Certain we will hear more crying from Joe Cooper and Lightning pundits and
Fans today about McKinnon NOT “retiring” fast enough off the Ice as Kadri receives Lehkonen’s pass as he crosses the center line and controls the at the Lightning Blue line.
First note as Lehkonen takes the pass from Kuemper in the right circle across the ice 2 Lightning retiring players are NOT within 5’ of leaving the ice.
Second McKinnon is not even facing the play and was within 5’ of exiting without being involved in play.
Finally winning goal occurred at 12:02 of Overtime. All 3 players including McKinnon are totally exhausted having skated over 3 and half periods in “Slush.”
I’m not being critical of the Tampa Rink. I’m pretty certain the conditions in Ball tomorrow night will be soft (I hope not because it hinders the speed) with a full house of crazies. But the 2 Teams shifts of retiring players were exhausted and both lines slow in leaving, like traffic exiting at rush hour.
Cooper is grasping at straws (should be as the Coach behind 1-3) but the referee and review officials made the correct “Call.” The rules clearly allow for Kuemper, Lehkonen, Kadri play when on that side (half away) of the rink and McKinnon is “a ghost” on the other half within 5’ of OFF!
Bedard and the Avs so far have not commented and they SHOULDN’T. The call is right. Glad the game ended when it did because injuries for either team were coming with the slush.
Game 5 is far from a certain victory and the fellas’ comments reflect that. Go Avs GO!