The Ducks Was A Staple Of Hockey Fans Childhood, But Was The Flying V Legal?

I do love Ice Hockey. But being if you reside in the UK it is a luxury. You don’t get to watch much of it. If you are a fan of the New York Rangers sometimes that’s a blessing in disguise!
Wayne Gretzky New York Rangers action hšjd portrŠtt

As a hockey fan, you are partially required, I think by law, to be at least a passing fan of the amazing kid’s movie: “The Mighty Ducks” there isn’t a wealth of good hockey movies is there? There’s that one with the chimp that plays but that’s god-awful.

Classic Disney

In the aforementioned Disney classic, Emilio Estevez is awesome as the reluctant Coach Bombay, only taking on the role to appease the courts due to his indiscretions before eventually warming to the role and his team, slowly he transforms the Ducks into a skating powerhouse.

But the film does raise a question that has always puzzled me and if you are a fan of NHL and the film it’s probably crossed your mind too. Is the famous “flying V” even a legal move? Okay so it also crossed my mind if a puck can actually break through a net purely having been hit really hard…it probably cannot.

The ref tells us

Well apparently I’m not the only one who has asked and fortunately former NHL ref, Kerry Fraser has the answer. Here it is:

“Upon further review, the Mighty Ducks remained onside as the puck was advanced to Jessie Hall at the front of the Flying-V just prior to crossing their attacking blue line. The Flying-V moved up ice as Harry Hall of the Mighty Ducks carried the puck from a protected, safe and legal position at the back of the V. Just prior to gaining their attacking blue line, the puck was passed through the legs and onto the stick of the lead Duck in the V; #9 Jessie Hall.”

“After gaining possession of the puck, Jessie Hall advanced the puck across the leading edge of the blue line with his stick and then pulled up to protect the puck from defenders and to allow his wingers to attack the net. Once the puck crosses the leading edge of the blue line all attacking players are eligible to enter the zone and deemed to be on-side. It is also important to note that an attacking player’s skates and not that of his stick are the determining factor in all instances in deciding an off-side as per rule 83. A player is off-side when both skates are completely over the leading edge of the blue line prior to the puck crossing that same leading edge. Jessie Hall got the puck across the leading edge of the attacking blue line and his teammates then entered the zone legally on-side.”

“Further to this rule a player actually controlling the puck, who crosses the line ahead of the puck shall not be considered off-side. If the attacking player is deemed to have “possession and control” of the puck he can actually skate backwards across the blue line with the puck on his stick. (In this situation the player’s skates are allowed to cross the leading edge of the blue line prior to the puck!)”

So why isn’t it used?

So there you have it. The flying V is legal and could be used in the NHL today. Tactically it is probably about as likely as the ending of The Longest Yard. With it confounding final play to take the final points. Why are sports movies always so contrived? Just for once I’d like to see a movie where the protagonist’s team lose in the finale…wait a second doesn’t that happen in Bring It On?

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