Photo via marlies.ca

For starters, I don’t think I recognize the difference between a stanchion and a seam.

The stanchion, from the best I remember, is the big, padded pole that Zdeno Chara guided Max Pacioretty’s head into last NHL season. The seams, the small pads that hold the panes of glass together, are entirely separate.

I’m not sure what the material is made out of, I just know they’re there because a few years ago there was an outbreak of injuries due to the seamless glass. I don’t exactly know the particulars because ergonomics isn’t my thing, but NHL arenas began to slowly implement solid slats that would keep the panes of glass together.

The trade-off for what is apparently a superior product is the wild bounces that you can get off a dump-in. Since the seams stick out, the puck can re-direct off the wrong angles. This leads to goals like Mike Kostka’s at Ricoh Coliseum Thursday night. Off a routine dump-in, the puck took a wild hop off the seam, bounced about 85 degrees, and into the net, fooling Ben Scrivens who had come out to play it. The Norfolk Admirals took a 3-0 lead in the Calder Cup Finals:

(As an aside: Kostka celebrated wildly, going to a knee and beginning to fist pump. I understand the excitement of the moment, but that’s just a goal you don’t celebrate.)

Joe Casciaro’s post this morning was simply titled “Imagine A Stanley Cup Game Ending Like This”. We’ve seen a few oddball hops leading to goals in the finals, including my favourite misplay by Martin Brodeur, but the closest we’ve come in recent memory to a big game ending like this is the famous “Stanchion” goal by Kevin Bieksa to close out last year’s Western Conference Finals.

The confused reaction from the Versus commentary crew:

“Ohh! It hit the stanchion!” as if it were the most obvious thing in the entire world.

Again, it isn’t a stanchion, it’s a seam. Looking back through old games of the 1980s, it doesn’t appear that seamless glass is prevalent, but it’s more of an invention that came with the modern facilities in the 1990s as a way of showing fans more of the product. It’s a little more TV-friendly. The old facilities and some of the cheap ones that teams leased in the 1970s when they were getting on their feet had very short glass by today’s standards, so bounces off the glass weren’t as expected.

Then again, there were lots of different nicks and crannies and quirks about the old rinks. But as the game became modern, the size of the rink became constant in every team’s arena, the boards became smoother and standardized and there were lot fewer things that the puck could hit on dump-in attempts.

Glass between the goal lines is fairly new in the scope of the game, and the seams between each pane introduce an unexpected bit of randomness which ought to give us a couple of extra goals a year like this. Kostka’s goal isn’t the first to bounce in off a seam and won’t be the last. Bieksa’s goal won’t be the last time a player takes advantage of a fluke bounce in such an important situation. This year was the first when seamless glass made its way into every NHL rink, and it appears as though the AHL is following the same course.

Bad bounces, wild hops and short-term luck were already a part of hockey. It’s just when a strange goal like this happens, we notice it a little more. But, man, in a 1-0 overtime game…

Also, Brandon Segal and Ondrej Palat were both offside.

Comments (9)

  1. the evidence for the need for some sort of “Coach’s Challenge” just grows and grows.

  2. The AHL needs video review first before they worry about coaches challenges.

    • HNIC radio had Dave Andrews on the show yesterday (before game 3) and he said that it’s just about a done deal to have replay in for next season. No war room in Springfield or anything like that, but they are putting in overhead cameras over each goal, and the refs will be able to look at a monitor in the penalty box area to make a call.

      Wouldn’t have changed last night, but, and not to take the heat off the officials, because AHL officials can be atrocious at times, I remember the refs coming pretty close to losing games 4 and 5 of the Binghamton-Houston Finals last year (and maybe botching a potential game-tying goal in game 3 of that series, but that’s neither here nor there), but that was a total, one-in-a billion fluke that just caught everyone off guard. You can say that the Marlies could have put up more of a scene right after it happened, but it was a total case of shock at the way that game ended.

  3. It is a stanchion actually. The padded part you referred to in the Paccioretty hit is a turnbuckle.

  4. Stanchions (a vertical support structure) produce seams (the joining of two materials together at their edges). So the stanchion is the metal piece that holds the glass in place and anchors it to the boards. The seamless glass in rinks in the early 2000s were called seamless because of lack of stanchions as the glass were clipped together at the top corners. The NHL took out the seamless glass (behind the net in all rinks, not sure about the neutral zones) for player safety because the boards and glass had to be more rigid to counter the forces of a body check, rather than the stanchions transferring the force into the boards in the surrounding panes of glass.

    • Have you never been checked into seamless glass? It sucks, no give at all. I remember the first game as a teenager playing with it and about the only time I ever wanted to avoided contact. I hated a couple rinks badly because of the stupid glass that might as well have been a brick wall. Bourne maybe you can give us insight how it is at higher levels because I can’t imagine 225 lbs taking my body hard onto seamless glass. Shoulders must have been destroyed. I am surprised it lasted as long as it did.

      • Crap reply fail. Sorry Alan was trying to comment on the article not your post. You’re post was right on an rightly stated.

      • My insight would be that that I had my sterno-clavicular joint destroyed after getting smashed into ungiving seamless glass, so I’m not a fan. However, it does look ten times nicer…has to be some happy medium – that goal should never be a thing that happens.

  5. I don’t know about the AHL or NHL rule books, but in USA Hockey, by rule, a goal can not be scored by the offending team while a delayed off-side is in effect. How the puck goes into the net has no bearing on the rule. A defenseman can shoot the puck directly into his own net, but if a delayed off-side was in effect, that would be no goal, followed by a face-off at the closest neutral-zone spot.

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