Sunday, July 8, 2012

When a GHT isn't a GHT

  For a Gordie Howe Hat Trick to be official, a player needs to do three things in the same game; score a goal, get an assist and be accessed a fighting penalty. The first two tasks are subject to the decision of an official off-ice NHL scorekeeper. A goal could be given or taken away if the puck was tipped. Assists are often the subject of debate, especially those pesky second assists on a goal. Accessing a fighting major or not, is left in the hands of the on-ice officials. Review the video below and try to confirm if Claude Giroux scored a Gordie Howe Hat Trick or not.

  It may seem pretty obvious. First he fights, then he scores and then he completes it with an assist. Except a quick review of the boxscore of that game and you may notice that Giroux had a total of 4 PIM in that game. He got all 4 PIM during the "fight" in the above video; 2 for elbowing and 2 for roughing.  Therefore, Giroux does not get credit for a Gordie Howe Hat Trick in that game.  In a way, Giroux, and the Flyers, are lucky Giroux didn't get a fighting major.  It would have been the second fight on the play and it would have resulted in a game misconduct for Giroux.  He would have left the game with no goals, no assists and one fight.  Giroux would have to wait almost three years before he'd get an official GHT.  Deja Vu.  It was game 3 in a 1st round play-off series vs the Pittsburgh Penguins, played in Philadelphia.

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