The New Jersey Devils picked up a 4-3 shootout win in Philadelphia on Thursday night, thanks to a goal from Patrick Elias in the third round of the shootout. Not only did it give the Devils an important win within the division, it also may have bailed out the NHL for potentially blowing a call earlier in the shootout.
In the second round, with the Devils already up 1-0 in the tiebreaking skills challenge, Philadelphia's Danny Briere beat Devils goalie Johan Hedberg with a nifty stop-and-start move. The play had to be reviewed because there was a question as to whether or not the puck came to a complete stop before he shot it, which is not allowed according to the NHL's shootout/penalty shot rules.
The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent’s goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete. No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the goal), and any time the puck crosses the goal line or comes to a complete stop, the shot shall be considered complete.
Here's a look at Briere's goal (.gif via HFBoards):
Did the puck stop? It's certainly close. And if you're wondering why the spin-o-rama move is allowed, which does not invovle the puck continuing to move forward, it's considered to be a legal move (Rule 24.2) because it involves the puck moving in a continuous motion. Did Briere's move involve a continuous motion?
After a brief discussion between the referees and the NHL's war room in Toronto (you don't often see shootout plays reviewed) it was determined that it was, in fact, a good goal. The NHL's situation room offered the following explanation: "On the second shootout attempt by Philadelphia, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Daniel Briere kept the puck in motion and that the puck never came to a complete stop and thus it was a good goal."
There appears to be plenty of room for debate on that one.