I don't think it should've been a penalty shot either. The rule isn't clearly defined enough to exclude pushing.
It should have been a goal.
Straight from the horse's mouth:
1. If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
(NOTE 2) If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed to be contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.
that's not clear cut, it doesn't say a goal should be allowed if the goalie is forced into the net with the puck (I don't know what the rule is in that situation)
but whatevs, I'm not going to argue about a call from game 4 an hour before game 5.
If you look at the rule, it's addressed in subsection j:
In the event that a goalkeeper has been pushed into the net together with the puck after making a stop, the goal will be disallowed. If applicable, appropriate penalties will be assessed.
That is, however, overridden by Note 2 from my previous post, where it says:
If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed to be contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule
The goal should've counted.
But like I said, those are the breaks. No sense in me getting all wound up and starting a thread on how we're getting the short end of the stick. It's human error.
Had the Pens played better, it wouldn't have been an issue.
It's an interesting play only because it was kind of unusual, but why it would it cause so much uproar? I know the rule book should be scrutinized...learning about the rules is great, and I've learned a fair bit already in this thread. I actually don't think this call which resulted in a penalty shot awarded to Malkin deserves all this talk.
Why would anybody want lunging at a player from behind and pushing him, regardless of whether you have a stick (who cares, doesn't matter) to be okay?
Good call by the refs. They were right in protecting the integrity of our game by doing that, and I recognized it as the right call immediately.
Edit: it's a binary decision, does it deserve the penalty shot or doesn't it. It did
Dangerous plays aren't illegal. Actions defined in the rule book as illegal are illegal. Shoving an opponent, from the front or behind, is not illegal. You can't even say that Girardi lunged at Malkin. He extended his arms into Malkin's butt. A lunge would be thrusting your body weight from your legs, which I would deem as dangerous in that situation.
Integrity of the game? Please. They can protect the integrity of the game by calling the game according to the rules, not by handing out gifts to superstars. If that play was against Sykora or Malone or any Ranger, it would have ended with the net coming off the moorings. End. Of. Story. That's why that tinsy, winsy play is causing such an uproar. Or maybe the fact that the game could have been tied on a PS that wasn't warrented.
You're right about one thing: It's a binary decision. That decision isn't based on the sequences of the play... it's based on the action of Girardi... is that action deemed to be illegal by the rule book of the NHL. Show me the infraction in the rule book that discusses pushing an opponent. It doesn't deserve a PS.