San Jose's 6-5 win over Los Angeles came by way of a shootout on Thursday night and included a loads of goals and fodder for highlight reels. But all of that was overshadowed by a controversial play made by Sharks forward Ryane Clowe.. from the bench.
With the game tied at five and fewer than three minutes remaining, Kings forward Jarret Stoll was streaking up ice along the boards. As he skated by the Sharks' bench, Stoll suddenly lost the puck and the entire Staples Center erupted.
Clowe stuck out his stick from the bench and knocked the puck away from Stoll, ruining what could have been a 3-against-2 break. None of the officials noticed the egregious interference and no call was made. The game went into overtime and Clowe's Sharks eventually won in a shootout.
In an even more bizarre twist, Clowe flat out denied any wrongdoing after the game.
"I have no idea what you guys are talking about," he said. "I'll have to see the video or something; you'll have to show me on video."
Kings players didn't need to see the video.
"I'm not sure how all four of them missed it. I thought it was pretty evident," said Kings captain Dustin Brown.
"I don't see why he shouldn't (get suspended)," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "To me, that's like a guy running down the football field and a guy comes out and tackles him to keep him from getting a touchdown. I don't see how this is any different."
Speaking of football, the play seemed to be reminiscent of when New York Jets' strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi tripped Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll on a punt return. Alosi was suspended and fined $25,000 for the incident and he eventually resigned a few weeks later.
But according to the NHL rules, Clowe's interference would have only warranted a minor penalty.
56.2 Minor Penalty - A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who interferes with or impedes the progress of an opponent who is not in possession of the puck.