Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Saucer Pass: Goal of the Night -- Hansen Gets Attacked After Garbage Goal

The Saucer Pass is where The Fan Child talks puck.

Goalies get no respect, and that was made painfully clear to Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres when Milan Lucic got away with running Miller in November. At the time it seemed a no-brainer that Lucic would be suspended by NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan, but Lucic was pardoned due to his lack of intent to injure. To summarize: The NHL thinks that running goalies (those are the guys that stare down 100-plus MPH slapshots with 30 pounds of gear on them) is acceptable, even though they have virtually no mobility to avoid such hits. Even if they get a concussion and they are the best player on their team, the NHL doesn't give a hoot.

Tonight's goal of the night, another wildly entertaining play, also pays little heed to the welfare of the goalies. The scoresheet will show that Canucks' D-man Alex Edler netted his 6th goal of the season, but the replay shows what should clearly have been called goaltender interference by Jannik Hansen, who blatantly crashed into the Redwings' goalie Jimmy Howard after barely getting nudged by Henrik Zetterberg.

How is this a goal? Hansen was clearly on course to ram Howard, whether he was nudged by the defense or not. What was he going to do, jump over the net? How is this not a penalty? What kind of world are we living in?

I just don't get it. The sport I used to know made players earn their goals. Nowadays every Tom, Dick or Harry can just fly full speed into the goalie and hope for the best. It's ludicrous.

That said it makes for a great highlight, and I love Howard's reaction. I wish the linesman would have let him go for it because if Jannik Hansen can get credited for an assist for that junk, the least he could have done is let Howard punch him in the nose.

Editor's Note: There are conflicting views on this goal. Who's side are you on?