If you watched the Los Angeles Kings take on the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday night, you may have witnessed something a bit, um, irregular towards the end of regulation when the clock stopped briefly in the final seconds of the third period, giving the Kings' Drew Doughty just enough time to net the winning goal, securing a most infuriating loss for the Blue Jackets.
Now the NHL is investigating the incident, which could prove to have playoff implications for both teams in the process.
Here's a look at what happened. The puck 'officially' crossed the line with under a second left, but when the Blue Jackets took a look at the film afterwards, they noticed the clock was blatantly frozen for about a full second just prior to the goal, meaning it shouldn't have even been scored. A phantom goal indeed.
Colin Campbell, the NHL's Executive Vice-President of hockey operations, said this about it on Thursday:
"We didn't even look to go back and say ‘OK, did something happen (with the clock)?"' Colin Campbell, the NHL's senior executive vice-president of hockey operations, said Thursday morning. "When it crosses the line (and) you review it, you back the puck out and you see what the clock was. And the clock was 0.4 (seconds).
"And then after the game, minutes after the game, we see (it and say) ‘Holy cow."'
Campbell confirmed that the goal should not have counted, but the result of the game will stand regardless.
Now the question of how this may affect playoff position in the Western Conference arrises, as Los Angeles currently sits seventh in the conference. The Kings are five points up on eighth-place Minnesota and six points ahead of both Dallas and Calgary.
For more on the Kings, head over toJewels From The Crown.