller43 - Jan 25, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    I thought the same thing when i read your comment quoting the rule – it says when theres no distinct motion, its a goal.

    There was no distinct kicking motion…therefore, its a good goal. Dont care if common sense says it was relatively motionless then got propelled, there was no kicking motion.

  5. vgraziano - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    When are the isles gonna play for a full 60 mins???? When they are ahead at the end of a game, and that’s another whole discussion, they need to keep playing the final 2 mins of the game and not just sit back and let the other team have an onslaught on poulin. They fail to clear the zone and on the rarity that they actually do all they’re doin is icing it – we gotta be able to finish a team off, period. We lucked out on Oshi’s shot that did not go in towards end of regulation which was the right call but that call on Vanek in OT was the 2nd time the Isles lost the addt’l point today. Too many of these blown leads gonna come back to haunt us come playoff time…..

  6. killerpgh - Jan 25, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Well than maybe Vanek should sign with the Penguins for cheap next year if he really believes that the NHL has a conspiracy and favors them.

  7. xdj511 - Jan 25, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    As a Rangers fan watching it I thought the same thing, that they simply didn’t want the Isles to win. The ruling went against the rule book and demonstrated again that there is absolutely no consistency with these “distinct kicking motion” calls. Having a war room in Toronto was supposed to make these calls more consistent, but they are failing miserably. I hope the league addresses this soon.

  8. jhaegs - Jan 25, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    A kick doesn’t have to be a full windup and follow through. Pretty sure “scooting” the puck in is the same thing. A big part of it was him looking down at the puck just prior, and positioning his skate behind it. All while making no attempt to get a stick on it. I’m not saying it was the right or wrong call, I’m just saying it’s not as clear cut as a lot of people think.

  9. warrenhajr2014 - Jan 25, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    This says, Thanks also a LOT and a LUMP for that this STILL recounts also that this cites also that this i of Tucker’s said accounts STILL recounts also that this cites also Tommy Vanek’s response on controversial disallowed OT goal: ” ‘ It’s a TERRIBLE call, ‘ ” he says, but then STILL recounts also that he WOULD say also that ” ‘ We’re NOT sure if that’s who we are…. That’s Pittsburgh ( in Southwest Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ) or a TOPS team, and likewise if so, that time also, maybe that’s a goal…. It’s a TERRIBLE call…. I think it’s a TERRIBLE call…. We all KNOW what a kicking motion is…. ‘ ” and next STILL recounts also that his coach, Jack Capuano WOULD concur w/that assertion, although he WOULDN’T speak at great lengths about its said call but next STILL recounts also that Capuano WOULD say also, ” ‘ To me, the officials made the RIGHT call on the ice…. ‘ ” for others and even for us, too…. However, this also even says, Thanks also a LOT and a LUMP for accepting that my opinion PERSONALLY accepts also that SOME fans out there STILL think also that in short, as well, this sounds full of it and full of ( BLEEP ) and full of S and even full of ( BULLBLEEP ) for them, for others also as well, for others also, of course, and even for us, too….

    • jhaegs - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:43 PM

      Well NOW that you put it THAT way, I HAVE to agree WITH you…. LOUD NOISES!!!

  10. gertrudegoat - Jan 26, 2014 at 2:41 AM

    The league has demonstrated that they have no regard for fairness in this matter. Overturning the call is indefensible. The Islanders get screwed time & again by the NHL. Check out some of the Colin Campbell decisions over the years. This one is a disgrace. I hope it gets the attention it deserves, but it likely will not.

  11. smpsailor - Jan 26, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    ok, if we are going to count goals off of skates then the sabres should have a Stanley cup.how many times are we going to re-visit this? very tiresome!

  12. miket333 - Jan 26, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    im going to go against the crowd and say it was the right call. in the replay from behind the net, you can clearly see a slight “flick” of his leg directing the puck towards the net. just watch it a bunch of times. it’s there.

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