You’d be hard-pressed to find a hockey fan that would claim last night’s bizarre, series-clinching goal was not the strangest OT-winner they’d ever seen. The goal, scored by Kevin Bieksa when the puck hit a stanchion and squirted out to him at the point, fooled almost everyone, including every play-by-play guy calling the game (except for John Shorthouse). Chief amongst the players fooled was Antti Niemi, who lost sight of the puck, and didn’t find it again until it was bouncing out of his net and Kevin Bieksa was streaking down the ice a hero.

But Game 5 also saw another hero emerge, and his story is only beginning to be told. Here I refer not to Ryan Kesler, who fought through a leg injury of some sort to tie the game up with thirteen seconds to go, but to the Rogers Arena stanchion that orchestrated BOTH the game-tying and game-winning goals.

Here’s the game-winning goal again, just to refresh your memories.

Now, some of you might think that the fortuitous bounce — a fluke that the media are now calling the Immaculate Deflection — was the stanchion’s only contribution last night. You would be wrong. Remember the icing call that led to Ryan Kesler’s goal?

Many have observed that the puck hits Daniel Sedin, and it does, grazing his shoulder on its way out of the zone. But, the only reason it does this is because it takes a weird bounce off a stanchion. Take a look for yourself in this slow-motion replay:

If the puck doesn’t jump off the stanchion, Daniel likely contacts it along the end boards. He’s not quite in position to hold it in, however, so either he slows it down and it doesn’t go the length of the ice, or his touch is more visible, and the officials don’t blow the play down for icing. In short, without the stanchion’s generous redirection, chances are the Canucks don’t get the crucial offensive zone faceoff that leads to Kesler’s generous redirection.

What makes this is even more interesting is that it’s the exact same stanchion. After the puck hits Daniel, the camera follows it out of the zone, and you can see that it came off the fifth stanchion in from the Sharks’ bench. The first one is wrapped in a red safety pad.

And here’s a freeze frame of the bounce that led to game-winning goal. Again, counting from the red pad, you can see that Edler is in the process of putting the puck off the same stanchion.

Last night, some moved for the Vancouver faithful to Retire The Stanchion, or, at the very least, give it a spot up in the ring of honour next to Thomas Gradin. But that was before we knew the full breadth of its contributions. Now, retiring the stanchion seems about the least we can do.

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22 comments

  1. zach hauri
    May 25, 2011

    Stanchion for Conn Smythe!!

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  2. James W
    May 25, 2011

    If you thought glass seats were expensive before, just wait for “5th Stanchion From the Visitors Bench” tickets to be Adamantium-Level prices.

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  3. critically canuck
    May 25, 2011

    yes, it is clearly the “year of the stanchion”. a few months ago, no one had heard the term, but thanks to Zdano Chara and now, Kevin Bieksa, it’s part of the hockey vocabulary…

    beware the stanchion…

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    • J21
      May 25, 2011

      That’s because we always called them partitions. I think the only reason “stanchion” came into play is because Pacioretty hit the one on the end — i.e. it wasn’t a partition between two panes of glass, so they needed a new name.

      The heroic one, though — that’s still a partition, I don’t care what any of you young people say with your “wrapped music” and your “Interred Net.”

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  4. DanD
    May 25, 2011

    And just like the Immaculate Conception, it went to the most unlikely of heroes.

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  5. swizzler
    May 25, 2011

    In Rod We Trust?

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  6. Tony K
    May 25, 2011

    Lost in all this stanchion talk is the amazing play by Burrow to keep the puck in Vancouver’s possession; what a hussle to push the puck back to Edler

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    • Harrison Mooney
      May 25, 2011

      Totally agree, Tony. It wasn’t just a fluke — the goal came off some pretty hard work.

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  7. Phanyxx
    May 25, 2011

    I’d love to see that stanchion chromed out!

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  8. Joel Willoughby
    May 25, 2011

    Just started a fan page for ‘the stanchion’ here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Stanchion-at-Rogers-Arena/230019257012169#!/pages/The-Stanchion-at-Rogers-Arena/230019257012169

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  9. KB
    May 25, 2011

    I can’t wait for the stanchion’s “History will be made” video.

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    • Steve Lockhart
      May 25, 2011

      History uses everything at its disposal.

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      • Harrison Mooney
        May 25, 2011

        I’d be interested in what they would actually caption a History Will Be Made ad for the stanchion.

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  10. Joel Willoughby
    May 25, 2011

    The Canucks may never retire the stanchion…but at least he has a facebook page now:
    https://www.facebook.com/TheStanchion

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  11. Glenn
    May 25, 2011

    I’m not sure I agree with the analysis of the icing call that the puck deflects off of Daniel Sedin. The trajectory of the puck doesn’t change after it hits the stanchion and whizzes past Daniel. It’s close – really close – and possibly might have grazed Daniel, but the video quality is just not good enough to tell for sure.

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  12. B.O'B.
    May 25, 2011

    My understanding is that the stanchion is an RFA next season and that Brian Burke is preparing an offer sheet.

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  13. alviator
    May 25, 2011

    The stanchion obviously deserves to play on the first line with the Sedins. And they shall be known as the S3 line.

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  14. GBoyd
    May 25, 2011

    Great blog guys! Long time Bulie, first time commenter.

    Watching the GWG replay a few times, I think it was Marleau who initiated the immaculate deflection!

    Still think our ROH candidate stanchion was responsible on the icing play though

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  15. Curtis Cunningham
    May 25, 2011

    Nice.

    How about retiring (in another sense), the dropping of confetti on the ice at the end of the game? I would think someone should have thought about the potential problems with the players tripping and falling because of the paper. Can you imagine players trying to parade the cup around the rink with all that mess on the ice?

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  16. Qris Johnson
    May 26, 2011

    Worst idea ever. The stanchion has a long career ahead of it. Retiring it now would be devastating.

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  17. Anonymous
    May 26, 2011

    LOL! Henrik Sedin’s never-ending quest for a celebratory hug.

    I’ve replayed the goal plenty of times, looking at a different player each time. Look at Henrik Sedin @ 1:01 – 1:10. I think he was making his way to Kevin Bieksa but changed course because… he just wants the fastest route to a hug? haha. He always seem too excited, can’t pick which person to hug! :P (remember game 6 of the Nashville series)

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  18. Twitch
    May 26, 2011

    They need to rename that Stanchion ‘Luc’. Just saying.

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