This is a tough call out because I am obsessed with the movie Miracle, but have to blow the whistle on the folks over at Disney because they allowed the unbreakable 1980 U.S. olympic team to be caught on film going off-sides.
It was during a practice and at a time in the movie when eventual captain Mike Eruzione still was missing the net with his shots. But it’s right in front of the king and I would imagine Herb Brooks — rest in peace — was a man known for his attention to detail.
Also, off-sides might be one of the most essential rules in all of hockey and one of the first rules you learn as a beginner.
For those who don’t know, going off-sides in hockey means a player on the attacking team crosses the blue line entering the offensive zone before the puck.
The rule has been this way since 1930, according to Fox Sports.
Players can have one skate on the blue line and one in the offensive zone before the puck crosses the blue line, but that is clearly not the case here:
As seen above, Rizzo (right) is entirely in the offensive zone — notice the white space between his left skate and the blue line — and the puck — the black speck in the bottom left of the photo — is well behind.
It’s a pretty blatant off-sides.
I think this one is getting called by the refs in my men’s league game, let alone an olympic practice.
I get that this is me being overly critical and I get that this is Disney and that overall they did a phenomenal job on the movie.
But the fact that the studio could go to enough effort to get Al Michaels to recreate the broadcasting of the game where the U.S. ultimately beats the Soviet Union, and not make sure the team stayed on-sides, is puzzling.
I mean there are going to be a ton of die-hard hockey fans watching this movie.
In fairness, I am sure there were other mistakes in Miracle far worse than going off-sides. And there have been too many mistakes in hockey movies to even count:
But this is Miracle, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, hockey story of all time. Not some throwaway movie about a junior B team in Nelson, Canada, where their best player is literally a chimpanzee.