Tag: video review

Alain Vigneault

The NHL’s new coach’s challenge and timeouts


For better or worse, NFL coaches often get critiqued for the way they challenge plays, with a big reason being that they may waste potentially precious timeouts.

NHL coaches only have one to work with per game, and with the new challenge system in mind, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks points out how that is changing a subtle-if-important coaching strategy.

How many bench bosses will take a time out earlier in a game, knowing that doing so will mean they lose their challenge option? Specifically, this comes into question when a coach would otherwise rest winded players on an icing call.

“You’d have to have five guys out there for such an extended period of time to call one, and even then, it would be an extremely difficult call,” Alain Vigneault told Brooks. “If you know that they have nothing in the tank, then you might have no other choice. … But I don’t know. … You don’t want to lose that [ability to] challenge.”

There’s already an example or two of coaches being thrifty with their single timeout per contest.

Brooks poses a fairly simple and logical tweak, then:

The league could — and I would suggest probably should — amend the rule so each team is given one challenge opportunity plus one timeout. Yes this likely would add another 1:30 or so to the game, but chances are icings will be followed by delaying tactics that only will frustrate everyone.

What do you think? Should the NHL stick with the current setup or adjust it based on Brooks’ suggestion?

Video: Referees eventually approve Alex Ovechkin’s game-tying goal

Washington Capitals v Florida Panthers
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In case you’re not tuning into Versus as of this writing (may we ask why?), the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals are currently locked up at 1-1 in the first overtime period.

After the Rangers took a 1-0 lead, Alex Ovechkin appeared to notch the tying goal by never giving up on a third period play. Yet it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that the tally would count, as the on-ice officials seemed reluctant to make the call.

As you can see from the video clip below, it’s obvious that the overly criticized Capitals star scored that goal. The puck clearly crossed the red line before any whistle was audible, although it’s important to note that officials might have determined that they “intended” to blow a whistle even if one couldn’t be heard.

(It’s easy to criticize that rule, and no doubt, it’s hard not to sometimes. That being said, what if an official tried to do so in an extremely noisy arena? What if a sweaty hand loosens his grip? The rule kinda sorta makes sense when you think about the hypothetical situations.)

Anyway, here’s video of that not-so controversial goal. Now turn on Versus or get to a bar/restaurant that is showing the games. Please.

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Ty Conklin fumes over controversial goal call, NHL considers tweaking nets

Jonathan Toews,  Marian Hossa, Brian Campbell, Ty Conklin

Hockey is a sport in which every little goal can be important, considering how tough they truly are to come by (unless you happen to be Corey Perry, apparently). Referee Dan O’Halloran decided that Marian Hossa’s goal was legitimate – meaning that the puck crossed the red line and that Hossa’s stick touched the puck after he kicked it – and the NHL’s review room in Toronto couldn’t find enough evidence to overturn his decision.

That goal cut the St. Louis Blues’ lead in half, making the score 2-1. Getting that tally lit a fire under the desperate Chicago Blackhawks, who ended up winning the game thanks to a Jonathan Toews overtime goal.

Ty Conklin was in net for the Blues when that controversial call was made and – to little surprise – he was more than a bit peeved by the review process. One must wonder if he might even be at risk of earning a fine from the NHL for his surprisingly candid critique of the league’s decision. Conklin almost stepped in conspiracy theory territory, as you can see from this story via CSN Chicago.

“They called it a goal on the ice, which is fine, that’s understandable.  But the reason we have video replay is to get the right call. They’re probably going to make it into the playoffs anyway, but do we really have to make it that obvious that the league wants them in?” he said. “It was a close play, but the puck never crossed the line.”

If you want a snapshot of how much the Blues and Blackhawks dislike each other, that quote is an excellent example.

While the NHL’s system of handing out suspensions and fines draws plenty of mockery and criticism, the league’s goal review process seems just as nebulous. The league’s war room almost seems like a shadowy organization, even if they aren’t do anything more nefarious than deciding for or against goals.

Many people (including myself) would like to see more transparency in the decision making process, but TSN’s Darren Dreger indicates that the league is striving to improve things with a more literal type of transparency. Simply put, they want to change nets to make it easier to see if a puck crosses the goal line or not.

Camera angles, poor video quality and obstructed views have always plagued video review.

There have multiple proposals considered to improve this process, but the league seems focused on the nets and changes that can be introduced to increase visibility.

In addition to testing a thinner mesh on the top of the nets, the National Hockey League will also be changing the ribbon that essentially protects skates from hitting the base of the net.

The existing ribbon that wraps around the base is white, but will be replaced this summer at the research and development camp by a clear band which will extend three feet back of the goal line from each post.

People want a more open process, but let’s face it, we might not get that any time soon (if ever). I’m on board with the tweaks Dreger mentioned, along with the research and development camp’s proposals of adding a plexiglass top to the net and yellow line behind the goal line to make it easier to tell when goals are scored.

These changes won’t always make the Conklins of the world happy, but then again, will a goalie ever really be happy when a goal is allowed?

Finally, here’s video of that much-debated goal, for your own debating purposes.