You won’t find a story about it on NHL.com Thursday morning, but the NHL will be hearing about it for awhile as it’s the talk of the hockey world everywhere else: The Tampa Bay Lighting are insistent that Nazem Kadri’s game winning goal in overtime of Game-4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night should not have counted because of ‘too-many-men-on-the-ice”.
Kadri’s 3-to-2 game winner came at the 12:02 mark of overtime where video replays of the sequence clearly show Nathan MacKinnon, the man Kadri replaced, still leaving the ice surface as a sixth skater well into the play with Kadri having puck possession.
Tampa Bay Head Coach Jon Cooper was so upset he couldn’t address the media.
Con’s to Cooper’s postgame concerns: Did MacKinnon actually impact the play? Was the opportunity and goal more the result of a bad Tampa Bay line change — like in the 2nd period, it’s the long change in the 1st OT as the team’s benches are further away from each’s respective defensive zone — and would anything have been different if MacKinnon had made it to his bench much earlier.
Also, it was a smart hockey play started by Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper, who quickly head-manned the puck during those line changes. Plus a great finish by Kadri, simply beating the Lightning D-men to the net and scoring a beautiful goal up under the crossbar.
Why it’s a legit gripe: Was the Lightning’s right side D-man at the time, Mikhail Sergachev, distracted by MacKinnon’s presence, thinking during the sequence he was a potential factor in the play?
Clearly not by the time Kadri receives the puck. MacKinnon is at the bench by then and Sergachev is caught flat-footed. Lightning D-man Ryan McDonagh and forward Steven Stamkos were late on the backcheck.
Either way, the play is not reviewable or reversable under NHL rule 38:10.
This was a clear case of “a missed penalty call subject to the judgment or discretion of the On-Ice Officials”.
In other words, too bad, so sad, the Colorado Avalanche head home with a 3-1 series lead.
We’ve alluded to this before, but how bad is the leadership group in Winnipeg, how off is the dressing room in general, that it forced Winnipeg Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice to resign that position during the season on December 17th and walk away from the NHL club he started coaching nine years before.
“They need a new voice,” he said at the time.
Because if Maurice was so desperate to step away from the game in general, it sure didn’t take him very long to find his legs, or his happy place.
Maurice accepted the job as head coach of the Florida Panthers on Wednesday. Pretty heady stuff as he replaces Andrew Brunette, who went 51-18-6 for the Panthers and finished as a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year. Thanks for coming.
Among other things, Maurice’s new happy place is on average 30-to-40 degrees warmer in January than was his not-so-happy place. Grab some SPF ‘Moe’.
There’s also no state income tax in Florida.
Meanwhile, what the Jets need is a shake-up of the ‘core’ and a new captain.