Thursday, March 1

Who scored the goal?

This picture that I currently have residing in my house (on the floor, like all of my artwork) has inspired countless discussions in the 12 years or so since I inherited it from my old housemate Chuck. It's a simple question: who scored the goal? Take a look and we'll discuss below the fold.

I should preface my comments by saying that, despite all the disagreement the question has sparked, I believe there to be a definitive answer. Six years ago, a friend of mine named Jason looked at it for the first time and delivered a perspective so irrefutable that I declared right on the spot that he was absolutely correct and that there could be no further debate on the topic. Naturally, I promptly forgot that argument, and we're left with more and more speculation.

I think it's fair to rule out the possibility of an own-goal (though perhaps the White defender or goalie may have tipped the puck). The white motion line near the goalie's mitt shows that the puck had considerable momentum on its way to the back of the net, so it's not like he pushed it over the line or anything, and unless #4 is highly vindictive because the netminder is sleeping with his wife or something, he can be absolved as well. So we're left with the three Yellow players.

Looming large in the front of the illustration is #18. Of the three attackers, I think he's the least likely candidate, even though he's closest to the net and seems to be the focus of #4's defensive efforts. However, given his location of his body and stick relative to the travel of the puck and its current location, I don't think he's going to get credit for this tally. It's possible he took a backhand swipe and poked it in (he's a lefty), but I don't see it. In fairness, the white lines and the puck don't correspond particularly well, so the white lines could be ice shavings or something, but they sure look like motion lines to me.

The best case that can be made for #10 as the goal-scorer is a spatial one. His location relative to the puck's is exactly what one would expect had he taken a shot (he's a lefty as well) from the right wing and gone to the far side of the net, and had his momentum carry him past the goal line. The knock on the #10 argument is that the motion lines don't correspond well to his shooting angle (though we've raised some questions about those lines already) and the goalie's sliding dive to the right is highly uncharacteristic for a shot taken from such an angle.

"The Captain," as Milkey always calls him even though the "C" on his sweater is pretty clearly the crest of Team Yellow rather than the captain's insignia, seems to me the most likely goal scorer, but his case is far from air-tight. From where he's standing, he certainly could have put puck to twine in the manner we see in the snapshot, and a pass from #10 could have the goalie sliding to his right to defend a shot taken from the center of the attacking zone.

Yet I don't quite see why the goalie has gone down to the ice, where a lateral skate could have positioned him better for a shot from #16; his desperate layout seems more intended to stop a tap-in from #18.

The most damning thing about #16's case is his body position. He's a right-handed shot, so we'd fully expect to be looking at his back had he taken a forehand shot. There's no way he took a pass from the right wing, one-timed it home, and made a random 180 to face us. He could have backhanded a pass from the left wing (out of frame), but that's totally incompatible with the goalie's actions.

As usual, I'm stymied by the ambiguity of the scene. What do you think?


Figgs said...

I'm going with #10. Not particularly because I have a stong case for him, as I just don't think the positions of 18 or 16 look like they put the puck in. I feel like 10 scoring the disc then skating behind the net is the most likely scenario.

SM Duf said...

I was given this large silk screen print by my parents in 1975 for my 12th Birthday. I still have it and love it to this day.
I have been asking the same question for decades!!
My guess is the goal is scored by big #16 in front of the net assisted by #10..but we might never know!
I would like to know who the artist is..The teams look like USA vs Sweden. All players on Both teams have Jofa helmets including the goalie.
The Goalie has Cooper pads and gloves.
#4 white has Super Tacks skates and number # 10 yellow has Bauers.- Goalie stick might be a Titan. Other sticks are hard to guess.
If 10 scored it was on a rebound from 16s original shot- The goalie is playing #16. The white D #4 is as he should be,is covering the guy without the puck
(-on a 3 on 1 as this looks to be-) and leaving the goalie to take the shooter..which looks like big 18 in front.
Great question and awesome post- Thanks for putting this out there-
see if you can find out anything about the might be a valuable print as these are highly collectible today!!!
Shaun Duffy