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The Calgary Flames were kicked out of the playoffs Thursday night, but it wasn't without controversy.
With less than six minutes remaining in the third period of Game 5 against the arch rival Edmonton Oilers, the Flames broke a 4-4 stalemate when forward Blake Coleman crashed the net and appeared to score the go-ahead goal. It was a made-for-movie ending to a game that featured brilliance and chaos.
Unfortunately for the Flames, after an extensive review it was determined that Coleman kicked the puck into the back of the net and the game was back to even.
Blake Coleman go-ahead goal called back due to a kicking motion pic.twitter.com/NMXlP6F8gV
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 27, 2022
Following the momentum-shifting call by the officials, it was none other than Connor McDavid who notched the game-winning tally in overtime and booked his team’s ticket to the Western Conference final.
After the game, Coleman was confused about the call and wanted to get it straight.
“I don’t think I understand the rule,” Coleman said. “Getting pushed, just trying to keep my foot on the ice. I haven’t watched it enough. But In live speed, it felt like I was in a battle. My understanding is you can direct the puck but you just can’t kick it. And I didn’t feel that I kicked it. Can’t go back and change it now. It is what it is.”
“I opened my foot, but my understanding is you can redirect the puck off your foot as long as you’re not redirecting it and kicking it into the net. But like I said, I’ll go watch it again. Maybe it’s glaringly obvious but I just don’t feel like I did what it looks like.”
In the NHL’s official ruling of the play – which usually provides more context and explanation – they stated their decision and essentially copy and-pasted Rule 49.2, saying there needs to be a “distinct kicking motion” to disallow a goal. The statement on the play that knocked the Flames out of the playoffs was a measly 42 words.
Because of the decision to wave off the goal, something rare happened. Most hockey fans agreed on something: that it was the wrong call. Or at least that the NHL needs to clear up the language in their rulebook.
I always thought a kicking motion required some sort of backswing. I can think of so many goals that were directed in by a skate without a kicking motion that counted, even after review. Must be hard to play a game where the goal posts of the rules are in constant motion.
— Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) May 27, 2022
If the #NHL calls that a goal, it needs to re-write its own rule book and remove the word “distinct.”
That is NOT a distinct kicking motion. Off his boot, sure. But that ain’t a kick.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) May 27, 2022
there's no kick at all. it goes off his skate, which is very much allowed if there's no kicking motion, which again there wasn't. coleman's trying to stop, he has an oiler on his back and the puck is already going in.
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) May 27, 2022
The dumbest thing about calling that Coleman goal back is the puck was going in anyway. The kick had no tangible impact on the play.
— Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) May 27, 2022
how was coleman supposed to *not* hit the puck with his skate there, exactly
— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) May 27, 2022
This is gonna sting for the longest time ever. That goal from Coleman should’ve counted and we should be going to Game 6 right now. Regardless of that what a resilient effort from the boys in this one. We’ll be back next season with vengeance. Go #Flames Go.
— Taranjot Vining (@Str8OuttaCGY) May 27, 2022
Trying to stay out of the live-tweeting thing still but that's an atrocious disallowed goal call in Calgary. Coleman doesn't lift his foot, looks to be stopping, and any form of momentum was putting that puck in. "What's taking so long" turned into something even worse there.
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) May 27, 2022
Great panel. 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
— Justin Bourne (@jtbourne) May 27, 2022
Yep. The point is the kicking motion. Was directed…maybe. But that’s not the rule. Kicked??? I don’t see it. What a loose rule.
— PJ Stock (@PJStock28) May 27, 2022
Which by the NHL definition is not a kicking motion, lmao this league is the biggest joke https://t.co/i5wrOZlYgP
— x - auston matthews, 60 goal scorer (@willynylly) May 27, 2022
This is exactly why I have a problem with that Coleman goal being disallowed. The standard the league put in for these has been terribly inconsistent. https://t.co/dHAC4E02PH
— David Alter (@dalter) May 27, 2022
The Oilers will now move on to face the winner of the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche, while the Flames will head home wondering what could have been.
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