Link: Playoffs have exposed NHL video review rules as a farce and the league faces a major crossroads

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I think we can all agree on this

“If there is one thing that the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs have proven, it’s that video review in the NHL is badly, badly broken and the officiating might be worse. But when you see a league that has all the technology in the world at its disposal that can account for human error and refuses to use it – unless, of course, a player’s DNA is on the wrong side of the blueline – it’s enough to make a person want to stop watching.”

It’s the what to do about it that there is much disagreement on. Should we review everything in the name of getting it right, but possibly making games take much longer, or should we not review anything, and live with officials mistakes, the way we had for decades before instant review was available?

I’m not sure which way to go. What I do know is that the current review rules are kind of dumb. In terms of review, a zone entry can be challenged and reviewed, no matter how much time and what kind of play occurs in the offensive zone until a goal is scored. So a skate blade off the ice at the blue line can negate a goal scored 45 seconds later by a player who wasn’t even on the ice when the zone entry occurred.

But, we can have the puck bounced off the netting to a Columbus player who passes the puck in front of the net for a goal, and the play is non-review-able because the score did not happen immediately after the puck hit the net. Or an obvious hand pass by San Jose that led to a goal is non-review-able just because.

So I can see making it one way or the other, because this mashup of some things are forever reviewable while others are never review-able even after everyone admits it was the wrong call is craziness.

Personally, I make it all review-able. Get the chance to make the correct call, but also limit it to the direct result of the play. For example, in the OT the other night, the hand pass led to the puck getting directed out to a wide open Karlsson for the goal. Totally review-able. Had the hand pass occurred behind the net, leading only to another scrum along the boards, where puck possession passed between both teams before being gathered by San Jose and eventually leading to a goal? Not review-able. A missed infraction that had nothing to do with the result of the play, a goal, a penalty call, etc. is just that, a missed infraction. Nobody should waste time reviewing that, and yes that includes offside calls where it did not lead directly to an advantage for the scoring team.

Then we can spend the next season arguing about what “directly” means. 😉

Playoffs have exposed NHL video review rules as a farce and the league faces a major crossroads

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