The Detroit Red Wings defeated the St. Louis Blues in front of the entire hockey world (and confused old people looking for golf on NBC) on Sunday afternoon. This was largely considered a good thing by most nostril-breathing humans and also several species of lower life forms (like Predators fans). However, the game wasn't without scandal, as the winning goal scored by Justin Abdelkader just 24 seconds into overtime appeared to have been played into the net with a broken stick.
Many Blues fans were quite salty about this (well-deserved) loss, even though they should be pretty used to losing the season series to Detroit by now. One even came into our recap thread and comported himself pretty much exactly like you'd expect a Blues fan to do.
Yeah, like that.
However, angry Blues fans are wrong to be upset about what they feel was a bad call. Here, let's take a look at the goal again and I'll show you.
For one, you can CLEARLY see that Abdelkader's stick is still in one piece until after he knocks the puck into the net. If we want to get picky about technicalities, then it would be helpful to recognize that "severely structurally damaged" and "broken" are not the same thing. When Abdelkader legally played the puck, his stick was still one (mostly) solid piece.
However, it's also important to obey the NHL rulebook in regards to the official definition of "broken" here, as that's the important piece to consider. Let's take a peek.
There's more to Rule 10.3, but this is the important part. Here we have a true black-and-white definition of what does and doesn't constitute a broken stick. It's beautiful in its simplicity. There's no need to worry about the difference between structurally damaged and broken.
"unfit for normal play" rules all decision-making here.
Obviously, the Red Wings scoring backbreaking overtime goals against St. Louis is a normal play, and obviously Abdelkader's stick was fit to accomplish that. Good goal, no question. Suck it, Blues.