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NHL investigation says human error caused L.A.'s clock problem in February

Drew Doughty, Curtis Sanford, Jack Johnson, Fedor Tyutin

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, left, shoots and scores to win the game on Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Curtis Sanford, second from left, as Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, second from right, jumps out of the way and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin of Russia falls during the third period of their NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, in Los Angeles. The Kings won 3-2. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Remember when time actually stood still in Los Angeles back in February? The Kings were able to score a go-ahead goal with less than a second to play over the Columbus Blue Jackets thanks to the clock being slow to start after a face off.

As it turns out, the NHL’s investigation into what caused the clock to not start on time was pretty simple. Sean Fitz-Gerald of The National Post reports it was human error that worked in the Kings’ favor.

On Thursday, Peter Hurzeler, a veteran official in charge of timing at the Olympics, put it in simple terms: “It’s manual — the clock doesn’t know when it has to stop.”

It sounds like such a simple explanation, but when you have error-prone humans (something all of us are) running machines that are mostly flawless, these things will happen.

At the very least, this whole situation got us an amazingly snarky post from Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and a fascinating explanation from Kings GM Dean Lombardi about coulombs and how time functions.