VIDEO: Michael Frolik scores nifty goal on controversial penalty shot
Michael Frolik put Chicago up 4-2 on a controversial penalty shot in the third period against Detroit
The Chicago Blackhawks had 20 minutes separating them from elimination, trailing the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. A third-period surge, however, turned the tide of the game. The Hawks were able to put a little extra distance between themselves and the Detroit Red Wings when Michael Frolik was awarded a penalty shot.
Frolik took advantage, putting a terrific backhand shot up and over Jimmy Howard’s glove to give the Blackhawks a 4-2 lead and its third unanswered goal of the period.
According to NBC Sports’ broadcast, Michael Frolik is the only player in NHL history to have scored on twice on penalty shots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Additionally, Frolik was the last player to score on a penalty shot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, doing so against Vancouver in 2011.
The penalty shot is not without controversy, however.
Frolik earned the free crack at the net after Carlo Colaiacovo slashed near Frolik’s hands while the Chicago forward was streaking in on a breakaway. Frolik lost the puck and therefore the scoring attempt due to the slash. It may have been a bit of a soft call, but the NHL’s penalty shot rule is a little broad as it is.
According to Rule 24.1:
A penalty shot is designed to restore a scoring opportunity which was lost as a result of a foul being committed by the offending team, based on the parameters set out in these rules.
By the letter of the law, Colaiacovo technically prevented the scoring opportunity with a stick foul, by slashing the stick. That play is made by defensemen a lot over the course of the game and often goes uncalled, though.
Where the referee gets a little more leeway is that Colaiacovo’s slash was near Frolik’s hands, which is a lot different than getting lower on the shaft of the stick or giving a tap to Frolik’s hip. It’s probably the right call, but one you don’t expect given the situation in both the game and series.
Let the debate begin.
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