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Critiquing the coaches challenge process in the NHL

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers bench celebrates a goal 10-22

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The NHL made the right decision expanding into the realm of instant replay and coaches’ challenges. The MLB has implemented in to great effect, and challenges have been a long standing rule in the NFL.

Now, an NHL coach can challenge a goal, only on the basis of a potential offsides or goalie interference. It’s worked to some effect, but there needs to be one major change to the process.

Don’t let the on ice official make the call to overturn a goal or not.

Think about it this way. You’re the on ice official that just emphatically waved off a goal, telling the player who scored that his argument is wrong and the goal shouldn’t be allowed. The coach challenges, you look at the monitor, and there was no contact with the goaltender, so it should be a good goal.

Maybe I’m overthinking things, but couldn’t a sense of pride get in the way? Who wants to go out on the ice and admit they’re wrong after vehemently defending themselves. It’s like every other argument that happens, not necessarily pertaining to hockey. Admitting that you were wrong about something stinks.

Instead of having the on ice official make that call, let someone with no vested interest in the game at the review center in Toronto make that call. They’ll take a look at a replay, give an unbiased call of what they see, and that’s the ruling that should be official.

The Jarret Stoll no-goal call in Philadelphia makes no sense to me, and the people on Twitter seemed to share the same feelings at the time. Stoll got a piece of the puck, redirected it on net where there was some confusion in the crease before it slid into the back of the net.

The on ice official immediately waved it off for goalie interference, but Vigneault challenged it. When looking at the replay, Stoll’s stick lightly came into contact with Mason’s glove, but not enough to prevent him from moving or stopping the shot. Here’s the play in question so you can make your own judgement.

Perhaps someone in Toronto would have made the same call, but it should be them making the call. Take the power out of the official. He made his call, and may not want to admit that he was wrong. The decision should be out of his hands, and made by an unbiased third party.

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Posted on October 28, 2015, in In the Crease and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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