Tag: Eric Furlatt

Dwight King

Report: Dwight King won’t face discipline for boarding Alex Pietrangelo


Last night’s incident that saw Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo boarded and knocked out of the game thanks to L.A. forward Dwight King will reportedly not be investigated further by the NHL.

Los Angeles Times beat reporter Helene Elliott says the Kings have yet to hear from the league about the hit and they’re not expecting any further discipline for King.

The NHL’s head of officiating for the series, Kay Whitmore, explained the result saying referees Eric Furlatt and Stephen Walkom missed seeing Pietrangelo bleeding after the hit, something that would’ve turned King’s minor into a major.

Walkom has already been involved in two other high-profile incidents in the playoffs: Game 2 of the Rangers-Senators series that saw Matt Carkner go after Brian Boyle and Game 3 of the Coyotes-Blackhawks series where Marian Hossa was hit viciously by Raffi Torres, a play that resulted in no penalty called at the moment but a 25-game suspension for Torres.

Five Thoughts: Game 6 tossed everything out the window to help set up Game 7

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Six

Right when you think you’ve learned everything about the playoffs as well as about Boston and Tampa Bay, Game 6 goes on ahead and happens. Trends were busted, stars played like stars, goaltending evaporated with the defense. If nothing else, this series is proving to be fun that way, but with Tampa Bay forcing a Game 7 all bets are off on Friday night.

1. We mentioned a bit yesterday in our piece about the Lightning’s “concerns” about having Eric Furlatt officiating Game 6 about how the Lightning power play was disturbingly quiet since Game 2. While Furlatt and Kelly Sutherland still called more penalties on Tampa Bay than Boston (five to four) the Lightning power play reappeared in a big way going 3-4 on the man advantage including seeing a prototypical goal from Steve Stamkos.

It’s tough to say whether or not Guy Boucher’s gamesmanship paid off, but the motivation it may have served to get his power play focused and ready to cash in when they did get opportunities certainly worked. After the game, Claude Julien bristled about Boucher’s means of gaining an edge but the only thing Julien’s got to be mad about is the failure of his penalty kill to contain the Lightning attack. That doesn’t mean we won’t see any more similar gamesman-like tactics from both coaches Friday’s Game 7.

2. It’s something else to see how hot and cold both of these teams have shown themselves to be throughout this series. We’ve seen a pair of rather down and out games from Tampa Bay where Tim Thomas’ stellar play and tough Bruins defense wore them down. Then we’ve got games like last night’s where the Lightning are able to score all over the place and get their power play cranking the way we’ve seen it do throughout the playoffs.

The same goes for the Bruins as we’ve seen them dominate with defense and by getting ahead in games early. Then there’s games like last night where their defense looks toothless and Thomas ends up trying too hard to cover for their lax effort. Game 6 proved to be a healthy mix of all things that went wrong for both teams and in the end it was Tampa that cashed in more often.

3. While the Bruins got a big night out of their top line with David Krejci netting a hat trick and Milan Lucic ripping a laser by Dwayne Roloson, the rest of the forward lines were disturbingly quiet. When you’re able to get all those guys going as well as getting a pair of assists out of Tomas Kaberle on top of it all, that’s a game the Bruins feel like they have to win. Not getting added production from the likes of Patrice Bergeron shows how tenuous the Bruins success can be if they’re not all clicking together.

4. Tim Thomas is going to take heat for giving up five goals in Game 6 but after watching and re-watching the videos of the goals Tampa Bay scored, it might make sense to get on the case of his defense and support for putting him in some difficult positions. With Tampa Bay scoring three times on the power play, that makes a night tough enough but Johnny Boychuk is the guy that should get zeroed in on.

Boychuk was on the ice for all five goals against and made brutal coverage mistakes on three of those goals. Boychuk’s been strong for most of the series, but he was brutal in Game 6 and Martin St. Louis’ goal that proved to be the game winner saw Boychuk pinched in too deep leading to a two-on-one break for St. Louis and Downie that saw Thomas play more of the part of defenseman than goalie. Lapses like that are killers and Boychuk had one too many of them.

5. Now it’s all down to a Game 7. Ideally you’d like to think with the Bruins going home for that they’ll have an advantage but with how the Lightning find ways to adjust to situations and with the sort of support help they’re getting, there’s every reason to think they have a chance to make the Stanley Cup finals as well.

After all, it’s not all about Stamkos, St. Louis, and Vincent Lecavalier. Now it’s about Teddy Purcell (who scored two more goals in Game 6), Simon Gagne, and Steve Downie as well. Being able to roll out two steady offensive lines like that as well as a gnarly third line like they’ve got with Dominic Moore and Nate Thompson.

It’s one game to decide who gets to go to the Stanley Cup finals and with both teams likely pulling out all the stops means nothing but good things or us fans. It seems only right that these two go to seven games, but both teams both went seven in the first round and now they’re going seven again. It’s asking a lot of both teams but we’re sure of only one thing: Vancouver couldn’t be happier to see things break down this way.

