You know there’s some dodgy stuff going down when the NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations feels he needs to make a statement regarding the ending of a game. Such was the case in Washington in the waning seconds of Game 4 of the Bruins/Capitals series on Thursday night.
With Washington clinging to a one goal lead, there were 9.5 seconds showing on the clock as the linesman was ready to drop a crucial faceoff in the Capitals end. Here’s where it gets interesting—let’s see if you can follow along:
- The time keeper realized that 0.9 seconds needed to be added to the clock.
- The time keeper contacts the off-ice officials down at ice level.
- The off-ice officials try to get the attention of anyone wearing stripes on the ice, but were unable to alert either linesman or referee before the puck is dropped.
- The time keeper doesn’t start the clock until 5.3 seconds after the puck is dropped.
- The Bruins create a dangerous scoring chance, only to be denied as time expired by Caps’ rookie netminder Braden Holtby.
Got all that? They needed to add about a second to the clock—and instead, added just over five seconds. Thank God the Bruins didn’t cash in on that last second shot, because all hell would have broken loose. Why? Because the league said they were immediately aware of the problem and wouldn’t have allowed anything after 5.3 seconds.
Here are the last few seconds:
After the game, NHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy issues a statement regarding the end of the game:
“With 9.5 seconds remaining in the third period, there was a stoppage and resulting face-off in the Washington zone. During the stoppage, the game clock operator and Series Manager determined that 0.9 seconds should have been added to the time remaining in the third period and attempted to contact the on-ice officials to delay the puck drop to accommodate making the necessary clock adjustment to 10.4 seconds remaining.
“The off-ice officials were not able to attract the attention of the referees or linesmen despite sounding the horn, which was not audible due to crowd noise, and the puck was dropped.
“The NHL Situation Room in Toronto immediately was aware that the clock had not started for 5.3 seconds after the face-off and, therefore, would have disallowed a goal scored with 5.3 seconds or less showing on the clock.”
So we could say that the Bruins were deprived of 0.9 seconds on the clock—except for the fact that they gained 5.3 seconds. Can you imagine the chaos if they scored with less than 0.9 seconds? Either way, Holtby saved the day for both the Caps in Game 4 and the league on the PR side of things. You may not have noticed, but the NHL has had a few PR problems in the first week of the playoffs this year.
At least we won’t have to talk about coulombs for the next couple of days between games.