Did Slava Voynov Call NHL Teammate Jonathan Quick a Cheater?

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Slava Voynov (Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE)

Perhaps it’s only fitting that the most controversial goal of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics would prompt the most controversial comments of the games.

The setting

Team USA had opened their Olympics schedule with 7-1 drubbing of Slovakia, while the Russians were playing their first game of the tournament. After a scoreless first period which saw the Russians outshoot the Americans 13-10, Pavel Datsyuk scored on a breakaway for the host team at 9:15 of the second frame, staking Russia to a 1-0 lead. At 16:34 and with Alexander Radulov in the penalty box for cross checking, the U.S. responded, as Cam Fowler’s goal while crashing the net beat netminder Sergei Bobrovsky:

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In the third period, the teams traded goals. Joe Pavelski’s one-timer goal off the fantastic Patrick Kane cross-slot assist put the Americans up 2-1. However, just 3:17 later, Pavel Datsyuk scored again, knotting up the game at 2-2 and setting the stage for one of the most talked-about moments of the Olympics.

The play

With less than five minutes left in regulation and team Russia on a furious cycle, the puck found its way to Fedor Tyutin, who was just inside the blue line. Tyutin wristed a shot amidst traffic that sailed past U.S. goalie Jonathan Quick, apparently putting the Russians up, 3-2. With NBC holding the copyrights, the replay can be found here.

To the surprise of everyone, the referees determined (properly, as it turns out) that the net had been knocked off its moorings by Quick seconds before the apparent goal. If it were an NHL game, the officials could — and likely would — award the goal, as the rule reads as follows:

63.6 Awarded Goal – In the event that the goal post is displaced, either deliberately or accidentally, by a defending player, prior to the puck crossing the goal line between the normal position of the goalposts, the Referee may award a goal. In order to award a goal in this situation, the goal post must have been displaced by the actions of a defending player or goalkeeper, the puck must have been shot (or the player must be in the act of shooting) at the goal prior to the goal post being displaced, and it must be determined that the puck would have entered the net between the normal position of the goal posts.

When the goal post has been displaced deliberately by the defending team when their goalkeeper has been removed for an extra attacker thereby preventing an impending goal by the attacking team, the Referee shall award a goal to the attacking team. The goal frame is considered to be displaced if either or both goal pegs are no longer in their respective holes in the ice, or the net has come completely off one or both pegs, prior to or as the puck enters the goal.

Not only was the goal disallowed, but Quick was not assessed a minor penalty, another controversial decision in favor of the Americans.

The outcome and Voynov comments

With the potential game-winning goal waived off, the game was eventually decided in the shootout. Unlike the NHL, IIHF rules allow for any skater to take the shot in the shootout, literally as many times as desired. Thus, shootout specialist T.J. Oshie made six attempts, scoring four times, including the deciding tally which won the game for the Americans, 3-2.

After the game, Russian defenseman and fellow L.A. King Slava Voynov made news by claiming that Quick is “known” for the trick of dislodging the net at key moments. The allegation quickly made the rounds in the media, particularly within those dedicated to coverage of the Kings.

Did Voynov really mean what he is alleged to have said?

In the wake of a controversial loss to team USA in front of a partisan home crowd, it’s certainly understandable that Voynov would be disappointed, perhaps even to the point of making an inadvisable remark about a fellow L.A. Kings player. It’s also possible that Voynov was either misquoted or taken out of context, or even that with English as his second language, he did not phrase his comments properly.

However, on the surface it appears that Voynov threw Quick under the bus with his statements, which should make their reunion when the Olympics are over more than a little interesting, to say the least. What do you think? Did Voynov rat on the stalwart L.A. Kings goaltender?

8 thoughts on “Did Slava Voynov Call NHL Teammate Jonathan Quick a Cheater?”

  1. It appears as though this comment was taken out of context. As for the goal:Olympic rules are Olympic rules. I like some and don’t like others As far as Quick being a cheater-Quick is an explosive goalie, moving from side to side with great speed and agility is his job. The in net camera shows what happened.

  2. Russia was definitely cheated this time. The goal should have been counted. The rule should be changed unless matches should have net referees dedicated only to watch the net because of potential abuse of this rule. In my opinion, TH goal is disallowed only if the net is dislodged during that particular play. It’s not like this goal benefited from a the angle of the dislodged net. Yes rumors are quick is a non cheater…. disgraceful indeed.

  3. @Ross Bonander

    You are absolutely right in saying:


    If Voynov did make the remark, and it was not a “language” issue, he’s not likely to get a warm welcome on his return to Los Angeles.

    • My message above was meant to quote you between the . I agreed with your remarks that it was the job of the on ice officials to handle the situation.

  4. I’ve never noticed anything like that, Ross. I would say no, although admittedly if anyone would know, in theory it would be a teammate.

    What we don’t know is whether or not he actually did say that (versus being misquoted/taken out of context), and/or whether or not ‘sour grapes’ feelings colored his comments.

  5. If it weren’t my favorite team I’d be less conflicted about it. The real issue for me is whether or not Quick actually did it on purpose. If you watch the replay, it doesn’t appear so, and besides, it’s not as if he saw the puck about to cross the goal line and quickly dislodged it. He had no reason to purposely do it.

  6. Personally I loved Voynov’s comment. It illustrates the messy allegiances and incestuousness of the sport at this level. If he has to answer for it when he gets back to Los Angeles so be it, but Quick shouldn’t be dislodging the net on purpose in the first place, and players change teams/loyalties all the time and are always sharing inside information (although not with the press). Even if Quick does do that, I doubt he’s the only one. Nowhere is it written that one of the goalie’s jobs on the ice is to make sure the net is not dislodged. It is written that he can’t be dislodging it, but both those things are the duties of the on-ice officials. Maybe Voynov should be the one Russians are pointing their fingers at, for not alerting them to Quick’s quirks sooner.

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