Why did Mats Zuccarello’s shootout goal against the Calgary Flames count?

Photo credit:Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
On Thursday night, the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild played a game that went to a shootout. During the shootout, Minnesota Wild forward Mats Zuccarello scored on a sequence where he looked to have made contact with the puck twice.
The sequence led many onlookers to ask themselves: hey, how come that goal counted?
For the answer, we delve into the NHL’s official rulebook:
Rule 24.2: “Procedure – The Referee shall have announced over the public address system the player designated by him or selected by the team entitled to take the shot (as appropriate). He shall then place the puck on the center face-off spot and the player taking the shot will, on the instruction of the Referee (by blowing his whistle), play the puck from there and shall attempt to score on the goalkeeper. The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent’s goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete. No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the goal), and any time the puck crosses the goal line or comes to a complete stop, the shot shall be considered complete.”
(Our emphasis added.)
The sequence was ruled a goal on the ice, and that ruling was backed up by the Situation Room’s confirmation that the puck entered the net in a legal fashion. Our friends over at Scouting the Refs provided a pretty smart assessment of the situation: for there to be a rebound, there has to be a shot.
Compare Zuccarello’s shot with this one from Florida’s Evan Rodrigues against Toronto last month:

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Rodrigues’ sequence has a clear shot and then he goes back for the “double tap,” which is a no-no. On Zuccarello’s goal, Vladar’s stick does make contact with the puck before Zuccarello touches it a second time, but does so (a) on a poke check attempt and (b) while Zuccarrelo is moving the puck laterally on a deke. Since the puck keeps moving forward and there’s no definitive shot attempt made (and thus, no rebound), there’s no violation of Rule 24.2 and, as such, while it’s a weird play it’s a good goal.
The Flames are back in action on Saturday night when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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