It wouldn’t be the playoffs without a little taste of controversy now would it? During the third period of tonight’s Kings-Canucks tilt in Los Angeles with the Kings holding a 4-2 lead, what appeared to be a Vancouver goal by Daniel Sedin to make it a 4-3 game.
After a lengthy review session with the war room in Toronto, the powers that be judged that Daniel Sedin directed the puck into the net with a kicking motion. Sedin scored shortly after that legitimately to make it 4-3 for real, but the Kings would score again shortly after that to make it 5-3 and finish off the Canucks to take Game 3.
Mike Murphy, the NHL head of hockey operations, jumped on Hockey Night in Canada after the game to help clear up the situation for soon-to-don tinfoil hat Canucks fans and did nothing to help ease their minds.
[Murphy] Said “it wasn’t a distinct kicking motion, but a kicking motion” nonetheless.
Fans, of course, are zeroing in on the whole “distinct kicking motion” part of the rulebook, but HNIC’s Elliotte Freidman points out something interesting that managed to fly under the radar of most fans.
[Murphy] Said DVD was sent to teams — “an addendum to the rule” — outlining this kind of play. Definitely believed intent was there to kick.
Whether the intent was there or not can be argued until the cows come home and each side can claim a victory one way or another. What’s stunning here is the league’s lack of communication with fans about these rule clarifications and adjustments. It’s harder to stomach these stories especially with the league rulebook being online and making it expressly clear about the now infamous “distinct kicking motion” coming under fire now.
What helps bring this into question even more is there’s a very recent incident where a puck went into the net thanks to a rather suspect foot motion from Todd Bertuzzi in a game against Columbus back on April 1st. The original call on the ice was no goal but was overruled by the Toronto war room and called a goal. Just consider it more fodder for those searching for answers they’re not going to get.
All that aside though, if Vancouver wants to stay out of trouble in future games perhaps getting some work on the special teams in practice could help. Vancouver’s power play went 0-4 while their penalty kill managed to go 0-3 allowing three power play goals to the Kings.