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Video: Todd Bertuzzi’s controversial goal

Image (1) Wings1-thumb-250x176-8368.png for post 628

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, although I understand that there are a number of fans throughout the NHL that are convinced that their team has a target on it’s back. The Red Wings fall into this category, based on the fact on the number of controversial calls that have gone against Detroit the past few years that have taken goals away. Nevermind the fact that the Red Wings are the most successful franchise of the past 20 years and have won four Stanley Cups in that time.

Now, we have a controversial call that has gone in favor of the Red Wings, and one that continues their incredible hot streak headed in to the playoffs.

1:13 into the third period, with the Red Wings leading Columbus 2-1, Todd Bertuzzi looked to have scored to give Detroit a 3-1 lead. The officials immediately called off the goal off, then went to Toronto for further review. The referees supposedly originally called the goal off based on Bertuzzi kicking the puck in, and on replays it showed the puck definitely going in off his skate.

Surprisingly, video replay overturned the call.

“It’s a really sad state of affairs if that’s the winning goal,” Blue Jackets coach Claude Noel said. “You can see for yourself.”

After the jump, video of the goal and a debate over Bertuzzi’s soccer skills.

“No, not me. I don’t think I’m good enough to do something like that. Every once in a while you get some lucky bounces and that was one of them,” Bertuzzi said. “It ended up being pretty important. ... I was just going to the net and got hit. Z (Zetterberg) made a good play getting it to the net. There was contact. Hit the back of my skate and went in.”

Normally when a goal is called off for being kicked, it comes with a very distinct kicking motion and usually as the player is ‘braking’ as they crash the net. They’ll direct their skate forward in order to direct the shot or try and sweep the puck in the direction of the net. These fall under ‘distinct kicking motions’. But what about when the puck is kicked off the heel of the skate, backwards?

Here’s the game highlights from Detroit’s 3-2 win. The replay of the goal starts at 4:45.

It certainly appears that his skate was coming down, just as the puck went off his heel. But was it a ‘distinct kicking motion’? Normally, when one thinks of kicking it’s in a forward direction. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a player deliberately bank a shot off the back of his skate before, which if done on purpose is one heck of a feat. That’s like swinging a bat backwards at a 60 mph pitch.

Good goal or not? There really is no precedent for this sort of ‘kick’ and the officials in Toronto determined that it was not a deliberate, distinct kick. More like blind luck than anything.

What are your thoughts?