TORONTO – One goal counted and the other one didn’t.
Both might have turned out differently if the NHL allowed video review to be used in determining whether a goaltender was interfered with. That very issue is expected to be discussed when the league’s general managers meet Nov. 9 in Toronto.
Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon was understandably upset when Maple Leafs tough guy Colton Orr scored the winning goal against his team last week after bowling over goalie Scott Clemmensen—a call the league later acknowledged was missed by the referees on the ice.
That prompted Tallon to float the idea of the NHL adopting a rule similar to the NFL, where coaches are able to challenge calls made during the game. It’s an interesting proposition that has some support—a TSN poll found 14 of 21 coaches who responded in favour—including from Cory Clouston of the Ottawa Senators.
Over the weekend, his team had a goal from Daniel Alfredsson called back because Mike Fisher was ruled to have interfered with Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. Replays show Fisher being kept in the crease by Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara when he makes incidental contact with Thomas.
“We felt last game that our first goal that was disallowed, which would have made it 1-1, we felt that was probably a legitimate goal in our eyes,” Clouston said Tuesday. “Obviously, the ref doesn’t have the luxury of video replay on those situations. I think there’s some merit to (having) it.”
There are clearly a number of signicant details that would need to be ironed out—chief among them, what is a suitable penalty for a team that incorrectly challenges a call?
Some believe it might be more appropriate to borrow another idea from the NFL and give referees the ability to view replays on a monitor in cases where they’re not certain about a call. That could allow them to get it right without giving coaches the ability to misuse the challenge rule (say, as a tactic to buy their team a little extra rest late in a game).
The league’s GMs have considered various alterations to video review in the past and will likely spend a lot more time discussing the issue before any change is made.
For Clouston, the biggest argument in favour expanding its use is quite simple.
“A lot of leagues use it,” he said. “To me the biggest thing is you get the right call.”