DETROIT – Video review is among the main topics being discussed at the general managers’ annual meetings this week in Boca Raton, Fla. But by all reports, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of traction for a large-scale change.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock would like to see the league add a wider scope for video-replay, especially after what occurred in January when the Red Wings were benefactors of one of the most egregious goals in recent league history.
“I think video review is a great thing when it’s obvious everyone in the rink knows,” Babcock said. “Just get the call right.”
Trialing by a goal late against the Los Angeles Kings, defenseman Niklas Kronwall took a shot from the point. The puck ricocheted off a defender’s stick and bounced off the netting high above the Kings’ goal cage. The second the puck struck the netting above the Plexiglas one of the referees should have blown his whistle.
Unfortunately for the Kings, none of the four on-ice officials tracked the puck, which eventually wound up behind goalie Jonathan Quick.
As the puck fell from the netting it struck the name plate on Quick’s jersey and rolled across the goal line, tying the game in the final 30-seconds of regulation. The Red Wings eventually won the game in the shootout.
While everyone agrees that more video-replays aren’t necessarily a bad thing, some league officials and GMs warn that too many, along with the potential for adding a coach’s challenge, can potentially increase the length of games, which currently average 2 ½ hours.
“Timing was a big issue for people in the room,” Buffalo GM Tim Murray told NHL.com. “If you had two coaches' challenges, for example, would they take five minutes each; so 10 minutes added to the game. You have to take that and [ask] is making the right call worth the time? No decisions have been made, but that's where we're at.”
Babcock isn’t worried about the added time as he is about getting the call right.
“I don’t know how many video reviews you want or coach’s call or any of that,” he said. “To me, when they knew the puck had hit the mesh, get it right. Don’t be calling back goals like we used to get called back all the time with Homer (Tomas Holmstrom) when it’s not interference. Just get it right. It takes the same amount of time to go to every bench as it does to review the darn thing.”
Kronwall’s bizarre goal robbed the Kings of two points, but L.A. coach Darryl Sutter called it, “embarrassing for the league. That’s what that is. It doesn’t matter if we’d have scored, or if they had scored it. That’s embarrassing.”
As the standings look now the lost points likely won’t hurt the Kings like they may help the Red Wings, who are in a battle for the second and last wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Without those two points, Detroit would be two places out of the final playoff berth.
Six years ago, the Red Wings were on the wrong side of a similar play against the San Jose Sharks. In that game a shot went up into the netting and bounced back down next to the net where Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi was able to stuff the puck past Dominik Hasek.
The play was questioned by the Wings who noted that the puck had hit the protective netting behind the goal, which should have been stopped. TV replay showed the Wings' concerns were correct, however, the play wasn't reviewable.
“It’s 2014,” forward Todd Bertuzzi said. “With the technology and the amount of cameras we have in the rink you have to get it right. I’d hate to see a team miss out on the playoffs because of something the referees couldn’t see because it happened too quick and needing camera help to get it done.”
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