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Flames' Blake Coleman, fans baffled by controversial disallowed goal vs. Oilers

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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.

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.

It was ruled that Calgary Flames forward Blake Coleman kicked the puck past Oilers goalie Mike Smith in the late stages of the third period. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
It was ruled that Calgary Flames forward Blake Coleman kicked the puck past Oilers goalie Mike Smith in the late stages of the third period. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

“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.

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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