It wouldn’t be the playoffs without a little taste of controversy now would it? During the third period of tonight’s Kings-Canucks tilt in Los Angeles with the Kings holding a 4-2 lead, what appeared to be a Vancouver goal by Daniel Sedin to make it a 4-3 game.
After a lengthy review session with the war room in Toronto, the powers that be judged that Daniel Sedin directed the puck into the net with a kicking motion. Sedin scored shortly after that legitimately to make it 4-3 for real, but the Kings would score again shortly after that to make it 5-3 and finish off the Canucks to take Game 3.
Mike Murphy, the NHL head of hockey operations, jumped on Hockey Night in Canada after the game to help clear up the situation for soon-to-don tinfoil hat Canucks fans and did nothing to help ease their minds.
[Murphy] Said “it wasn’t a distinct kicking motion, but a kicking motion” nonetheless.
Fans, of course, are zeroing in on the whole “distinct kicking motion” part of the rulebook, but HNIC’s Elliotte Freidman points out something interesting that managed to fly under the radar of most fans.
[Murphy] Said DVD was sent to teams — “an addendum to the rule” — outlining this kind of play. Definitely believed intent was there to kick.
Whether the intent was there or not can be argued until the cows come home and each side can claim a victory one way or another. What’s stunning here is the league’s lack of communication with fans about these rule clarifications and adjustments. It’s harder to stomach these stories especially with the league rulebook being online and making it expressly clear about the now infamous “distinct kicking motion” coming under fire now.
What helps bring this into question even more is there’s a very recent incident where a puck went into the net thanks to a rather suspect foot motion from Todd Bertuzzi in a game against Columbus back on April 1st. The original call on the ice was no goal but was overruled by the Toronto war room and called a goal. Just consider it more fodder for those searching for answers they’re not going to get.
All that aside though, if Vancouver wants to stay out of trouble in future games perhaps getting some work on the special teams in practice could help. Vancouver’s power play went 0-4 while their penalty kill managed to go 0-3 allowing three power play goals to the Kings.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.
Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.
Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.
Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.
The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.
Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.
After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.
Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.
MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.
But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.
“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”
Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.
“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”
Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.
Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.
Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.
SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.
Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.
The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.
Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.
Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.