LOS ANGELES — In news that comes as no surprise, Henrik Lundqvist still doesn’t agree with the decision that led to Dwight King’s 4-3 goal in tonight’s overtime loss to Los Angeles.
“I’m extremely disappointed on that call or non-call,” an irate Lundqvist said following the game. “They got to be consistent with that rule. We, in the second period get called for a penalty and the puck is not even there. They score a goal and I can’t even move.
“It’s extremely frustrating for them to get life like that. After that, it’s a different game. I don’t expect a penalty on the play but they need to blow the whistle. A goalie can’t move when you have a guy like that on top of you. It’s such an important play of that game.”
Here’s the play in question:
As Lundqvist mentioned, the goal came after the Rangers were whistled for a second-period goalie interference call when Benoit Pouliot tangled with Jonathan Quick. In light of that, it’s worth mentioning that Lundqvist did draw a goalie interference penalty during the first overtime session after he got clipped by L.A. forward Jeff Carter:
As for the King goal, Lundqvist wasn’t buying the explanation given as to why the marker stood.
“[The ref] said the puck had already passed me. I don’t buy it,” Lundqvist said. “That’s a wrist shot, that I’m just going to reach out for and I can’t move. It’s a different game after that. It’s such an important play in the game.”
Alain Vigneault was even more terse in talking about the goal. When asked if he thought King was guilty of interference, the Rangers coach replied bluntly:
“Ask the NHL.”
There’s another Raffl in the NHL.
On Tuesday, the Jets announced that Thomas Raffl — the older brother of Flyers forward Michael Raffl — has signed a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000.
Raffl, 29, was in Winnipeg’s camp on a PTO after a lengthy career in Europe. He spent time playing in Sweden and his native Austria, most recently with powerhouse EC Red Bull Salzburg — last year, Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg and three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.
“We would like to recognize and express our appreciation to the EC Red Bull Salzburg organization for allowing Thomas and the Winnipeg Jets this opportunity,” Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement.
With the Jets, Raffl projects to play in the bottom-six forward group, where he can utilize his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame in a checking-slash-energy role.
For now, though, he’ll start out with the club’s AHL affiliate in Manitoba.
Seven defensemen will comprise the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-day roster, which the club finalized today.
Those seven are Radko Gudas, Michael Del Zotto, Luke Schenn, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Mark Streit, and Evgeny Medvedev.
Not on the list? Andrew MacDonald, who has cleared waivers and been assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley. (That move allowed the Flyers to keep both Manning and youngster Scott Laughton.)
Also not on the list were prospects Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim. The first three will start the season in the AHL. The last two have been sent back to junior.
But the opening-day roster is not where this story ends. How the Flyers’ defensive mix changes as the season progresses will be worth watching.
They’d no doubt love to move Schenn, a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3.6 million cap hit. He could also end up in the AHL, a la MacDonald.
Medvedev, the 33-year-old who came over from the KHL and put up five points in five preseason games, is another pending UFA. The club could either look to re-sign or flip him.
Might 37-year-old Streit be a chip worth cashing in at the deadline, especially if the Flyers aren’t in a playoff position on Feb. 29? He’s only got two years left on his contract.
Meanwhile, GM Ron Hextall will be watching pending restricted free agents Manning and Gudas closely. Are they part of the future?
So, lots of decisions to make in Philly as the blue line continues its much-needed transition.