Week 4 – When two is too much

NHL Rules

Rule / Situation of the week

Be the Referee!!!

Welcome to our Rule/Situation(s) of Week!


Welcome back! In this week’s column, we will go over a situation that happened last week in Pittsburgh (October 28th vs NJ Devils @ 2:12 of the Second Period). You can watch the video here: http://www.nhl.com/ice/blogpost.htm?id=33135


On this play, the down low Referee couldn’t determine if Sydney Crosby’s shot completely crossed the Devils goal line since the puck was under the New Jersey goalkeeper’s pad for a split second. This prevented the Referee from seeing the exact position of the puck. This was a “bang-bang” play and even with a great net position, it was impossible for the low Referee to allow a goal on this play.  Subsequently, the Devils gained possession of the puck a few moment after (30 seconds or so) and went down the ice and ended up scoring a goal on a breakaway. While the play was still in progress, after the close play at the Devils net (original play), the people in the Situation Room in Toronto were already reviewing that sequence many times, to further look if the puck did crossed the goal line in it’s entirely. Because the Devils goal was a clean one on a breakaway, everybody seemed to be confused since the play was under review! What nobody knows is the play was under review to make sure that the Penguins didn’t score on the original play, which would have nullified the Devils goal!


Here’s the explanation of the Situation Room on that review:


NJD @ PIT – 2:12 of the Second Period

Tuesday, 10.28.2014 / 8:14 PM

2014-2015 Situation Room blog

At 2:12 of the second period in the New Jersey Devils/Pittsburgh Penguins game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine Sidney Crosby‘s shot attempt from 1:24. Video review was inconclusive in determining whether the puck completely crossed the Devils goal line. Therefore the referee’s call on the ice stands – no goal Pittsburgh and good goal New Jersey (at 2:12).


In fact, Rule #78.6 states that only one goal can be awarded at any stoppage of play.If the review would have determine on this play that the Penguin’s had scored on the original play, the goal scored by the Devils would have been nullified as only one goal can be scored on the same stoppage of play. Rule #78.6 also state : “If the goal is confirmed by video review, the clock (including penalty time clocks, if applicable) is reset to the time the goal was scored”. So, if video review would have determine that a Pittsburgh goal was scored on this play, the clock would have been reset to 18:36 or so and the following face-off would have been taking at center-ice.

Under the same rule, any penalties signaled during the period of time between the apparent goal and the next stoppage of play would have been assessed in the normal manner, except when a minor penalty is to be assessed to the team scored upon, which would have been nullified by the scoring of the goal. The only exception here is when the team scored upon is assessed a penalty after the whistle has been blown, such penalty is to be assessed and served in the normal manner as it occurred after the whistle.

Now, let’s play a little with this situation and see other scenarios that could have happened here with different results!




Team A is on a power play. During a scramble near Team B’s goal, it appears that Team A may have scored, however play continues as none of the on-officials are sure if the puck crossed the goal line. A delayed penalty is then signaled against Team A. The whistle goes to stop play and the penalty is assessed. What is the Referee’s decision if the play earlier is deemed to be a goal?


If the apparent goal by Team A is confirmed then Team B’s penalty shall expire and the penalty against Team A shall be assessed in its normal manner. Also, the clock shall be reset to the time at which the goal was scored. Rule 78.6.



Team A scores a goal that is not witnessed by the officials and play is not stopped until Team B is to be assessed a minor penalty. What procedure do the officials follow? If video review proves this to be a good goal is Team B still assessed the minor penalty?


At this first whistle the Video Goal Judge will review the play. If this is deemed to be a good goal then the clock shall be reset to the time when the puck entered the net. Team B is not assessed a penalty on this play, since they were the team that was scored upon. Rule 78.6.



There is a scramble at the Team B net. One of the Team A players celebrates as though he scored a goal but this is not witnessed by the Referee. Play continues up the ice and Team B scores the go ahead goal. The Referee is signaled by the Timekeeper that the play is under review. Upon review the Video Goal Judge informs the Referee that Team A had scored 00:10 seconds previous but the puck had crossed the goal line as a result of a distinct kicking motion by the Team A forward, and the Team B goal is a good hockey goal. What is the Referees decision?


The apparent goal by Team A is deemed to have entered the net illegally, the goal is disallowed, and since the play should have stopped for the disallowed goal, no goal can be awarded to Team B on the same play. The clock must be reset to the time of the Team A disallowed goal and play resumed. Rule 78.6.



A delayed penalty is signaled against Team A that would call for a Penalty Shot. Team B’s goalkeeper proceeds to the Players’ Bench and is replaced for an extra attacker. Team B inadvertently shoots the puck down the ice into their own empty net. Does Team B still get their Penalty Shot?


Only one goal can be awarded at any stoppage of play. Therefore Team A is awarded a goal as a result of Team B shooting the puck into their own goal, and the foul that was going to give Team B a Penalty Shot now reverts to a minor penalty and is served in the normal manner. Rule 78.6.



A player is fouled from behind on a breakaway and the Referee signals a delayed penalty (and a Penalty Shot will be awarded when the offending team gains control of the puck). There is a scramble in the crease and a defending team’s defenseman covers the puck with his hand in the crease. This too calls for a Penalty Shot. How should the Referee proceed?


The Referee shall award two Penalty Shots. However, only one goal can be scored or awarded at a single stoppage of play. Should the first Penalty Shot result in a goal, the second shot would not be taken but the appropriate penalty would be assessed and served for the infraction committed. Rule 24.6.


See you next Monday!


Every Monday during the regular season schedule, we will explain in this column some bizarre or uncommon game situations/rules. Hockey is a particular game when it comes to the rulebook. Hockey officials need to know their rules but more important they have to know the interpretation and application of them! We will see in the next several months, in this series of articles, that a rule hassometimes two different applications depending on the situation that occurred on the ice. This is not theofficialsdeciding on the outcome of the gameshere, by deciding to apply or not the rule, but is rather the interpretation and the application of that rule along with itsintent that dictatesthe final decision made by the officials on the ice! This is not a column to promote or defend our officials but rather an educational tool for all hockey fans and hockey officials to acquire a better understanding of the game of hockey! So let’s start to see if you know your NHL rules! Wewill help you better understand some decisions made by NHL officials some nights and hopefully making you better “couch” referee!