Monday, 18 November 2013

Tortorella Wants A Change

I had thoughts today about complaining about how referee Rob Martell screwed me out of an all-important goal last night for my fantasy team, but the bigger complaint was how he took a goal away from the Vancouver Canucks that may have cost them two points in the overly-competitive Western Conference. While there could be a case for Martell's ruling on the ice, the video replay shows that the actual events that caused him to wave off the goal were not quite as he perceived. John Tortorella was seething after the game, but I actually thought he kept it together pretty well.

Here's the video of the waved-off goal. Henrik Sedin appears to have tied the game, but Daniel Sedin's actions cause this goal to be disallowed. Check it out.
As you can see, Martell waves off the goal almost immediately, but it's the replay that tells the whole story. If anything, it appears that Lehtonen makes contact with Daniel Sedin as the puck deflects to Henrik Sedin who is all alone at the side of the net. Daniel, it seems, screens Lehtonen pretty well, but it's Lehtonen's glove on the back of Daniel Sedin's leg that causes the forward to stumble, thereby making it easy for Rob Martell to wave the goal off.
I get that Martell has to watch the puck as well as he must keep an eye on the contact at or within the crease, but his decision to wave off this goal was simply incorrect. But we're all human, right? Even NHL referees make mistakes, and I won't hold it against him. I can't see the neutral zone referee skating in and changing this call either since, in full speed, it looks like Sedin may have backed into Lehtonen.

This is the point of the game, though, where an NHL coach should be able to speak to the referee and ask for a review on the play. If they can review a home run in baseball, shouldn't an NHL coach be able to ask for a review on a goal? Especially when it could result in the loss of at least a point in a game? I know that football coaches can throw the challenge flag, but I do think that an NHL coach should be able to use their timeout to be able to ask the referee to review a goal-scoring play.

If the coach is wrong, the coach loses his timeout and we're back to the game with that coach not having a timeout to use because he, in essence, wasted the referee's time in asking for a review. If the play is overturned and a goal is found to be a good goal, the timeout is restored because justice was served. It's basically the same idea as football with the only caveats being that a coach can only use their timeout once for this reason and it can only be used on goals that have been waved off during the course of a play. Makes sense, right?

Here's John Tortorella's view on the no-goal call. Again, I think he did very well at staying composed, but he's right when he says "we need to get the call right".
So I propose it to you, readers: how does the NHL fix this kind of situation? I offered up my solution above. Agree? Disagree? Think I'm completely nuts? Leave your comments below. I'd really like to hear how the NHL can mitigate this kind of problem going forward, especially when points are on the line. And if the Canucks miss the playoffs by a point this season, don't think we'll hear the last of this either.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

WiWi Joe said...

I agree with you. The NHL should do a sort of NFL's challenge. I don't think is going to cost a lot since when Referees are not sure about a goal, they are able to contact Toronto in order to know the validity of the goal. The system pretty much already exists. What bother me is that it is something fans and media have been discussing for quite a while, but at every GM meetings they are not even talking about it.