Toronto Maple Leafs forward Michael Grabner hadn’t scored a goal in his last 30 games. When a player goes through a drought that long, he's usually not getting too many bounces go your way. However, Grabner’s luck changed Sunday night against the Detroit Red Wings.
The speedy forward actually ended up making a high-skill play to knock P.A. Parenteau’s high pass out of the air and settle it down in front of him. Then it was off to the races for Grabner. Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser ended up getting a stick on the Maple Leafs forward to trip him up. Grabner went sliding towards the net.
Grabner tucked the puck back towards his body as he was falling, deflecting off his leg and into Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek. In a bang-bang play, Mrazek tried to kick the puck away from the net, which he did, but he ended up kicking it right into the sliding Grabner.
The puck bounced off of Grabner’s backside and into the net, as did Grabner himself. The net came off the moorings and the referee was so focused on getting ready to call for a penalty shot, he missed the puck beating Grabner across the line.
The play was reviewed and it was determined as a good goal. A butt goal, but still a good goal.
So what if he scored with his butt?https://t.co/8SHXVkDLUh— NHL (@NHL) March 14, 2016
If you’re wondering why that’s a goal, there’s a number of factors to consider. The first question is, was the not still on its moorings when the puck crossed the line? Answer: Yes. The puck slides across just before Grabner's body dislodged the net.
Next: Was there goaltender interference on the play? Answer: No. Grabner slid into Mrazek due to the actions of a Red Wings defenseman, negating goalie interference.
Lastly: Was there a distinct kicking or hand pass motion to put the puck in the net? No. Again, he scored the goal with his backside.
It all checks out.
Grabner now has seven goals this season to add to a pretty underwhelming 13 points in 66 games so far this year. At least he finally had a bounce go his way.
That goal also happened to be the only one scored all night as the Maple Leafs earned a 1-0 win on the road, the first for head coach Mike Babcock against his former team.