At 17:35 of the second period in the Rangers/Penguins game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke highsticked the puck and it went off Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and then off Rangers defenseman Michael Sauer and into the net. According to rule 80.3 "when an attacking player causes the puck to enter the opponent's goal by contacting the puck above the height of the crossbar, either directly or deflected off any player or official, the goal shall not be allowed. The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick." No Goal Pittsburgh
The preceding are the words of the NHL War Room after they determined that height of Matt Cooke’s stick was the determining factor is disallowing a goal. The NHL cited rule 80.3 which is quoted above. However they completely ignore another rule which makes Rule 80.3 unenforceable.
78.4 ¶ 2 “A goal shall be scored if the puck is put into the goal in any way by a player of the defending side. The player of the attacking side who last touched the puck shall be credited with the goal but no assist shall be awarded. “
The words “any way” as written in rule 78.4 form a positive logical absolute. The provisions enumerated in Rule 80.3 are meaningless when cast against the zero-loophole text of Rule 78.4. Was the puck “put into the goal” by Sauer? Yes, the NHL War Room says it went off of him. That is the end of the logical discussion per rule 78.4.
There exists a contradiction in the NHL Rulebook in this case. Rule 80.3 wants to make provisions for when goals can be disallowed after being directed into the goal by a defender based on the height of the stick of the last attacker to touch it. Rule 78.4 clearly outlines that any such provision is irrelevant with it’s positive logical absolute.
I know the “intent” of the rule 78.4 is for what is known as an “own goal” situation. However the text of the rule does not make that stipulation. It simply states that in “any way” a defender puts the puck into his own net, the goal shall be awarded to the last attacker to touch in, in this case, Matt Cooke.
The NHL needs to reword Rule 78.4 to state that the exceptions of Rule 80 should be applied, but until it does the goal should have counted.