Wednesday night featured at least two non-goals worthy of your attention, even if the two tallies elicit different emotions.
The first near-score featured what looked like a score by Florida Panthers defenseman Bryan McCabe on Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec that never ended up receiving a goal review. It’s the kind of situation that some call a miscue while others many don the tinfoil hats and conjure conspiracy theories.
The second almost-goal is more of the unfortunate sort, but in a dumb, bad luck kind of way. Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg earned a penalty shot after being taken down by Dallas Stars defenseman Nicklas Grossman. He made a move that beat Kari Lehtonen and came about as close to scoring a goal as you can get, as the puck hit the crossbar and both posts but never entered the net.
Before we take a look at the Pavelec video, here are some thoughts on the non-reviewed goal from George Richards of On Frozen Pond.
The Panthers coach sure wasn’t thrilled when the night was concluded, either, as Bryan McCabe’s apparent goal was never looked at and Atlanta left BankAtlantic Center with a 3-2 win.
Most close calls in net are reviewed via satellite at Hockey Central in Toronto. McCabe’s shot lodged inside the cage beyond the line before Ondrej Pavelec pulled it free. Were reviewers in Toronto distracted by the Canada-Russia game taking place at the world juniors?
“It looks like a goal to me and I’m baffled why the referees can make certain to make sure everyone goes to the box but why no one took a second look at it,” DeBoer said. “They look at everything else. I got no explanation why. They said if it was close, Toronto would have buzzed them. They never got that.”
Should the goal have been reviewed by the Toronto war room? You be the judge by viewing video of the situation. (Kukla’s Korner also features an alternate take of the video via a Youtube user here.)
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Certainly seems fishy. Moving on from the Pavelec/McCabe controversy, let’s take a look at Stalberg’s near-goal. The Dallas Stars went on to win the game 4-2, but the fourth goal was an empty-netter. Who knows how different things might have been if Stalberg received a bit more puck luck?
Then again, judging from the Steve Stamkos slip, maybe it was just a bad night for people earning penalty shots.
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There was more than one controversial moment during Saturday’s game between the L.A. Kings and Ottawa Senators.
Sens defenseman Mark Borowiecki was given a major penalty for slamming Tyler Toffoli from behind into the boards, causing the Kings forward to undergo the league’s concussion protocol before he eventually returned to the game.
Later in the evening, there was a report from Darren Dreger of TSN that the Senators are protesting the Kings’ third goal of the game, which came with two seconds left in the second period. It was a pivotal moment in the game, as L.A. took a two-goal lead into the third period, before eventually winning 4-1.
Senators coach Guy Boucher didn’t place blame on a clock issue, but instead he put the onus on his team to not get scored on in that situation late in the period.
From LA Kings Insider:
“I’ll be honest with you, at that point for us we’ve just got to shut it down. We keep it at 1, it wasn’t about getting a goal there it was about getting off the ice. We had done the job in the second period, we had looked very good, we had the momentum, we needed to get into the third period with a one-goal lead. We’ve done it so many times this year coming back so I was confident we could come back, so no. I’m not looking at clocks, I’m not looking at penalties, I’m looking at ourselves just doing better.
The Kings now begin a stretch of nine games away from home. They play seven of those games before the holiday break, before resuming the trip on Dec. 28 versus the Canucks. The trip ends the following night in Edmonton.
Emotions were running high at times during the first period between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, in a rematch of the 2016 Eastern Conference Final.
Unlikely combatants Nikita Kucherov and Trevor Daley dropped the gloves for a spirited scrap early in the first period, after the two got tangled up in front of the Pittsburgh goal.
Welcome back, Gabriel Landeskog!
Congratulations on game No. 1,500, Jarome Iginla!
Those are sentiments you probably won’t be hearing from the Colorado Avalanche later on Saturday evening. Yes, they did get their captain back in the lineup from injury. Yes, Iginla was playing in the milestone 1,500th game of his NHL career — certainly an impressive feat in a day when the game is getting younger and getting quicker.
But then, the puck dropped and it all went down the drain for the Avalanche in the opening period. Actually, the opening 10 minutes. Facing the Montreal Canadiens, the Avs found themselves down 5-0 by the 8:41 mark. Of the first period.
Brian Flynn started the onslaught. Paul Byron got the Habs’ fifth goal.
Shots were at one point 13-2 for Montreal. Perhaps most concerning? This disastrous showing follows Matt Duchene calling out his team for a recent loss and, previous to that, coach Jared Bednar ripping the team for a lack of intensity.
Calvin Pickard got the start in net for Colorado, but he was pulled after giving up three goals on 10 shots. Semyon Varlamov entered the game and quickly allowed two goals on the first three shots he faced.
Hey, remember in November when the Habs lost 10-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets? Well, Montreal was halfway to double digits on Saturday, and the first period wasn’t even at the halfway mark.
As of the completion of this post, Montreal was up 6-0. With 5:30 remaining in the first period.
Tyler Toffoli reportedly went through the concussion protocol for a portion of Saturday’s game against the Senators, after Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki slammed the L.A. Kings forward from behind into the boards.
The incident occurred less than three minutes into the game.
Borowiecki was given a major penalty for boarding. He received another major, this time for fighting, later in the period after him and Matt Greene dropped the gloves. Now the question becomes: Will Borowiecki face supplemental discipline?
Toffoli missed the remainder of the first period, but returned for the second.
The Kings went on to win by a final score of 4-1.