Sunday, 19 January 2014

Instant Karma

I'm never one to say that the Hockey Gods keep score. People attribute coincidences with these hypothetical "Hockey Gods", and most will say that the Hockey Gods keep everything in hockey on an even keel. Throw a dirty check? The Hockey Gods will send one your way eventually unless you accept your punishment. Show up another team with a blowout? The Hockey Gods will frown upon the liberty that you took by awarding a blowout against you. Score a goal that perhaps you didn't deserve? The Hockey Gods will right that situation in time as well.

Remember when the Los Angeles Kings played the Columbus Blue Jackets on February 1, 2012 and they scored a goal because the clock malfunctioned? If you don't, this should help your memory.
The game clock in Los Angeles paused at the 1.8-second mark, allowing the Kings to score a goal that otherwise would have been disallowed. At the end of the 2011-12 season, the Columbus Blue Jackets would find themselves dead last in the NHL with 65 points, but the Los Angeles Kings qualified as the eighth-seed in the Western Conference with 95 points. They were five points better than the Calgary Flames, but the loss of one point in the course of a season may have played out differently.

I should note that the Los Angeles Kings also went on to make a couple of key moves that helped them along the way in getting to the eighth-spot in the Western Conference and eventually winning the Stanley Cup that season, so maybe the Hockey Gods had simply erased that unearned goal from the ledger?

While the Kings certainly helped themselves by acquiring a couple of players to help them get into the playoffs and eventually win the Stanley Cup - the Hockey Gods reward those who work hard as well - it appears that not all was forgotten by these Hockey Gods. There was still a disturbance within the Hockey Spectrum based on evening up that goal in Columbus.

Here's what happened last night in Detroit.
What looked like another two-point night for the Los Angeles Kings turned out to be just a single-point night after the Red Wings won in the shootout. Niklas Kronwall was given credit for the goal that was scored, and even he thought it shouldn't have counted.

"It shouldn't have counted, but at this stage of the game, where we are in the standings, we'll take it," Kronwall said. "I don't think anybody knew where the puck was. You look at the guys and everybody was waiting, 'where is it?' Then it bounced off the goalie's back and in."

Of course, the Los Angeles Kings were in stunned disbelief. You had to think that this would be clarified by the league offices, right? Well, they issued a statement that stated that the "video of the play appears to show the puck hitting the protective mesh above the glass before deflecting off goaltender Jonathan Quick and into the Los Angeles net. While the Situation Room examined the video, this is not a reviewable play therefore the referee's call on the ice stands."

Instant karma from the Hockey Gods.

So will this have an effect on how these teams finish? Los Angeles is currently in third-place in the Pacific Division, four points behind the San Jose Sharks as of today. Both have played 49 games and both have 23 regulation and overtime wins. In other words, this could cost Los Angeles home-ice advantage in their opening-round playoff series.

Detroit, however, needed the two points. They currently sit in fifth-place in the highly-competitive Atlantic Division at 52 points, three points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs. They needed to keep pace with the Male Leafs who won last night, and they did that with the two points. However, they can also cross-over if they end up with more points than the fourth-place team in the Metropolitan Conference.

That team? The Columbus Blue Jackets who have 52 points.

I don't subscribe to the Hockey Gods theory, personally. I just find it funny that the Los Angeles Kings, who earned some free points two seasons ago against Columbus, lost a point on a rather controversial goal to a team that is battling the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Or maybe the Hockey Gods simply don't like the Columbus Blue Jackets?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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