A jubilant Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings finally slayed the pesky Columbus Blue Jackets. All three contests between the two have been decided by a single goal this season, including the latest buzzer beater. Except it was a buzzer beater that wasn’t and one goal, one point, could mean all the difference in the Western Conference standings.
To recap, the Kings and the Columbus Blue Jackets were tied at two late in the third. Make that very late in the third. That’s when on the power-play, Doughty broke through with 00.4 seconds left for the eventual winner. However, upon further review or not so you’d notice or anything, a malfunction with the clock, caused it to stop with 1.8 seconds. Hence the goal clearly would not have counted otherwise.
Mind you each club would’ve been awarded a point for going to the extra session and in the grand scheme of things it won’t matter much for the Blue Jackets. However, try telling that to the other teams chasing the Kings in the standings. In this “three point” NHL, one point is more crucial than ever. Just last season the Chicago Blackhawks got in by the skin of their teeth and the year before the Philadelphia Flyers qualified for the playoffs on the last day of the season as well and went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
While I applaud the NHL for investigating this matter, following the Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars 1998-99 Stanley Cup Final debacle, how can this still be happening? How is it that with an entire war room in Toronto, that this is just realized a day after and no one can do a thing about it? I mean honestly, if a malfunction like this happens at the end of a playoff series and goes unrealized, who is to say it won’t happen again, with much higher stakes on the line?
Therefore, I say the NHL ought to institute a system where if a goal is scored within the last five seconds of a period, that there is an automatic review to guard against goals scored after such a malfunction be it technical or manual. I get that there’s no foolproof replay system but let’s get a tighter system before it’s too late once again to do anything about it.
Michael Gwizdala covers the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writers. Michael is also an Associate Producer at WNYT NewsChannel 13. Additionally, Michael was once a Media Relations intern for the AHL Albany River Rats. Michael is a graduate of The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.