Is officiating a cause for concern for Tampa Bay in Game 6? Guy Boucher is aware it might

Marc Joanette, Eric Furlatt

Officiating is a big part of any game in the NHL playoffs. Last night we saw a missed deflection turn into an icing call that allowed the Vancouver Canucks to tie the game with under 20 seconds to play and force overtime where they’d go on to win the game and series over San Jose. Tampa Bay has seen Steve Downie get the rough treatment from referee Tim Peel in Game 4 that saw him receive a ten minute misconduct as well as a diving penalty late in the game when he was boarded by Nathan Horton.

With Game 6 upon us and the Lightning needing a win to stay alive, there’s a curious referee assignment in tonight’s game. Officials Kelly Sutherland and Eric Furlatt have drawn tonight’s assignment with Dan O’Rourke the backup in case of injury. What you may not know is that Furlatt has a bit of a history with the Lightning this season in that he’s called 24 penalties against Tampa Bay and just nine against their opponents.

Lightning coach Guy Boucher is more than aware of who will be out on the ice tonight as he was asked about it during today’s press conference.

Q. Guy, do you get concerned at all sometimes when you see the officials who are on the sheet? You get one particular tonight who’s been very lopsided the past few times.

COACH BOUCHER: 24-9 against, right? Yes, I’m aware of it. Very aware of it. Very, very aware of it. It has been a part of our discussions quite a few times in the last game, the last games we did have that particular ref. And it is lopsided.
But the only thing we can control is what we do on the ice and hope that things will be fair like it is with everybody else.

Q. Do you block that out of your mind, though? Do you have to ignore it, who it is, and just go about your business?

COACH BOUCHER: You want to ignore it, but you’re right, after repetition, it is a concern. But we’re planning on being strong mentally and forcing whoever is a ref to see that we’re very disciplined.

Having a coach come right out and say that he’s very aware of the past issues he’s had with an official is an incredible admission. It’ll be curious to see if the Lightning keep doing things their way or if they play a brand of hockey to get around what they think the official may or may not call. We’ve heard about teams in Major League Baseball scouting umpires to try and get an idea of how to pitch to their tendencies, but will we see that tonight in Tampa Bay? It’d be an out-of-the-box kind of thing to do, but given Boucher’s abilities to adjust on the fly it wouldn’t exactly be a shock if it happened.

While this provides a nice point of interest to keep an eye out in tonight’s game, the Lightning have special teams worries of their own to be more concerned about. While the Bruins power play continues to be poor, the Lightning haven’t been much better than them in this series. Tampa Bay is 2-17 on the power play in this series and those goals each came in the first two games of this series. Since then they’ve gone 0-9 on the power play as the Bruins have found ways to stifle them on the man advantage. What was a great bonus for them in previous rounds of the playoffs has turned into a problem.

If the officiating becomes the story tonight, don’t expect the fans to keep quiet about it and now that this airing of grievances has come out from Boucher, it’s going to grab headlines if it boils down that way. A little gamesmanship never hurt anyone after all.

Photo of the night: Ryan Smyth’s controversial third period no-goal

Los Angeles Kings v Ottawa Senators

Tonight’s game between the Kings and Senators in Ottawa featured a pair of dubious goal reviews. One came in the first period when Wayne Simmonds opportunity where he jammed the puck home into an empty net was waived off because Sens defenseman Matt Carkner slid into the post and very well may have helped pull the net off its moorings on purpose. The puck didn’t cross the line before the net came off and the goal was disallowed and confirmed on review.

The bigger story came in the third period with the Kings trailing 3-2 and Jack Johnson’s shot from the point was tipped into the net by Ryan Smyth with three seconds left for the apparent game-tying goal. Referee Eric Furlatt immediately waived the goal off saying Smyth tipped it in with a high stick. Once again the play would go to review and after a lengthy replay, Furlatt’s decision was confirmed. The Kings lost the game and discussion turned to whether or not the right call was made. Submitted for your approval (or not), a single snapshot and a moment in time right after Smyth tipped Johnson’s shot.

The cliché says that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and in the case of Ryan Smyth he’s hoping that those words would be “goal.” You can’t always take a picture for what it’s worth because it’s capturing one quick moment in time and not the full sequence of events, but I’m going to just say that I wish Getty Images photographer Phillip MacCallum would’ve had a video camera instead of a regular one so we could see how this played out. According to Rich Hammond of L.A. Kings Insider, the NHL would’ve liked that too.

Mike Murphy, the NHL’s senior vice president of hockey operations, told Jim Fox that video-replays officials had “no view available that would allow them to change the call on the ice,” which is why the no-goal, called on the ice with three seconds left, held up.

That’s unfortunate that with all the cameras available in the arena with two different media crews working the game that there wasn’t a shot from the ice level to give the proper perspective. As for Smyth, his thoughts on things had a hearty dose of veteran savvy.

“Well, when I tipped it I brought my stick back down, so I think it was pretty close. I thought it was a good goal. … It would have been great. Three seconds left. It would have been a nice turning point, for sure.”

It certainly would have. Instead, the Kings will have to bounce back in Montreal on Wednesday and hope that they get a little bit better luck.