Scott Clemmensen, Colton Orr

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.

Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty

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Things were getting out of hand between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues on the scoreboard in an eventual 6-1 Blues win.

They were also getting a little raucous on the ice when it was clear that the Stars weren’t going to stage a comeback.

Jamie Benn was whistled for cross-checking Alex Pietrangelo, but it was Stephen Johns‘ hit from behind on Pietrangelo really revved up the violence.

Watch that hit and then the scrum that ensued in the video above, which included a scary display of an angry Ryan Reaves … who got creative at the end.

You may also want the kiss alone, so here it is:

Memo: rough stuff might not work so well against the Blues.

Read about that blowout here.

Blues bombard Stars, go up 2-1 in series

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Sometimes a final score is misleading. In the case of the St. Louis Blues’ 6-1 thrashing of the Dallas Stars, it might just be the start of the story.

Honestly, the most positive thing the Stars can say is “Well, at least it was just one game.”

It was one ugly game, however, and now the Blues hold a 2-1 series lead with a chance to really take control if they can win Game 4 at home.

The Blues dominated just about every category on Tuesday, firing more shots on goal, enjoying better special teams play and throwing more hits. They even blocked a higher number of shots, which often isn’t the case for the squad that carries play.

This leaves the Stars picking up the pieces, especially when it comes to their work in their own end.

Do you put greater blame on struggling goalies Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi or is this more about the Stars’ lax defensive coverage? The scary answer may be “Both,” and the Stars likely know that they need to find answers quickly.

On the bright side for Dallas, it is just one game … and the Blues were searching for answers of their own after Game 1.

We saw the Blues turn things around with these two straight wins, so now the Stars must show that they can gather themselves and play the attacking, out-score-your-mistakes style that got them here.

Granted, they may have to keep an eye out for supplemental discipline after some rough stuff toward the end of the game.

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

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After a dispiriting 1-0 goal allowed by Pekka Rinne, things were looking bleak for the Nashville Predators for a moment there.

Nashville’s developed into a resilient group, however, and they stormed back for a commanding 4-1 win to shrink San Jose’s series advantage to 2-1.

The Predators saw some of their big names come up huge as the series shifted from San Jose to Nashville.

Pekka Rinne looked sharp following that first goal (and didn’t allow another). Their goals came from James Neal, Colin Wilson, Filip Forsberg and captain Shea Weber.

Weber’s tally was the game-winner, and it was downright thunderous:

Another promising sign: after a struggling to a 2-for-31 clip in previous playoff games, the Predators’ power play went 2-for-5 in Game 3.

Overall, the Predators really couldn’t ask for much more from this win, especially if Colton Sissons is indeed OK after a scary crash into the Sharks’ net.

Things could get really interesting if Nashville manages to “hold serve” with another home win on Thursday.

Stars’ goalie carousel goes around again: Lehtonen replaces Niemi

Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) subs in for goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, in Dallas. The Stars won 6-5. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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It’s pretty tough not to make jokes about the Dallas Stars spending $10.4 million on their goalies at times like these, even if Dallas’ defense should shoulder plenty of blame.

After Kari Lehtonen was pulled from a Game 2 loss, the St. Louis Blues chased Antti Niemi early in the second period of Game 3 after Niemi allowed three goals on 12 shots.

Troy Brouwer‘s 3-1 goal was enough for Lindy Ruff to give Niemi the hook:

Unfortunately for the Stars, Lehtonen got off to a slow start as well, allowing an immediate Vladimir Tarasenko goal.

The Blues are now 4-1 and the Stars are searching for answers … and probably wishing Tyler Seguin was around to help them out-score their problems.