Incorrect, it wasn't a direct pass to the player...that's clear as day in the replay. St. Louis had as much an opportunity to the puck as SJ.
See 67.1, I actually was referencing incorrectly USA hockey's rule. NHL's rule is much more descriptive. See above
You're saying that the NHL's rules are more descriptive, but are failing to read the entirety of the rules. 67.1 FULLY states:
"Handling Puck - A player shall be permitted to stop or “bat” a puck in the air with his open hand, or push it along the ice with his hand, and the play shall not be stopped unless, in the opinion of the on-ice
officials, he has deliberately directed the puck to a teammate, or has allowed his team to gain an advantage, in any zone other than the defending zone, in which case the play shall be stopped and a faceoff conducted (see Rule 79 – Hand Pass)
. Play will not be stopped for any hand pass by players in their own defending zone."
This clearly references Rule 79, so to that portion of the rulebook we go.
"Hand Pass - A player shall be permitted to stop or “bat” a puck in the air with his open hand, or push it along the ice with his hand, and the play shall not be stopped unless, in the opinion of the on-ice officials, he has directed the puck to a teammate, or has allowed his team to gain an advantage, and subsequently possession and control of the puck is obtained by a player of the offending team, either directly or deflected off any player or official
. A player shall be permitted to catch the puck out of the air but must immediately place it or knock it down to the ice. If he catches it and skates with it, either to avoid a check or to gain a territorial advantage over his opponent, a minor penalty shall be assessed for “closing his hand on the puck” under Rule 67 – Handling Puck"
I've bolded the part that very clearly applies to the call tonight. The Shark batted the puck. Whether there is intent or not DOESN'T matter. If a different player of the team that batted the puck down GAINS AN ADVANTAGE by taking possession of the puck right after the "bat", the play should be whistled down. I think we can say pretty easily that an advantage was gained. They were able to make an uncontested pass to the slot due to the puck being batted down to their player.
Edited for cleanup and grammatical errors.