So last night, both Jeff Halpern of the Montreal Canadiens and Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers were denied goals because the puck hit off their skate and it was deemed that they had a "distinct kicking motion" which, of course, according to the rules means that it is no goal. I don't know about any of you out there, but I'm getting pretty sick of the long distance calls to Toronto to review kick-ins.
It's my thought that if a player is skilled enough to beat a goalie (it's pretty tough to do that with a shot, by the way) by directing it with his foot, then how is that any different than say, deflecting it with your stick? In hockey you are allowed to kick the puck anywhere else on the ice. It's not like soccer where you can't use your hands no matter where you are. You are given the ability to use all of your equipment at all times. If a shot hits a player in the shinpad, say, then it would certainly count as a goal, regardless if he made an attempt to put his leg out there to purposely redirect it in or not. How is that any different than directing a puck in with your skate? You also have to remember, hockey players typically warm up before games by playing soccer, their foot-eye coordination is also very good, there are plenty of players that have the ability to use their skate as a means to score. Obviously players will not start trying to kick the puck in the net at all times, but when they can't get a stick on one in tight to the net, why not let them just kick it in? Most players will anyways and try to get away with it because it is ingrained in the minds of every player to do anything they can to get the puck in the net. The point of hockey is to score goals any way you can and that should include your skate whether you mean to use it or not. So please NHL, get rid of the kick in rule.