Thursday 21st March 2019,

Reaction to Abdelkader Scoring OT Winner with Broken Stick

OTgoalDistinct kicking motions, high sticks, goaltender interference, and pucks being snapped into the safety netting above the plexiglass are just some of the reasons NHL fans have seen goals waived off by the situation room in Toronto. Might be time to make room on that list for ‘broken sticks’ — as Blues fans are steaming over Abdelkader’s winner in the opening seconds of overtime.

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Sean Leahy  was quick to point out that the NHL rulebook does clearly say this is a discretionary call, so it’s up to the official to decide if the play was worthy of calling the goal back. The league will probably get a bit of heat in the next few days, but the play, according to Blues beat writer Jeremy Rutherford, was not reviewable.
This is a prime example of how the NHL would benefit from an NFL-style challenge system. If Ken Hitchcock had the opportunity to contest the ruling on the ice, there’s a good chance Abdelkader’s goal gets waived off. The predictable social-media firestorm followed soon after:

As a devoted Blues fan — did I think the goal should have been waived? Of course. If Justin Abdelkader had broken his stick during the initial shot attempt, I think that’s a good goal, but the second swing he takes with a clearly broken stick is hard to miss. The NHL has encouraged their referees to huddle up after questionable plays to ensure they’re getting the call right. Abdelkader celebrating the goal without a stick should have caught the attention of one of the officials, but St.Louis didn’t deserve the win. Patrik Berglund took two offensive zone penalties in a mere eleven minutes of TOI. Undisciplined play came back to haunt the Blues, and they paid the price, simple as that. Getting hosed on this call doesn’t mean the Blues were robbed of a win, they just lost in OT on a questionable non-call.

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