Wes McCauley

Your Los Angeles-San Jose Game 7 officials are…


The referees for tonight’s Western Conference semifinal Game 7 between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks will be Wes McCauley (#4) and Brad Watson (#23).

Working the lines will be Jay “Hova” Sharrers (#57) and Pierre “you call me red light every time, come up with something new” Racicot (#65).

McCauley is an interesting assignment. He worked the controversial Game 3 of this series — a 2-1 Sharks win in OT — which was marked by a rare overtime 5-on-3 after penalties were called on Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr and forward Trevor Lewis late in regulation.

Logan Couture scored the game-winner in OT, and Kings goalie Jonathan Quick proceeded to berate referees McCauley and Mark Joanette, earning himself a game misconduct for abuse of officials.

“‘I’m disappointed that the refs had enough confidence to make a gutsy call like that in the last 30 seconds of the period,” Dustin Penner said afterward.

“It’s pretty impressive when you have enough gall to guess because I’m going to look at the tape and I’m going to see if he got pushed because I know what it’s like to drive the net.”

As for Watson, this’ll be his second Game 7 of this postseason.

He worked the crazy Boston-Toronto finale, which featured a fairly high number of penalties for a series-decider (18 PIM all told; three power play opportunities for Toronto, two for Boston).

Watson does have experience calling the Kings in high-stakes games, as he was one of the four referees selected to work the 2012 Stanley Cup finals.

Update: Should’ve mentioned that Watson worked Game 2 of this series, a game that featured Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s questionable delay of game penalty and LA’s furious comeback in the late stages of the third period.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
Leave a comment

When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
1 Comment

The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?