Jason Brough

After consulting with the video judge, referee Dave Jackson waves off an apparent goal by Vancouver Canucks' Henrik Sedin, of Sweden, against the Phoenix Coyotes during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz.  The Coyotes defeated the Canucks 1-0. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Everyone’s talking about video review


CHICAGO (AP) Aaron Ekblad had a big goal for the Florida Panthers, and then it was gone. Same for Vladimir Tarasenko in St. Louis last week. Andrew Shaw of the Chicago Blackhawks and Derick Brassard of the New York Rangers got to keep their clutch scores.

The breakout star of the first round of the NHL playoffs is the coach’s challenge, and it seems as if no one is quite sure how they feel about that.

There were a couple more on Sunday, including an offside ruling that negated Ekblad’s goal in the second period of Florida’s 4-3 overtime loss at the New York Islanders.

“The rule is there, it’s in place and you have to do as good a job as possible as a staff and as a group to execute within the rule,” Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol said. “We’re seeing how important and how much of an impact it’s had on a couple of games.”

The NHL approved the coach’s challenge system last summer, and it was used 266 times in the regular season, with 68 plays overturned. The system was mostly praised, save for the occasional display from a coach or player upset when a reversal went against their team.

The addition of blue-line cameras for the playoffs has created additional scrutiny – and set the table for discussions on how to improve things.

“That’s probably for summer-time conversation,” St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said when asked if the coach’s challenge is good for the game.

A pair of challenges went against the Blues in the third period of their 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of their first-round series. Tarasenko’s tiebreaking goal was wiped out by a razor-thin offside ruling on Jori Lehtera based on video from the blue-line cameras. There was a video review of Shaw’s tiebreaking goal before Hitchcock unsuccessfully challenged the play, arguing goaltender Brian Elliott had been pushed into the net on the score.

There is a lot of waiting.

“They get the OK from Toronto before the challenge and then we challenge and then there’s another seven or eight minutes,” Blues center Paul Stastny said. “I think the game’s changed so much, I guess that’s the only downside to the challenges. You don’t mind them for certain reasons, but you want to get an answer in 30 seconds, a minute, two minutes, quick; almost like a quick timeout basically.”

Florida almost had a 3-0 lead in the second period against New York, but Ekblad’s first career playoff goal was thrown out when Islanders video coach Matt Bertani got coach Jack Capuano to challenge the play and video showed Florida was offside when it entered the zone.

“That was the turning point,” Capuano said. “Down by two is a lot different than down by three.”

Doughty: ‘There’s no way we can go down another game’

San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau, left, battles Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty for the puck during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Here’s the thing about trying to come back from a 3-0 series deficit:

It’s still really, really hard.

Only four teams in NHL history have ever done it, versus 178 that have tried and failed, per whowins.com.

So even though the Kings did it in 2014 against the Sharks, they really don’t want to try their luck again.

“We have a lot more to give, and it has to start tonight,” defenseman Drew Doughty told reporters this morning ahead of Game 3 in San Jose.

“There’s no way we can go down another game.”

The Kings won’t be the only ones trying to avoid a 3-0 deficit tonight. The Wild are in the same boat versus the Stars. So are the Flyers versus the Capitals.

For the Kings, though, a first-round exit would mean no series victories in two years, after missing the playoffs altogether last season. And unlike the Wild and Flyers, they went into this postseason with serious Stanley Cup aspirations.

That’s why tonight is so important. A Kings win could change the tenor of the series dramatically, shifting the pressure onto the Sharks, a team that has not handled pressure well in the past.

“Just think, if you can cut it in half, it’s two-one,” said head coach Darryl Sutter. “It’s not that hard to figure out.”

Figure out? No, not hard.

On the road, and probably without Alec Martinez again, the hard part will actually be doing it.

