clock malfunction

NHL investigation says human error caused L.A.’s clock problem in February


Remember when time actually stood still in Los Angeles back in February? The Kings were able to score a go-ahead goal with less than a second to play over the Columbus Blue Jackets thanks to the clock being slow to start after a face off.

As it turns out, the NHL’s investigation into what caused the clock to not start on time was pretty simple. Sean Fitz-Gerald of The National Post reports it was human error that worked in the Kings’ favor.

On Thursday, Peter Hurzeler, a veteran official in charge of timing at the Olympics, put it in simple terms: “It’s manual — the clock doesn’t know when it has to stop.”

It sounds like such a simple explanation, but when you have error-prone humans (something all of us are) running machines that are mostly flawless, these things will happen.

At the very least, this whole situation got us an amazingly snarky post from Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and a fascinating explanation from Kings GM Dean Lombardi about coulombs and how time functions.

Jackets-Rangers produces another clock controversy


When the Columbus Blue Jackets go on the road, it seems like clock controversies follow them. The incident involving the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center robbed them of a chance to go to overtime while Sunday’s incident went in their “favor.”

Here’s video of what maybe should have been a 3-1 goal for the New York Rangers in the waning moments of the second period. Paul Kukla mentions that the Columbus feed showed the goal happening with .2 seconds left while the Rangers one has it with .1:

The Rangers ended up winning 3-2 in overtime, so it didn’t really hurt the Rangers. The Blue Jackets still seem primed to get the best odds of winning the draft lottery, too. With that in mind, this boils down to just being something the league should have its eye on when the games matter for – you  know – both teams.

Kings clock investigation to be interrupted by The Grammys

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The investigation into whether or not there were nefarious shenanigans behind the mysterious clock stoppage at Staples Center is going on hiatus.

No, Colin Campbell isn’t lacking in witnesses or other people to talk to to find out if the clock hold up that cost the Columbus Blue Jackets a shot at overtime against the L.A. Kings last weekend, instead the NHL is clearing out of town to make room for The Grammys. Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun has the details.

Bruce Springsteen, Adele and even Jack Black will be clock blockers all week, preventing the NHL’s IT people from getting into Staples Center until Feb. 13 to test the Daktronics timer.

Well who are we to get in the way of “The Boss” anyhow?

Having to wait things out for a week will only keep the Blue Jackets from finding out if their hard-luck loss was due to a mechanical malfunction or not. Sure Dean Lombardi believes he’s got science on his side, but the Blue Jackets would just like to know whether they got hosed or not.

The league already said the result won’t be changed, but getting a moral victory might be nice since wins of any kind have been hard for Columbus to come by.

PHT Morning Skate: Where the clock hasn’t always been good in L.A.

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Helene Elliott has been doing some digging and finds out that the clock issues the Blue Jackets had at Staples Center aren’t exactly something new. (L.A. Times)

The Leafs and Senators go at it again today and the Leafs are going to need to come out all guns blazing. (The Globe And Mail)

Brad Boyes and Paul Gaustad have seen their roles change for the better lately in Buffalo. (Buffalo News)

Looks like Kris Versteeg figured things out against the Jets last night. (Sun-Sentinel)

Meanwhile, the Jets can’t figure out how to get things done in back-to-back games. That could be a problem. (Globe And Mail)

Columbus’ Mark Dekanich won’t see a game in the NHL this season after undergoing season-ending ankle surgery. (Puck-Rakers)

Losing five in a row isn’t sitting too well with the Blackhawks. (

Looks like Nail Yakupov is ready to be in the NHL after being suspended two games for missing the Top Prospects game. (TSN)

The Blues sale to Tom Stillman is still on track despite missing a deadline to get the deal done. (Post-Dispatch)

Mikhail Grabovski is trying to make sure the Leafs hang on to him and reward him with a long-term deal. (TSN)

What’s the German way to say, “carpe diem” after all? Thomas Greiss is following that mantra in San Jose. (

The Canadiens have hired a sports psychologist to help them figure themselves out. Perhaps they should send him to Pierre Gauthier’s office first. (Globe And Mail)

Bettman on clock malfunction: “We are taking this very seriously”

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If you were expecting the typical round of vague non-answers from the NHL regarding the clock malfunction in Los Angeles, commissioner Gary Bettman isn’t providing them. Bettman acknowledged that human or technological errors could have occurred, but he didn’t dodge the issue, as you can read on

“Not good, not acceptable — if [the clock] had run straight through, the game would have been at a tie at that point, would have gone to overtime,” Bettman said. “And maybe L.A. would have won anyway, maybe not. That’s not the point. We are taking this very seriously.”

“If we had any reason to believe that this was intentional we would deal with it in a whole different way, but we’re going to investigate it, get to the bottom of it.”

Wait, so does this mean that we cannot rely on Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi’s seemingly flawless scientific explanation? Bummer.

The story includes this intriguing idea that might give the NHL a little more ammo in avoiding – or at least identifying – these problems in the future.

Bettman added the League’s IT department is in the process of having specially manufactured high-definition cameras installed in the nets prior to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he’s asked about a possible “software upgrade or application where if a clock isn’t moving the way it’s supposed to, it’ll set off alarms in the Situation Room in Toronto, so that we can at least know.”

Interesting stuff.

More on this story:

Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson fumes on the subject, but the team takes his rant off their official site.

Other Western Conference playoff contenders might be upset that the Kings seemingly got a free point and win, but Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster says his team isn’t crying about it.

Here’s your uncomfortable headline of the day: “Vancouver Grizzlies feel the Blue Jackets’ pain.”