I knew they were rare, but I did not realize the quasi-historic treat Pred Nation got on Tuesday, as we watched Martin Erat's penalty shot goal. NHL.com reports that it had been over two years since the last playoff-penalty-shot-goal. In fact, Erat's goal was just the 19th goal on 59 total attempts in playoff history.
The Video (Ok, I couldn't find video of the penalty, but here's Erat scoring on a penalty shot, and its just as fun to watch).
The Basics: If a offensive player is on a breakaway, and a defender fouls him from behind, the result is a penalty shot (the most awesome penalty of all time!)
The Rule: Rule 25
"There are four (4) specific conditions that must be met in order for the Referee to award a penalty shot for a player being fouled from behind. They are:
(i) The infraction must have taken place in the neutral zone or attacking zone, ...;
(ii) The infraction must have been committed from behind;
(iii) The player in possession and control ... must have been denied a reasonable chance to score...(iv) The player in possession and control ... must have had no opposing player between himself and the goalkeeper."
Infractions that will result in a penalty shot are:
- Being fouled from behind, via Holding, Hooking, Tripping, and Slashing
- Deliberate illegal substitution
- Deliberately dislodging the net
- Falling on the puck in the crease
- Picking up the puck in the crease
- Throwing something at the skater (Pred Favorite Scotty Hartnell uses his glove as an example... poorly)
NFL Comparison: No really good comparison, and the penalty shot is pretty self explanatory. However, the best comparison I could come up with was this: when the defense jumps offsides, the offense often gets a "free play". I suppose this is the "free play" of the NHL... not really though.
Can you think of a better one? Leave it in the comments.