From Arizona Coyotes @ Philadelphia Flyers October 27 - Martin Hanzal Goal
Glad I did some digging and found this site. Loved the C'mon Ref column on TSN. Actually sent this question to the TSN email but realized there were no posts so something might be up. Anyway...I'm curious on the goal scored by the Coyotes' Martin Hanal in the 10/27 Coyotes/Flyers game. Behind the play, seemingly before the puck entered the net, a fight started as a result of a Brayden Schenn clean check. Doesn't play halt when a fight begins?
I know sometimes leeway to separate is given if two players are just pushing and shoving but this appeared to be a clear 'drop 'em and let's go'. It seems this play was completely mishandled by the on-ice officials. To boot there was an instigator penalty called on Arizona making it even more puzzling why the goal was allowed to stand. Thanks.
Thank you for your patience in finding me. I need to do a better job in getting the word out so please tell all your friends on social media that I will be here at kerryfraser.com all to answer all their hockey questions.
To say the least this was an unusual sort of play. But I must tell you Chris, the refs made the correct call by allowing Matin Hanzel's goal to stand and then impose an instigator penalty to Jakob Chychrun of the Coyotes, in addition to coincidental fighting majors to both he and Braydon Schenn of the Flyers. I hope that a stop watch and different camera angles, which the officials didn't have in real time, will help convince you of this.
I must admit that I was sitting in the Flyers press box looking down on the action and my referee radar went up immediately following the hard, legal body check that Schenn delivered on Michael Stone near the red line. I, like Schenn, recognized that the Flyers forward would likely have to defend himself in some form, from an attack by a member of the Coyotes pack. Jacob Chychrun travelled a considerable distance to engage and ultimately instigate a fight with Schenn, which took place near the Flyers blue line as Martin Hanzel was depositing a tap-in feed from Max Domi .
Let's examine the time line and the position of the principle players as Schenn was set to deliver body contact on Stone in the picture below. Stone had the puck on his stick and released a feed pass to Hanzal in the middle of the frame on the red line. At the top left, you see the lower body of Chychrun well inside the Coyotes defensive zone.
Once contact was delivered the stop watch starts and the events unfold. Schenn became off balance through contact but remained on his skates and as Stone fell heavily into the boards with 13:34 on the game clock. Hanzal controlled the pass and attacked the Flyers blue line with winger Max Domi trailing on the far left as a potential outlet.
As Hanzal continued to attack the Flyers end zone with speed and unimpeded, Chychrun attacked Schenn from an initial position inside his end zone.
The altercation/fight instigated by Chychrun didn't actually take place until both players were near the Flyers blue line. The camera shot below demonstrates the moment when hand-hand engagement between the two combatants first took place. If you look real closely to the top of the frame you will see both Mason and Hanzal in sprawled, prone positions on the ice after the play was made at the net. Hanzal in motion sliding past the net and into the end boards. Overlap this information with the tight shot at the net pictured below.
Now for a close-up shot of Hanzel's body in the air before falling to the ice but demonstrates the puck clearly over the goal line just prior to the moment that Chychrun and Schenn began trading punches.
It took just over 3.5 seconds for the puck to enter the net on a on a give-and-go from Hanzel to Domi and back to Hanzel for the redirect after Schenn delivered the legal check on Stone. The fist began flying close to the same time or a fraction of a second after the puck crossed the goal line.
In real-time the back referee, Frederick L'Ecuyer would not have had reason to stop the play until the two players became physically engaged, at which point the horn would have sounded for the scoring of the goal. It was a bang-bang play and the correct decision was rendered to allow the goal since play had not stopped since the fight began simultaneously with or a split second after the scoring of the goal. The instigator penalty to Chychrun was subsequently and most appropriately assessed.