Could ‘Howson Rule’ cost Columbus the playoffs?


It’s been two months since Scott Howson was fired from his post as Blue Jackets GM.

Yet according to the Columbus Dispatch, his legacy could still affect the team in a major way.

The Jackets, 3-2 OT winners last night against Anaheim to move into eighth in the Western Conference with 49 points, have just 16 wins in regulation/overtime this season.

The teams they’re fighting for eighth with — Detroit (47 points) and Dallas (45) — have 18 and 19, and that’s important because ROWs (regulation plus overtime wins) is the official standings tiebreaker.

It’s also Howson’s brainchild.

Here’s more, from the Dispatch:

An NHL rule change adopted three seasons ago after Howson introduced it to the league’s Board of Governors could end up costing the Blue Jackets a spot in the postseason.

The “Howson Rule” altered the postseason tiebreaking process, making a team’s number of regulation and overtime victories the first tiebreaker.

In other words, shootout victories would be removed from the total.

Adding to the issue is that Columbus has just four games remaining in the regular season, while Detroit has five and Dallas has six.

Trying to catch either team for ROWs will be extremely difficult — so, the Jackets know they have to beat the Wings and Stars on points.

“Obviously, nobody knew we were going to be in this spot a few years ago,” winger Jared Boll told the Dispatch. “We have to be a point better than everybody else.

“That’s just the way it goes.”

Two-for-two: Another successful coach’s challenge as Sens reverse Kane’s goal

Dave Cameron
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Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.

Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.

From the league:

At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.

The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.

As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal


Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.