In their first time with home ice advantage in 6 straight series, the Los Angeles Kings were poised to cash in. Up 1-0 against the San Jose Sharks in the series, with a 2 goal advantage midway through the second period the Kings were at a decided advantage with Jonathan Quick in goal. But the Sharks rallied off 3 straight goals to take a 3-2 lead late into the third period. But powerplays and 1 crucial call proved to be the ultimate difference makers.
If you missed the game here are the highlights minus 1 controversial play.
With just under 3 minutes to play, San Jose’s Brad Stuart took a tripping penalty. And 30 seconds later Marc-Edouard Vlasic took a controversial delay of game penalty when he flipped the puck over the boards in his defensive end. The rule is very cut and dry. If you shoot it over the boards in your defensive end it’s a penalty. It’s a very stiff but accepted deterrent. Here is the controversial play:
it would have been easy for the refs to have said it was deflected. Considering the trajectory of the puck and the situation he clearly was not trying to shoot it over. The game could have continued with the Kings on the powerplay, and the Kings might have been able to tie it up with the man advantage.
But when it comes to officiating in the year 2013 one phrase trumps all others when it comes to officiating: Get it right
The refs did not settle for an accepted call, but they tried to get it right on the ice. It’s impossible to tell if they were right from the video, but from a King’s fan it’s a good chance they did.
The puck does not touch Jeff Carter‘s stick on its way out of play. From the second slow motion replay, you can see Carter clearly influences the play though as he stick checks the stick of Vlasic. But it could have touched his jersey. It’s impossible to tell if the black puck touches the black home jersey before it gently nestles into the first few rows at STAPLES Center.
What resulted was a 5 on 3 rebound goal from the captain Dustin Brown, and less than 20 seconds later with a one man advantage a tap in from Trevor Lewis after Tyler Toffoli beat his man and slid the puck across the front of the goal. The Kings had 6 powerplays, 3 goals from those penalties, and 2 wins after 2 games. Advantage Los Angeles.
It’s unfortunate that a play that the Sharks, Kings, and refs ultimately were helpless to prevent decided a pivotal playoff game. The puck slowly rising up and out of play. But ultimately I think the refs got the call right, even if the spirit of the rule could have allowed them to resume the game without the call on the ice.