A few years ago, Milan Lucic laid out Ryan Miller, causing the Vezina trophy-winning goaltender to miss a lot of time due to a concussion. The fallout from that play also caused a change in the NHL rulebook.
On Sunday, Alex Ovechkin laid out Roberto Luongo. Unlike with Lucic-Miller, there was zero malice here.
As the 6’3″, 234-pound Ovechkin chips a loose puck into open ice, the 6’3″, 205-pound Luongo races out for the same puck. It’s like a game of chicken where everyone loses.
Here’s a closer look and a few different replays. Check out that sick save by Upshall flying into the net.
After the play concluded, Ovechkin skated over to Luongo and patted him on the belly. Good sportsmanship.
Luongo would stay in the game after shaking off the cobwebs.
Florida argued for a penalty for awhile after the play. CSN’s Alan May didn’t think it should have been whistled. He’s right, according to rule 69.4:
A goalkeeper is not “fair game” just because he is outside the goal crease. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an attacking player makes unnecessary contact with the goalkeeper. However, incidental contact will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such unnecessary contact.
The goalie isn’t fair game, sure, but it’s not like Ovechkin could have dodged that hit. No call is the right call.
Luckily, Luongo could continue on.
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