The Los Angeles Kings once again lost a game by one goal that was surrounded by the controversy of video review. Los Angeles has already lost two games this season due to the video review not confirming goals for and against the Kings. Last night, the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Kings 4-3 on another controversial goal where video review was allowed. So, in efforts that will be for and against the Kings, I submit this:
NHL, it is time to change your rules!
Let us break down each of these incidents to properly get a clear understanding of why the NHL needs to get with the 21st Century and use video replay all the time. I will use the Kings and their woes as examples.
Example #1: January 18 vs Detroit. The Red Wings had deflected a shot up into the safety netting above the perimeter glass, making it out-of-bounds. It came back into play, hitting Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in the back and bounced into the net. The referees called it a good goal and was unreviewable. Check out Yahoo Sports piece on it here, Red Wings Illegal Tying Goal Latest NHL Embarrassment.
The funny thing is, there is a rule that allows this. NHL Rule 85.1 which Surly & Scribe breakdown for you.
Example #2: This past Saturday, March 15 vs Anaheim. In a battle between LA and the Anaheim Ducks, the Kings had scored a goal that was not confirmed by the referee behind the net (video reply showed that the puck indeed crossed the goal line). That reviewed goal was waived off, apparently due to Kings’ Marion Gaborik making incidental contact with Ducks goalie Frederick Andersen. What was not reviewable was the fact that Gaborik was pushed into Andersen by Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg. Kings lose 2-1. And the reaction was not pretty.
Example #3: Last night vs. Phoenix. Now this will be painful to swallow Kings fans, but last night’s goal review accurately depicts its proper use. After two shots on goal by Phoenix, both of which were assumed to be stopped by Quick, review showed that the first shot by Coyote Jeff Halpern had completely crossed the line. Fair enough. The Kings did not get jobbed on the goal but did get spurned by the fact that review was allowed to be used in this situation.
So what’s the deal, NHL?
It is clear that things are not consistent in the league in accordance to the several regulations that weave the fabric of the tediously complex NHL rule book. So we make it simple: just go to video review. Review the goal, review any incident contact, REVIEW IT ALL!!!
It an age where the NHL is expanding, a top quality game needs to be presented to the masses, especially when trying to court new viewers. Archaic rules and traditions about the game flow needs to be updated and made fair for every team in this situation so that potential viewers will legitimize the sport. The NHL is a great brand, but now they need to polish the product.