The Columbus Blue Jackets played host to the Detroit Red Wings in a pretty important game as far as the Eastern Conference wild-card race is concerned, a game they won 4-2 with the last coming on an empty net.
It's the go-ahead goal that was the one to attract the attention. The Blue Jackets' Cam Atkinson was credited with a goal despite the net being dislodged before the puck went in.
The NHL reviewed the goal and to the surprise of many, it stood. Controversial? Surely in Detroit many will call it that but the NHL explained why it's a good goal. It's the rarely used Rule 63.6.
According to rule 63.6 "In the event that the goal post is displaced, either deliberately or accidentally, prior to the puck crossing the normal positions of the goal posts, the referee may award a goal. In order to award a goal in this situation, the goal post must have been displaced by the actions of a defending player, the puck must have been shot (or the player must be in the act of shooting) at the goal prior to the goal post being displaced, and it must be determined that the puck would have entered the net between the normal position of the goal posts. The goal frame is considered to be displaced if either or both goal pegs are no longer in their respective holes in the ice, or the net has come completely off one or both pegs, prior to or as the puck enters the goal."
So there you have it, Atkinson's play fit all the criteria above. The referees determined Atkinson wasn't responsible for the net being dislodged, it was because he was pushed into the post.
Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser thought it was the right call.
With the victory in regulation, the Blue Jackets pulled into the first wild-card spot, but right now only by virtue of having played fewer games. The Jackets, Red Wings (in the second wild-card spot), Capitals and Maple Leafs are all deadlocked with 80 points.
S/t Kukla's Korner