ANAHEIM, Calif. – Andrew Shaw wasn’t thinking about whether it would be legal or not, wasn’t thinking about any potential rules that could nullify his goal-scoring attempt.
He was in front of the net, it was late, the game was already in double overtime and he just wanted to end the damn thing.
“At that point, you just react to the moment,” Shaw said. “You try to get it in and get the game over.”
Shaw got it in, but the game wasn’t over. For as crafty as his head-butt goal was, it was also disallowed. It wasn’t funny at the time but Shaw did laugh about it later, after Marcus Kruger’s goal gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in triple overtime. For Shaw, it was just a reaction: he was in front of Frederik Anderson during a Blackhawks power play and just knocked the puck off his head. A review, however, ruled it no goal.
Rule 78.5 (i) states: “Apparent goals shall be disallowed when the puck has been directed, batted or thrown into the net by an attacking player other than with a stick.”
Shaw was part of a game a few years ago that featured another header: in 2011 Memorial Cup game between Mississauga and Owen Sound (Shaw’s team), Mississauga/former Ducks forward Devante Smith-Pelly’s header was disallowed.
While the Blackhawks celebrated Shaw’s “goal” immediately, coach Joel Quenneville had a bad feeling.
“I saw it live; I didn’t like our chances. I was hoping he might have hit it on the way in but wanted to make sure on the replay,” he said. “That was crazy. He probably got that from the soccer [some of the Blackhawks play] before the games and he doesn’t want to let it hit the ice. It was probably one of those instinct plays.”
Shaw said he still should’ve gotten credit, despite the rules.
“I understood,” he said. “But I still think if anyone can pull that off, it should still be a goal.”
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Apparently he wasn’t the only one.
I know it’s in the rule book but that’s a pretty athletic play and a pretty entertaining play as well,” Patrick Sharp said. “It was a nice play by Shawzie. We thought maybe that was it, but you just regroup. It’s much like the series: you take the next game, the next battle as it comes. You don’t get too high or too low, you just keep fighting.”
The Blackhawks did, and late in triple overtime Kruger scored a legal goal. What was a reactionary play ended up being a disallowed goal for Shaw. Still, it was worth a shot, and it could always lead to a second career.
“Who knows,” Shaw said. “Maybe the Premier League’s going to be scouting me next year.”