|Mike Smith & Shane Doan - Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images|
No, unlike their MLB and NBA brethren, NHL officials are implored by Rule 31.10 to "remain on the ice at the conclusion of each period until all players have proceeded to their dressing rooms. This means NHL referees and linesmen must observe the post-game handshake line during which they continue to hold jurisdiction over all on-ice, team, player and coach related matters.
This rules oddity gave rise to the most unusual of ejections Tuesday night—the post-game variety. After an uncalled knee of a hit—ruled controversial and egregious by Phoenix and clean by Los Angeles—by Kings captain Dustin Brown on Phoenix's Michal Rozsival in overtime of the deciding Game 5, Coyotes players grew furious at officials, continuing to protest the no-call even after Los Angeles' Dustin Penner scored the game winner at 17:42 of the period.
As the Kings celebrated a return to the Stanley Cup Finals, Coyotes captain Shane Doan and goalie Mike Smith confronted the officials, who had remained on-ice as specified by Rule 31.10. As Doan and Smith continued to berate and challenge referees Brad Watson and Kevin Pollock, they were assessed game misconduct penalties under the purview of Rule 39.5(ii), which specifically addresses unsportsmanlike conduct—obscene, profane or abusive language or gesture[s] directed at any on or off-ice official or [the use of] the name of any official coupled with any vociferous remarks—that occurs after the expiration of the game.
For the Coyotes and their stars Doan and Smith, it was truly a wait until the final possible moment of their 2012 post-season before drawing those final ejections and for referees Watson and Pollock, it was a rare series of post-game ejections necessitated by two rules unique to hockey.