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.
Even with all the young players that have been healthy scratches this season, don’t expect the NHL to change its waiver rules.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told PHT in an email that it’s not something that’s “ever been considered.”
“For better or worse that’s what waiver rules are there for,” Daly wrote. “They force Clubs to make tough decisions.”
Today, Montreal defenseman Jarred Tinordi became the latest waiver-eligible youngster to be sent to the AHL on a two-week conditioning loan.
Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season. If he were still exempt from waivers, he’d have undoubtedly been sent to the AHL long before he had to watch so many NHL games from the press box.
In light of situations like Tinordi’s, some have suggested the NHL change the rules. Currently, the only risk-free way for waiver-eligible players to get playing time in the AHL is via conditioning stint, and, as mentioned, those are limited to 14 days in length.
So the Habs will, indeed, need to make a “tough decision” when Tinordi’s conditioning stint is up. Do they put him in the lineup? Do they keep him in the press box and wait for an injury or some other circumstance to create an opportunity for him to play? Do they risk losing him to waivers by attempting to send him to the AHL? Do they trade him?
Your call, Marc Bergevin.
Related: Stanislav Galiev is stuck in the NHL
Joni Ortio has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Stockton, the Calgary Flames announced today.
The 24-year-old goalie was always likely to clear, what with his dreadful numbers this season (0-2-1, .868),
But we suppose there was always the chance he’d get picked up, so it’s a relief for the Flames all the same. With a little more time to hone his game in the AHL, Ortio could still turn out to be a quality NHL netminder.
In a related move, veteran goalie Jonas Hiller has been activated from injured reserve. Hiller and Karri Ramo are the only goalies on the Flames’ active roster now.
Two injury updates in one post.
First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.
According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.
“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.
Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.
As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:
1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.
“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”
Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.
The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.