Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

What Hockey Really Needs Is Better Manners

Did you see this shootout goal from Toronto's Jason Blake? Awesome, right? If you like cheating jerks!

Ok, technically, using this spin-o-rama move on a penalty/shootout shot is not illegal—because it explicitly says so in the rule book. (Seriously, the NHL rule book contains the word "spin-o-rama." Amazing.) So it's fair ... but is it nice? The Devils' Bobby Holik doesn't think so.

"I know it's legal, but it's so un-hockey," he said. "I think it's B.S. There was so much back-tracking you could do pretty much anything. I know the league loves it because it's exciting, but the puck should always be moving forward.


He's not the only one who feels the move violates the spirit, if not the letter of the law. The book says the puck (and by implication, the player) should always be moving forward. But Stephen Walkom, the N.H.L.’s director of officiating, says if you could do it on a breakway, you should be able to do it on a penalty shot. There's being creative, and then there's playing the game the "right" way. These are the kind of debates that tear nations apart.

Or maybe if offensive guys can pull a whirling dervish, then maybe goalies should be pull out any trick they like. After all, if they're even going to be accused of throwing sticks even when they don't, what hope do goalies have in this world? Can't we all just get along?


You make the call: Is the spinarama a fair shootout move? [Star-Ledger]
Taking a Legal but Controversial Tactic for a Spin [NY Times]
Call It the Curse of Barry Melrose: Tampa Bay Gets Robbed in Shootout [Fanhouse]

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