The clock at the Air Canada Center was set for puck drop between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs.  It read 20:00, anticipating the start of play.

The puck dropped.  The action began. The clock, however, did not.


Toronto’s Air Canada Centre was in clear violation of NHL Rule 4.2, which covers Timing Devices.

Each rink shall be provided with some form of electronic clock for the purpose of keeping the spectators, players and  game officials accurately informed as to all time elements at all stages of the game including the time remaining to be played in any period  and the time remaining to be served by at least five penalized players on each Team.

Time recording for both game time and penalty time shall show time remaining to be played or served.

The game time clock shall measure the time remaining in tenths of a second during the last minutes of each period

Obviously, Toronto’s clock was showing none of the above.

“It’s like when you’re a kid out on the street,” said Toronto’s Frederik Andersen, of the broken clock. “You just play until it gets dark.”

With the scoreboard clock non-functional, it was up to the rest of the crew to pick up the slack.

Leafs’ PA announcer Mike Ross made periodic announcements about the time remaining in the period and in any penalties.

The NHL’s Off-Ice Timekeeper, normally tasked with stopping and starting the game clock, had to take matters into his own hands.  Per rule 34.4:

“The Game Timekeeper shall assist to verify game time using an additional timing device (League-approved stopwatch).”

Though the problems persisted over the first 40 minutes of play, the scoreboard clock was back for the third period.

“Thankfully there weren’t any dangerous plays with guys playing past the buzzer,” said Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk.

When the final seconds counted down – and they did, right up there on the multi-million-dollar scoreboard at the Air Canada Centre – the Leafs played right up to that buzzer, claiming a 4-2 victory.


(Photo via Terry Koshan @koshtorontosun )