The Columbus Blue Jackets' record this season when leading the game after two periods is a dismal 10-6-2, meaning they blow leads in the final 20 minutes almost half of the time. If they enter the third period tied, they're 2-6-3. If they're trailing, they're 1-20-1. In short, they are poor in third periods.
That's bad enough, but the Blue Jackets aren't content just to fail the final frame -- they often do so spectacularly. Columbus has surrendered the game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation three times this season: In Ottawa, versus Nashville, and during Wednesday night's visit to the Los Angeles Kings, when Drew Doughty scored the game-winner with less than a second to go.
But this one might not be Columbus' fault. Watch the clock: With 1.8 seconds remaining, it freezes for nearly an entire second, and Doughty scores the goal in the phantom time:
But maybe this was only on the television clock?
No, this was indeed a game clock issue. Here's the super slo-mo of it:
Now, the clock does move a little faster after it stirs from its coma, but it still gains at least half a second, and considering Doughty scores with 00.3 seconds remaining, we have a genuine controversy on our hands.
To make matters worse, referee Stephen Walkom initially ruled no-goal on the play, but after reviewing the faulty game clock, the call was overturned. For those arguing that video review is the infallible future: bah and humbug.
Needless to say, Columbus interim coach Todd Richards was disappointed. From Blue Jackets Xtra:
["]I don't have any official report," Blue Jackets interim coach 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."
People will argue that the Blue Jackets didn't really need the extra point, but think of it from the perspective of the Kings, who gained a point they might not have earned otherwise, especially since they're already the proud owners of 10 loser points, tops in the Western Conference.
Considering how tight things are in the West, it will be interesting to see if this additional point has any bearing on the final standings. Can you imagine a second team missing the playoffs just because the universe hates the Columbus Blue Jackets?
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