Related: Despite home record, Sharks still happy to be back at the Tank


McDonagh ‘doubtful’ for Game 3, but ‘stranger things have happened’

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) controls the puck in front of New Jersey Devils left wing Mike Cammalleri during the first period of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility of defenseman Ryan McDonagh playing in tomorrow’s Game 3 versus the Penguins.

This morning, Vigneault called that possibility “doubtful’; however, he added that “stranger things have happened.”

McDonagh (hand) practiced today, and was “flying around,” according to teammate Kevin Klein.

But McDonagh was paired with AHL call-up Raphael Diaz, while the three pairings that the Rangers used Saturday in their victory over Pittsburgh remained the same.

If McDonagh can’t play Tuesday, Game 4 goes Thursday at MSG.

Parayko’s ‘memorable’ season has extended into the playoffs


Among all NHL rookie defenseman this season, only the Blackhawks’ Trevor van Riemsdyk spent more time on the ice than the Blues’ Colton Parayko.

And while it’s the Flyers’ Shayne Gostisbehere who’s expected to be one of the Calder Trophy finalists (along with forwards Connor McDavid and Artemi Panarin), Parayko could very well join Gostisbehere as the other d-man on the NHL’s All-Rookie Team.

Indeed, it’s been a remarkable and unexpected season for Parayko, the third-round draft pick in 2012 that spent three years playing college hockey at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. He turned heads in training camp, along with fellow rookie blue-liner Joel Edmundson. He ended up playing 79 games in the regular season, finishing with nine goals and 33 points.

“It’s been quite the journey, it’s been a whirlwind almost,” Parayko told reporters a couple of weeks ago. “I think at the end of the year I’m going to be looking back and it’s going to be pretty memorable and pretty cool.”

On Sunday, he added another memory, scoring a power-play goal in the Blues’ 3-2 win over the Blackhawks in Chicago.

For now, Parayko remains a bottom-pairing d-man who’s simply hoping to help St. Louis get over the playoff hump.

But that hasn’t stopped people — in particular, fans of other teams, and maybe their GMs — from wondering if his emergence could play into what happens this summer with Kevin Shattenkirk, who’s only got next season left on his contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent.

Shattenkirk, 27, would be highly sought-after on the trade market, should his extension demands prove too hefty for GM Doug Armstrong. Theoretically, Parayko could help alleviate the loss of Shattenkirk.

Again, that’s not the concern right now for St. Louis. It’s beating the Blackhawks and avoiding another first-round defeat.

If the Blues can accomplish that goal, their depth on defense will undoubtedly be a big reason why, aided by a 22-year-old rookie on a whirlwind journey.

Report: Trouba to meet with agent to ‘strategize’ for contract talks with Jets

Anaheim Ducks v Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba and his agent, Kurt Overhardt, are “expected to meet this week to strategize” for contract negotiations with the Jets, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli.

Whenever the talks get underway, it could be an interesting negotiation, and not just because Ovehardt’s involved. (Ask the Columbus Blue Jackets about him.)

It could also be interesting because Trouba, 22, can become a restricted free agent on July 1, and he plays for a team that already has big money committed to defensemen Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers and Toby Enstrom.

Trade rumors surrounded Trouba for much of the season, many of them involving Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic. And when the Jets re-signed Byfuglien, the speculation only intensified.

Granted, there’s good reason for the Jets to consider re-signing the young blue-liner. Trouba was drafted ninth overall in 2012, and he’s shown great promise during his three pro years. In addition, not re-signing Andrew Ladd opened up some cap space for GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

At the same time, if Cheveldayoff doesn’t like the numbers that Overhardt throws at him, there would be no shortage of interest in Trouba on the trade market. The Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, and Detroit Red Wings are all desperate to upgrade their blue lines. And there would be more more suitors than that, because big, young defensemen that skate well are such a valuable commodity in today’s NHL.

So much so that, if you’ve got one, you’d better be pretty sure before you trade one.

Related: Morgan Rielly signs six-year, $30 million extension