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Kings Not Happy With Being A Man Short Late In Regulation

from Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider,

One of the final twists in tonight’s wild game came with 6:13 remaining in regulation, when Kings winger Kyle Clifford was given a match penalty for a hit on Phoenix’s Gilbert Brule. Clifford had only been out of the penalty box for 24 seconds after he served a tripping penalty. Brule was very slow to get up, after what appeared to be a hit to the head, and in a post-whistle scrum, Clifford tussled with Keith Yandle. Yandle got a two-minute roughing penalty, so the teams were 4-on-4 for two minutes and then the Coyotes got a three-minute power play, on which they scored to make it a 4-4 game. Afterward, the Kings were most upset with the way the penalties were called. Initially, matching two-minute penalties were on the scoreboard, but after an officials’ conference, the call was changed. That didn’t sit well with Dustin Brown or Darryl Sutter after the game.

continued and watch the hit bolow.  The Coyotes did win in the shootout, 5-4.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kyle+clifford



Stupid play by Clifford, any way you look at it.  Came in way too late.. That lack of discipline typifies a night where a team blows a 3-0 lead to lose in OT.

Posted by toolazytologin on 02/22/12 at 01:52 PM ET


That was late.  Two minutes.  There’s no way that should’ve been five.

Posted by Garth on 02/22/12 at 02:00 PM ET


don’t like the call, then don’t make a blind side hit to the head. The penalty was called as ‘intent to injure’ I’ve never seen that called at a game I was at before.

His issue sounds like he didn’t like what the time keeper put up on the board. It was 2 minutes to both Yandle and Clifford, then after the ref conference (which is allowed on a major penalty), they changed it to a 5 minute match penalty. A little bit of confusion, yes, but no reason to get bent out of shape about the penalty time on the score board. He should be more upset with his player making a stupid play, taking a penalty, and then letting the Coyotes PP (that had already scored twice) tie it up, and eventually win.

Clifford is going to be suspended. That is a textbook example of the type of hit the league doesn’t want. 

Hope Brule is alright. The Yotes already have 4 starters out.

Posted by aaron in phoenix from Section 102 on 02/22/12 at 02:06 PM ET


then don’t make a blind side hit to the head.

He absolutely didn’t make a blindside hit to the head.  At all.  Clifford hit him directly in the front.  How much more in front of him should Clifford have been?

How about getting bent out of shape because there was no penalty called at all before the scrum?  How about if the NHL decides to award the Kings a goal this morning, after the fact, changing the outcome of the game.  Would that be whining.

Posted by Garth on 02/22/12 at 02:23 PM ET


And I would bet money that he doesn’t get suspended.

Posted by Garth on 02/22/12 at 02:24 PM ET


Clifford is going to be suspended. That is a textbook example of the type of hit the league doesn’t want.

Posted by aaron in phoenix from Section 102 on 02/22/12 at 12:06 PM ET

I think not, aaron.

The NHL is concerned about hits from behind, hits targeting the head, hits where players leave their feet…  Again, this was interference as it was a late hit, but the fact that the head may have taken some impact on the follow through is hardly grounds for suspension. The intent to injure moniker was an overreaction by the refs that Shanny won’t see in the same light, though I don’t feel bad for the Kings as it was a foolish play to begin with.

Posted by toolazytologin on 02/22/12 at 02:36 PM ET


Suspended pending a hearing, apparently.

I’m shocked but hey, I was wrong on Shanny.

Posted by toolazytologin on 02/22/12 at 02:58 PM ET


Well, continuing this discussion with myself, I guess that initial “suspended pending” status was due to the match penalty that he was issued.  Clifford was ultimately not suspended and is playing tonight.


Posted by toolazytologin on 02/22/12 at 05:20 PM ET

pautna's avatar

Clean hit, borderline late (please watch it in real time), no big deal. That’s hockey.

Posted by pautna on 02/22/12 at 07:50 PM ET


I don’t know how this didn’t warrant a 2-game suspension.  I saw a reverse angle of the hit somewhere online (I forget the link now, but if you look around, you can probably find it), that clearly showed contact between Clifford’s shoulder and underneath Brule’s chin.  he initial point of contact may have been just below the chin, but the angle DID show that clifford CLEARLY DID leave his feet, and his momentum upward eventually led to the contact with the chin area.  And I don’t know how anyone could possibly say it wasn’t a blind side hit, unless you’re a biased Kings fan maybe.  Brule was clearly looking up ice and took a hit from the back-left.  This is indisputable by any sane human being.

In any event, the Kings lost that game and the next one, so they probably got pretty much what they deserved either way.

Posted by david k on 02/23/12 at 12:03 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

^^ Nice try.  Shanahan got this one right, actually.

Somehow I picture you blowing up huge freeze frame images on a giant monitor and looking for shadows under his skate blades in order to say that Clifford left his feet. Look at some of the flagrant plays that were suspended earlier this season and note the differences (Ovie vs Michalek, is one that you should be familiar with as a ‘yotes fan). Here, even if Clifford was somehow in fact a half inch above the ice, it definitely wasn’t before contact, and it’s permissible for your feet to come off the ground after contact. That happens all the time when you make a check.

Your comment about the point of contact and follow through falls victim to the same aspect of the interpretation of legal checks.  Nobody wants to see injuries, but if you hit the chest or shoulder with a legal hit - albeit late - and the head is hit in the follow through, that’s perfectly fair game.

If you thought that this was worth a multi-game suspension, what did you think about Brown’s hit on Klesla last week.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 02/23/12 at 01:55 PM ET

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