There is a bizarre offensive play made by Shawn Matthias, the likes of which I have never seen in all my years in the NHL. All of us have seen players lunge for the puck in a foot-race but never have I seen a guy gain possession, pop back up and take it right into the 'house.'
Typically we see the defensive player make a desperation dive in an attempt to contact the puck and sweep it away from an attacker who has the lead body position on a drive to the net. A tripping infraction results when an opponent is taken down through physical contact as a result of the slide and prior to the puck being touched first. On plays where the puck is touched almost simultaneously with body contact, it most often deemed a legal play by the referee's naked eye in real time.
This is what occurred when Matthias dove from a deficient position, fully extending his stick toward the puck. Dougie Hamilton had the lead lane and took a peak over his shoulder to see Matthias diving for the puck. In an effort to prevent Shawn Matthias from contacting the puck, Hamilton chopped his stick in a downward motion at Matthias' stick to prevent puck contact.
From the referee's position on this bang-bang play (the same camera angle we have) it would look as though both players went for the puck with their sticks and that Shawn Matthias was successful in contacting it first. Only through replay do we see that this was perhaps not the case.
I fully understand and support the referee's quick decision on this unusual play and truly believe that many of us would have done the same.
Shawn Matthias made a great play on the penalty kill following a Bruins turnover, the likes of which I have never seen before.
A clear trip? That is ridiculous. He played the puck the whole way. That was a fantastic goal. Much better than the Datsyuk goal in my opinion. The best part of Dat's goal was how it started, not how it ended.
Matthias's took effort, skill and determination throughout the entire goal. It wasn't just a parting of the seas to let a guy walk through the defence. Definitely a candidate for GOTY.
I think that the Hagelin from Nash goal would still win out as the Rangers contender in this thread, but this goal from Gaborik early in the season had us Ranger fans excited about having multiple high end offensive players in the lineup for once. Amazing touch pass from Richards on a set play and then great poise from Gaborik to wait out Rask and roof it from no angle.
If only 2/3 of these players didn't decide to disappear shortly after this, we'd still be pretty happy here in NYC.
Lol, it wasn't even the best goal that day let alone the entire year.
Hodgson's goal might not have been the flashiest, but certainly the best all-around solo effort of the year. Starts by absolutely pickpocketing Staal, dekes two defenders with nifty moves, and puts it home.