Tag: Stephen Walkom

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.

NHL explanation on Dwight King’s hit: Officials “didn’t deem it violent enough for a major”

Dwight King, Kevin Shattenkirk

Last night’s Game 1 between the Blues and Kings wasn’t without controversy as L.A.’s Dwight King hit St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo from behind on a play many felt was worthy of a five-minute major. Pietrangelo left the game with an apparent head injury and may not be able to play in Game 2.

The NHL offered up an explanation as to what referees Stephen Walkom and Eric Furlatt saw on the play and chances are Blues fans aren’t going to like hearing it.

NHL supervisor for officiating in the Blues-Kings series Kay Whitmore says that the referees didn’t initially deem the hit to be violent enough to warrant a major penalty. As for what happened when Pietrangelo was cut and bleeding from the hit, Whitmore says had officials seen it, things would’ve been different.

“There was no visible blood. If it was running down his forehead or his cheek, it’s automatic. It’s a major game-misconduct. In this instance, they didn’t see it initially right away. They didn’t see the blood running down his chin, in his beard … one of those things.”

As for supplementary discipline, Whitmore says Brendan Shanahan’s office reviews everything and if they believe action should be taken, they’ll do it. If you missed the play, have another look at it here in last night’s highlights.

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Your Boston-Washington Game 7 officials are…

Stephen Walkom

The referees for tonight’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal Game 7 between Boston and Washington are Stephen Walkom (#24) and Eric Furlatt (#27).

Working the lines will be Greg Devorski (#54) and Steve Barton (#59).


— Walkom’s one of the league’s most veteran officials. He formerly served as the NHL’s vice president and director of officiating before coming out of retirement in 2009. He’s since worked the 2010 and 2011 Stanley Cup finals.

— Along with Dan O’Halloran, Walkom called the somewhat-famous “infraction free” Game 7 between Boston and Tampa Bay in last year’s Eastern Conference finals.

From Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe:

This was not just a game of clean, breathtaking, exquisite hockey. It was a game of clean, breathtaking, exquisite, and penalty-free hockey.

That’s correct. Neither referee Dan O’Halloran nor referee Stephen Walkom saw the need to raise his right hand to signify an infraction. That’s because no player wished to be the guy whose borderline tripping, slashing, boarding, interference, holding the stick, or any other kind of penalty would lead to a damaging power play. If this meant there was less hitting than one might expect, so be it.

Roughing? Are you mad? Not in this game.

“It was a credit to both teams’ discipline and attention to detail,’’ Boucher said.

“I think the referees tonight let the two teams decide the outcome,’’ declared Bruins mentor Claude Julien. “I thought the referees handled themselves extremely well.’’

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first penalty-free playoff game in the last 20 years.

— Walkom’s come under fire this postseason for his involvement in two controversial incidents. The first was the Matt Carkner-Brian Boyle “fight” during Game 2 of Ottawa-New York, the second was not calling a penalty on Raffi Torres for the Marian Hossa hit.

(Note: Walkom worked both those games with fellow referee Ian Walsh.)

— Furlatt’s claim to fame this postseason was working the contentious Game 3 between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. You know, the game that featured 24 minor penalties, six fighting majors, four 10-minute misconducts, three game misconducts and a match penalty.

(For more, read this piece in Sportsnet Magazine from Gare Joyce.)

— Devorski and Barton were the linesmen for Boston’s 4-3 overtime win in Game 6.

Video: Referee Walkom throws solid hit on Timonen

Philadelphia Flyers v Chicago Blackhawks - Stanley Cup Game Two

Late in the third period of Philadelphia’s 5-1 thrashing of Washington, referee Stephen Walkom decided it was time to teach the Caps a thing or two about defense:

That’s how you separate man from puck right there. Shoulder-to-chest, BOOM! Then let Roman Hamrlik exit the zone.

Walkom, you’ll recall, returned to officiating in 2009 after leaving the ice to take a position with the NHL’s Hockey Operations department following the lockout. He’s widely regarded as one of the game’s best referees, though he could be hearing from Brendan Shanahan about leaving his feet on that hit.

Tonight’s officials have Game 7 experience from this season on their side

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two
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One way or another the officials have played a role in how things go in the playoffs. While 98% of the time (a rough guesstimation) they’re able to keep things under control and do things the right way, there’s always those slivers of doubt and bewilderment should they get a call wrong. In tonight’s Game 7 we’ll have a pair of familiar faces officiating the game and guys that have already done a Game 7 in these playoffs.

Getting the job of handling Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals tonight are Dan O’Halloran and Stephen Walkom. Jean Morin and Jay Sharrers will handle the lines but the focus will be on O’Halloran and Walkom. For these two, this isn’t their first Game 7 dance in these playoffs and if you’re wondering how they might handle things tonight, if how they handled Game 7 between Boston and Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals is any clue then don’t expect too many whistles.

In that game, there were zero penalties called as Boston was able to lock things down 1-0 in that Game 7 and move on to the Stanley Cup finals. The zero penalties was the first time that had happened in  a playoff game since 1990. To think we’ll see the same thing tonight out of these two teams that have been at each other’s throats through six games might be asking a lot.

When asked about that today, Claude Julien says he doesn’t expect things to be at all similar in how things are handled.

“I don’t know if it really matters because he’s been physical so far and it hasn’t affected our game. We can say right now in this series that the penalties cost us a game, so we just have to go out there and play, there are no guarantees that just because there were no penalties in the last game seven that it is going to be the same. To be honest with you, I doubt it, the way it’s been played. But nonetheless I think our focus has to remain the same. Good penalty killing and hopefully our power play does a good job tonight. And five-on-five we have to bring our best game,” Julien said.

The addition of O’Halloran to Game 7 is interesting because he officiated in Game 6 with Kelly Sutherland. As the boys at Kurtenblog note, Sutherland had a bit of a curious incident in Game 6 in which he got in between Henrik Sedin and Brad Marchand after Marchand took five or six jabs at Sedin’s face late in the game without a penalty being called nor a Sedin retaliation.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun noted the exchange and Sutherland apparently doesn’t have much a trigger finger when it comes to tossing a guy in the box for doing something obviously wrong, at least according to Sedin.

“Maybe after the fifth. But I took six. What can I do?” said Sedin, clearly agitated after being Marchand’s punching bag in the third period.

An emotional Sedin said something afterward to referee Kelly Sutherland.

“I asked him why he didn’t call the penalty. He said he was going to,” Sedin said.

With Game 7 figuring to be a powder keg-like situation, that lack of ability to control a situation is an absolute no-go. With Walkom, O’Halloran, and Sutherland getting the bulk of the work in the finals, seeing Sutherland not get the call to do this game is certainly worthy of a perked eyebrow.

The officials will give the guys all the room they need to decide the game on their own terms, but should things get out of hand with anything ranging from iffy hits to errant flops on the ice, they’ll make sure to act fast to put an end to it. The officials don’t want to be the reason for deciding a game, but wise words on these sorts of things stem from the Rush song “Freewill”:

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

Here’s to hoping all the decisions made tonight are made with correct convictions.