Coming off a rough 48-hour stretch that included an embarrassing 6-1 loss on home ice and a teammate-on-teammate fight in the very next practice, the St. Louis Blues were in desperate need of something to go their way on Tuesday against the Florida Panthers. A good bounce of the puck, an early power play, or anything that resembled positive momentum to get the crowd into it would have been a welcome sight.
Less than six minutes into the game, St. Louis got exactly that when defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (who was involved in the donnybrook on Monday) routinely dumped the puck in to the right corner of Florida's defensive zone. As it sailed toward referee Tim Peel, he was unable to get out of the way in time, and the puck caromed right off his groin, miraculously finding the back of the net as Panthers goalie Robert Luongo failed to corral it:
However, as Blues play-by-play man John Kelly was quick to point out, a goal does not count if it's deflected off an official. While this is an extremely rare occurrence, they do have a rule specifically stating this:
If the Blues didn't have bad luck, they'd have no luck at all. St. Louis did go on to win though, a much-needed 4-3 victory that keeps them out of the basement of the Western Conference for the time being. As for Peel (and his private parts), he took it like a champ and was able to skate off with no help. Definition of hockey tough.