Feb 2, 2012, 7:30 AM EDT
If you want a single video clip that summarizes how Columbus Blue Jackets fans must feel about this season, this Drew Doughty game-winner might be it:
That goal sealed the deal at 3-2 with somewhere between .5 and .3 seconds left in the third period, which is just brutal – and typical, really. Actually, what’s truly brutal is that it appears the clock “malfunctioned” in Los Angeles and allowed the goal to take place:
Here’s how Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch describes the mishap:
Replays shown by both Fox Sports Ohio and Fox Sports West, which covers the Kings, show the game clock mysteriously stopping for at least a full second with 1.8 seconds remaining. Had the clock kept running — the puck was still in play, so it should have — the buzzer would have sounded before Doughty dropped to a knee and buried the loose puck.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact that NHL referee Stephen Walkon initially ruled no-goal on the ice. It was that ruling — no goal, time expired — that Walkon sought to confirm when he skated over to off-ice officials for a replay. The looked only at the time when the puck crossed the line and ruled that it did go into the net with time remaining.
Portzline caught up with Blue Jackets interim head coach Todd Richards, who was understandably upset.
“I don’t have any official report,” Todd Richards said. “But watching the replay and talking to the producer who does our show (on Fox Sports Ohio), the clock stopped at 1.8 and stopped for 1.5 seconds. They scored with 0.5 … I’m really disappointed for the players.”
The one saving grace is that Columbus is well out of the playoff race, but on the Kings’ end, that break might have earned them an extra point and win that might not have happened had the game gone into overtime. This solidifies Los Angeles’ spot in seventh place in the West at 60 points while the Blue Jackets remain, well, just as deep in the basement as they were before.
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