2010 NHL playoffs: Controversy in Kings 5-3 win

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.

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    Coyotes add MacLean and Allen to coaching staff

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    John MacLean will, indeed, be an assistant coach on Rick Tocchet’s staff in Arizona, as reported yesterday.

    So too will Scott Allen.

    “We are very pleased to have John and Scott join the Coyotes organization,” said Coyotes GM John Chayka in a release. “Both individuals bring a wealth of hockey knowledge and coaching experience to our team and we are confident that they will be great additions to Head Coach Rick Tocchet’s staff.”

    MacLean — who had a short, unsuccessful stint as head coach of the New Jersey Devils in 2010 — was last behind an NHL bench as an assistant on Kirk Muller’s staff in Carolina from 2011-14.

    Allen spent last season as an assistant in Florida, before being let go to make way for Bob Boughner’s new staff.

    The Coyotes also announced Mike Van Ryn as the new head coach of their AHL affiliate in Tucson. Van Ryn will be assisted by John Slaney and Steve Potvin.

    Mark Lamb, last year’s head coach in Tucson, and Mark Hardy, Lamb’s assistant, will not be back.

    Lamb was only hired a year ago; however, he got the job thanks in part to a previous working relationship with Dave Tippett. So it’s no surprise to hear Lamb won’t be back — especially after the Roadrunners missed the playoffs.

    Related: John MacLean could reportedly join Tocchet’s coaching staff in Arizona

    Welcome Nick Holden to the trade rumor mill

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    Last summer, when Nick Holden was traded from Colorado to the Rangers, Patrick Roy called Alain Vigneault to say, “You just got one of my better defensemen.”

    Now it seems that Holden may be on the trading block again.

    From the New York Post, in the wake of Mika Zibanejad‘s contract extension:

    The Blueshirts are projected to start the season with just $445,556 of cap space if they carry eight defensemen (including Alexei Bereglazov) and 14 forwards (including Andersson and Boo Nieves with Jesper Fast on IR). The Rangers are expected to attempt to deal defenseman Nick Holden ($1.65 million) in order to bulk up in the middle, if possible.

    Holden played 80 games for the Rangers last season, scoring 11 goals with 23 assists. The 30-year-old is signed for one more year before he can become an unrestricted free agent.

    If Holden is traded, the Rangers could go into next season with a top four of Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, Brendan Smith and Brady Skjei. That would leave Marc Staal, Bereglazov, Anthony DeAngelo, and perhaps even Neal Pionk to fight for minutes on the bottom pairing.

    What’s unclear is Holden’s value on the trade market. After all, the Rangers only gave up a fourth-round draft pick to get him from Colorado. Has his value risen significantly since?

    Johnny Hockey: ‘I love Calgary, don’t get me wrong’

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    Johnny Gaudreau made headlines last week when he went on Philadelphia radio and said it would be “sweet” to play for the Flyers one day.

    Gaudreau — a South Jersey native who grew up cheering for the Flyers, but currently stars for the Calgary Flames — has now been offered a chance to clarify a few things about that interview.

    “I think if you ask any player in the NHL if they’d like to play in their hometown at some point they’d all say it would be pretty sweet,” Gaudreau told the Courier-Post in a Q&A. “You’ve got friends, you’ve got family, you’ve got kids you went to school with, you’ve got teachers, you name it. You’ve got people that will be supporting you. The people support me down here, like it’s crazy down here. I’m just really fortunate they follow me up in Calgary.

    “I love Calgary, don’t get me wrong. It’s a great city and they’re so passionate about our team. It’s a real hockey city. I really enjoy it up there, don’t get me wrong, but I think if you ask any player if he wants to play in his hometown they’d say it would be pretty cool to do that.

    “I’ve still got five more years on my contract and who knows…if we’re playing well up here in Calgary I could end up staying another four or five years there because I love the city so much. It’s tough to have all those articles come out when it’s something so small, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

    It’s certainly possible that Gaudreau opts to explore unrestricted free agency when his contract expires. But he doesn’t have that option until 2022.

    For now, Gaudreau’s excited about the next few years in Calgary, where the Flames are trending the right way, possibly soon into legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.

    Related: Stability, Stanley Cup aspirations ‘a breath of fresh air’ for Mike Smith

    Matt Murray discusses the ‘new look’ Penguins

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    Save for the loss of Ben Lovejoy, the Pittsburgh Penguins of 2016-17 looked a heck of a lot like the Penguins of 2015-16.

    Both those teams won the Stanley Cup, of course.

    But the Pens of 2017-18, while still boasting superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, will have to attempt a three-peat without some key pieces from the 2017 run.

    Gone are Marc-Andre Fleury, Nick Bonino, Chris Kunitz, Trevor Daley, and Ron Hainsey, the latter of whom proved a savvy pickup by GM Jim Rutherford at the trade deadline.

    It’s also possible that Matt Cullen opts for retirement.

    True, the Penguins added Matt Hunwick in free agency, and they don’t expect to be without Kris Letang again next spring.

    But for goalie Matt Murray, winning it all in 2018 seems a larger challenge.

    “Obviously it’s not easy to win at all in this league, especially with the salary cap and the turnover that teams go through. Last year we were lucky that we didn’t lose too many guys and we had a lot of the same guys come back,” Murray told SooToday.com.

    “This year it’s a little bit different. We lost some key pieces and we’re going to have a new look going into this season. But I think we’ve added some key pieces as well and I think we’re in really good shape. Of course it’s going to be difficult, but I think if there’s a team that can do it, we can do it.”

    For any team that loses important players, the key to success is usually found in the organization’s youth. Enter forwards Daniel Sprong and Zach Aston-Reese. If those two can become contributors by the playoffs, it would sure help.

    Rutherford will also have to come through by finding a new third-line center. That’s no easy task given the importance of the position. Bonino was a tremendous bargain for the Pens, but he’s in Nashville now.

    Related: Pens can’t ‘panic’ to replace Bonino