On The Clock
“We were real average, quite honestly.” — Darryl Sutter
Back to work: It may have been an average performance, barely topping the NHL‘s worst club in Columbus — but the fashion in which the Kings earned the two points was anything but. Before we get to the positives from last night’s contest, and how you really couldn’t ask for a bigger momentum swing to start post – All Star break play, there’s a simple explanation for Staples Center clock controversy as Drew Doughty netted the game winner with just 0.4 seconds to play. Kings GM Dean Lombardi said it best, in response to Columbus GM Scott Howson‘s premature accusations.
“Those clocks are sophisticated instruments that calculate time by measuring electrical charges called coulombs — given the rapidity and volume of electrons that move through the measuring device the calibrator must adjust at certain points which was the delay you see. The delay is just recalibrating for the clock moving too quickly during the 10—10ths of a second before the delay. This insures that the actual playing time during a period is exactly 20 minutes.”
“That is not an opinion -— that is science -— amazing device quite frankly.”
“The clock stoppage is actually common, just not always in the last seconds of a game leading to a GWG in that final second. It is the clock’s display syncing with the internal clock/computer.”
So, to get technical, it came down to coulombs in the last-second victory against Columbus.
Would Dean Lombardi be saying the same thing if this had happened against the Kings? Maybe not, probably not. But, when you’re on the losing side of a situation like that, you tend to let frustrations get in the way of clear, calm thinking. Plus, many times have I seen Staples’ clock pause in such a fashion it did last night in the final minute of a period. Drew Doughty scored that goal prior to the 20-minute mark, case closed.
Not just Average: Kings coach Darryl Sutter was right on the money tabbing last night’s performance ‘average’, but it’s got the makings to give this club a huge boost, a great deal of momentum. If winning a game in front of a home crowd with 0.4 seconds left to play isn’t enough adrenaline to build off of leading into the season’s longest road trip, those who contributed, and in what situations, should provide some much needed optimism.
For starters, the Kings executed on two of three powerplay opportunities, which further shows the resurgence play in man-advantage situations has seen the past couple of weeks. The last time the Kings saw the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 7th, a 1-0 loss, the Kings went 0-8 on the powerplay. What a difference it can make, no?
Justin Williams, who chipped in with a powerplay goal of his own netting the first goal of last night’s contest, now has points in nine consecutive games. Williams has 35 points in his 49 appearances this season, he’s notched 11 in his current nine game scoring streak. This is huge.
Dustin Penner hounded on a turnover he caused and used his strength to find a lane straight to the net in beating a helpless Curtis Sanford for the Kings’ second tally of the night. Penner isn’t riding a point streak like Williams, but whenever you can get production from the struggling forward, you’re gladly going to take it. Plus, the guy has consistently been looking better each game.
If you were somewhere under a rock last night, here’s a clip showing multiple replays of Drew Doughty‘s goal. If you get to the :49 second mark of this video, you’ll clearly see the clock’s stoppage at 1.8 seconds. However, there’s no reason to be afraid to see this again, as it simply was the visible clock re-syncing with the internal mechanisms. 10′ths of a second can be a bit hard to keep up with, this happens more than you think. It’s difficult to notice, as the clock had the full spotlight this time around. A good goal it is, tough break for the Blue Jackets.. yet again.