NHL coaches will face a different risk-reward scenario when they consider challenging whether that a goal was offside in 2017-18.
The old standard (in place since 2015) required a coach to have a timeout to make such a challenge. If a challenge was unsuccessful, that same coach lost that timeout, the only they’d get during a game. This process caused great controversy, in part because many felt that the process slowed things down and violated the spirit of the review process.
Well, as has been speculated upon for quite some time, the league is now changing the math. Instead of wondering if a coach should risk that timeout, now an unsuccessful offside review will result in a minor penalty.
Here’s how the league worded the tweak via a press release:
Rule 78.7(b) now will read:
b) If the result of the challenge is that the play was on-side, the goal shall count and the team that issues the challenge shall be assessed a minor penalty for delaying the game.
Now, this might not necessarily solve all problems when it comes to such reviews. At the same time, the risk in taking a penalty might inspire a coach not to challenge a marginal call.
Of course, there are probably situations where a coach will view it as worth the risk. If there’s a last-minute goal, taking a minor penalty to protect a one-goal lead or maintain a tie could be seen as easily worth it. And so on.
Uh oh. Speaking of that math:
So, here’s a hot take: even if this reduces some griping, there will still be plenty of whining.
It probably stands as an improvement (incremental or not) though, right?