Could the NHL benefit from a coaches challenge for instant replay?

Ever wonder what it’d be like if instant replays in the NHL could be treated the same way they are in the NFL? Say there’s an instance where a coach feels a goal was scored by a high stick that the officials missed and the coach wanted them to replay it, would you want the coach to have the option of challenging the play? TSN’s Darren Dreger conducted a poll of 21 NHL coaches to find out what they think of the idea and the results may surprise you.

14 coaches who were asked, “Would you support a coaches challenge for certain plays, like goalie interference?” said it’s time that a coach’s challenge is introduced, but not without significant limits.

One coach who voted in favour says it would have to be limited to perhaps one challenge per team and would have to include a deterrent, such as a forfeiture of a timeout, or a two minute penalty if the team loses the challenge.

Seven coaches voted against introducing a coach’s challenge rule, saying they would prefer to leave the game and element of human error as is.

A coach who voted “no” bluntly called for better officiating, while another “no” voter predicts teams would manipulate the situation, perhaps faking an injury to buy time to check video before issuing challenges.

The key to implementing something like this in the future is to make sure that coaches can’t abuse the system. Limiting it to one challenge per game and offering a deterrent like a minor penalty for delay of game should do the trick to make it work. Is there really a desperate need to have such a system, is the real question. My thought on this is that, no, there really isn’t.

While fans and Panthers coach Pete DeBoer are upset about Colton Orr steamrolling Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen on his way to scoring a goal the other night, that’s the kind of situation that isn’t reviewable under any circumstances and it’s more of a clearer example that on-ice officiating just needs to be better, period. Goalie interference calls are ones where officials are either too eager to protect the goalie or allow the goalie to be run over and there’s very little in the way of consistency to it.

That said, replay is used in so few instances in the NHL, adding a coaches challenge doesn’t do much to help things along. It’s a nice idea and could be used, but how much it would be put to use is debatable.

Methot ‘out for weeks’ after suffering a shattered finger from Crosby clash

Leave a comment

The Ottawa Senators lost defenseman Marc Methot for the bulk of Thursday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and it seems he’ll be out for quite a while longer, too.

Methot was injured on a Sidney Crosby slash across the hand in the first period. He didn’t return to the game and there was no penalty called on the Penguins captain.

Footage showed the gruesome aftermath of the slash — Methot’s finger on his left hand bloodied and injured as he skated back to the bench.

“His finger is shattered and he’s out for weeks,” said Senators head coach Guy Boucher, per the Ottawa Sun.

Methot immediately confronted Crosby after the slash, which occurred as the Sens blue liner went to dump the puck into the Pittsburgh zone late in the first period.

The Senators got revenge, scoring a 2-1 shootout victory to move within a point of Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead. Crosby was also denied in the shootout.

NHL to make ‘special announcement’ in China next week

Getty
Leave a comment

The National Hockey League has announced it will make a “special announcement” at the LeSports Center in Beijing, China next Thursday.

In January, the league’s deputy commissioner Bill Daly made it clear the NHL has interest in playing games in China — likely starting out with pre-season games before potentially adding in some regular season contests in the future, as well.

Just after the league made its announcement on Thursday, the L.A. Kings tweeted out that they will participate in next week’s event, along with the Vancouver Canucks.

In January, hockey insider Darren Dreger reported that the Canucks and Kings were likely to play NHL pre-season games in China this upcoming September.

Last July, members of the Boston Bruins visited China, specifically Beijing and Shanghai, to host hockey clinics in those cities.

Beijing will also host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Flyers survive early Mason mistake to upset Wild

Getty
1 Comment

Insert the ‘It’s not how you start but how you finish’ cliche right here.

The Philadelphia Flyers fell behind the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, as Zach Parise was the beneficiary of a Steve Mason mistake just 2:07 into the first period.

Mason couldn’t control the deflection into the zone, coughing up a rebound in front. Eric Staal forced a loose puck to Parise and he buried it to open the scoring.

Yeah, not ideal for the Flyers, who are still clinging to the slimmest of playoff hopes.

But they responded with three unanswered goals, including this beauty from Sean Couturier.

Philadelphia took over for a 3-1 victory, with Mason making 24 saves on 25 shots, as Minnesota’s struggles continue. The Wild still sit second in the Central Division but have only two wins in their last 10 games.

Bolts close gap on struggling Bruins in playoff race

Getty
8 Comments

Well, that was quite a third period.

For the Boston Bruins, it was disastrous. For the Tampa Bay Lightning, it propelled them to a critical victory in the playoff race.

Nikita Kucherov completed the hat trick with a pair of goals in the final period and Jonathan Drouin scored what would eventually be the winner, as Tampa Bay snapped its own three-game losing streak in a 6-3 victory, putting the Bolts within three points of the final wild card spot — held by the Bruins — in the Eastern Conference.

The Drouin goal — his 18th of the season but first since Feb. 19, a span of 13 games — is probably one Tuukka Rask would like back.

Drouin teed up the slap shot from the faceoff circle, beating Rask under the left arm.

And just like that, the Bruins have lost four consecutive games. On Saturday, they face the New York Islanders, another team looking to catch Boston in the wild card race.

Read more: Remember this stretch if Bruins settle for a wild card spot (or worse?)

The Islanders are only two points back of Boston.

Despite the win, there was bad news for the Lightning during this game, as defenseman Jason Garrison left with an injury.

From NHL.com:

The play occurred behind the Lightning goal, Garrison appearing to get his left leg rolled up from behind by a Bruin. Garrison had to be helped off the ice by Anton Stralman and Brayden Point and headed back to the Bolts’ locker room.

The team announced during the second intermission that Garrison sustained a lower-body injury. He did not return to the game.