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Golden Knights Analysis

Golden Knights Still Marvel at Crazy Game Against Panthers

The Vegas Golden Knights were involved in a very entertaining hockey game Thursday night against the Florida Panthers.

There was a lot going on, hence…



The Vegas Golden Knights were involved in a very entertaining hockey game Thursday night against the Florida Panthers.

There was a lot going on, hence us writing a story about it the day after. There were three goals reviewed, with two of them counting, 5 on 3 powerplays, captains leaving, fights, scrums that took four players to the penalty box, and much more as the VGK won 4-2.

"It was a weird one. I think I've been in some weirder games for sure where I've been like, 'what the heck just happened,' But it was a weird one. I mean, the two goal reviews on that one and a disallowed goal on the offside. There were some weird bounces, and there were also some fortunate bounces for us. Will Carrier's goal, he gets pushed in, and it's the same thing as their first goal. We were on the receiving end of one of them and on the fortunate end of one," said forward Keegan Kolesar, who scored two assists in the win.

There are three goals I want to take another look at, as they were all controversial in their own way. The ruling by linesmen Devin Berg, and Kiel Murchison and referees Cody Beach and Francis Charron were consistent in the game and can help us get a better look at how the NHL is ruling strange goals.

But you just know we are going to have one of these goals in the Stanley Cup Final that will set Hockey Twitter on fire.

Goal no. 1

In this play, Panthers defensemen Aaron Eklad found some spare ice and deked out Adin Hill, fooling him and putting the puck right on the goal line. However, the grace of the hockey gods didn't allow Ekblad to score outright, as the puck hit the post and went to Nick Cousins, who swatted in the puck.

The controversy here is that Cousins put the puck in the net after the net had come dislodged because, as this play was happening, Eric Staal ran into the VGK net, removing it from its moorings. 

The play was deemed a goal on the belief that Golden Knights defensemen Ben Hutton pushed Staal into the VGK net. If Staal had run into the net on his own power or even knocked it off accidentally, this would not have been a goal.

"The way I look at the goals, contact was initiated by the defenders, so that's how they ruled both of them… Those were consistent, I will say that in terms of the defender initiating the contact with the puck going into the crease. I thought Staal had lost his balance, and Ben was just there on the scene," said VGK head coach Bruce Cassidy.

Since the net was off during Cousin's shot, his goal did not result in a registered shot on goal. And considering this was the Panthers' first chance of the night, they scored a goal on zero shots, and goaltender Adin Hill started the first period with -1 saves for nearly 12 minutes.

Goal no. 2

As strange as the first goal was, at least the officials were consistent because, in the third period, the Golden Knights had one of these goals of their own.

In what would end up being the game-winning goal, Will Carrier literally crashed the Panthers' net and directed in a centering pass from Keegan Kolesar. He was shoved into the net by Brandon Montour, and based on the logic of the first goal, this goal stood as it was a defender instigating the collision.

Had Carrier crashed into Panther's goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky or removed the net on his own power, the goal would not have counted.

Bonus Thing 1

The two net-colliding goals were the main reason I wanted to write this article. But there were two other instances in last night's game that add to the strangeness of it. There weren't just two lengthy-reviewed goals; there were three, as this one came back for being offside.

One could say that Adin Hill got bailed out on this one. (One is me, I am one).

Bonus Thing 2

Lastly, I leave you with a questionable choice of target for who was called after a Matthew Tkachuk-sparked scrum. Four players were taken to the box after this scrum- Tkachuk, Sam Bennett, Alex Pietrangelo, and Chandler Stephenson. These all make sense, except for Stephenson.

I am under the full belief that the referees forgot the number of Nicolas Hague and just called Stephenson instead. 

Stephenson, one of the most laid-back guys who puts up with Mark Stone's expressivism, was essentially just standing there like this on the play…

You guys need to vote him into the All-Star Game.