January 21, 2011
Los Angeles Kings coach Terry Murray said the following after this goal by Martin Hanzal(notes) of the Phoenix Coyotes was allowed to stand on Thursday night: "I don't know why we have video replay in the National Hockey League."
The Coyotes went on to win, 2-0, as the Kings dropped to 2-10-0 in their last 12 games. From the AP:
Replays showed that the blade of Hanzal's stick was clearly above the crossbar and nose-level with Kings defenseman Matt Greene(notes) when he made contact with the puck. But referee Justin St. Pierre, standing behind the net, immediately ruled it was a goal. Officials in Toronto upheld the call after a lengthy review, and the incredulous sellout crowd voiced its disapproval.
From Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider: "Mike Murphy, the NHL's senior vice president of hockey operations, told FSN's Jim Fox that there was no conclusive replay that would have overturned the goal."
Quisp, who blogs at Jewels From The Crown, felt the available footage was definitive enough, writing in a post titled "That Was Literally the Worst Call I Have Ever Seen in My Life":
Martin Hanzal is 6'4", in his bare feet. He's 6'6" in skates. The crossbar is 4' high. Let's forget for the moment that everyone in the free world, including Hanzal, could see that was a high stick. Hanzal's stick is above his shoulders when he bats the puck in. The only way his shoulders are 4' off the ice (or less) in that situation is if he's bent over (he isn't; he's upright) or his head and neck are substantially more than two feet long.
Frustrations are obviously running high with the Kings, so it's understandable -- while at the same time regrettable -- that GM Dean Lombardi played the conspiracy card in speaking about Murphy after the game. From Rich Hammond:
Lombardi said, speaking of Murphy, "When the guy in Toronto making the decisions on the goals, in Ottawa and the one tonight, wanted the G.M.'s job in L.A. and was not happy about not getting it, you have to assume you are going to get those type of calls. However, we have put ourselves in a position where these calls have a monumental effect on our season, and we're going to have to find a way out of it ourselves."
The Ottawa no-goal Lombardi is referencing was this Ryan Smyth tally that was waived off due to a high stick and then upheld via replay.
Like that night in November, the Kings were again robbed by replay on Thursday night. Meanwhile, Mike Murphy(notes) is probably busy figuring out how he went from being a Los Angeles Kings Sleeper Agent programmed to foil the Vancouver Canucks to someone with a professional grudge against the Kings.
UPDATE: Too bad the War Room doesn't also have the Associated Press photo feed (via Battle of Cali):