In the modern era of high-definition cameras and instant replay, the NHL is still trying to figure out how to properly call offside and goalie interference through various replays. The NHL has been inconsistent with the goal calls on the ice, and fans, coaches, and players are all becoming frustrated with the new technology that was supposed to solve these issues.
On Tuesday night in Minnesota, there was another questionable review that took place in regards to offside. Here is the clip:
Wild forward Eric Staal was able to tie up the game with less than 30 seconds remaining on this play. Jason Zucker was the player that appeared to be offside on this play. Here are some close-ups of the play that was under review:
I am not perfect when it comes to the reviews, but this appears to be legitimately offside. I am not a Capitals fan, so I am not playing homer by any means here. I report what I see on the ice, and this play clearly looks offside.
Zucker clearly has no toe on the blueline. There is white ice that separates his skates from the blueline.
I am not sure how the NHL botched this one, but these scenarios are becoming regular occurrences around the NHL daily.
INCONSISTENCIES WITH THE REVIEWS
The goalie interference and offside reviews were supposed to make things better, but they have become one big headache. If the NHL was more consistent in these rulings on the ice, the game would be a lot smoother and easier to watch.
I am all for technological advancements to the game of hockey. If there are cameras that can capture every frame of a play on the ice, they need to be used properly.
What is puzzling to me is the human element inside the game. Who is making these decisions in Toronto? Who is making these decisions on the ice? If there are people inside the game that cannot make these decisions properly, how come they oversee making these tough decisions? If there is evidence that is “inconclusive,” is that the fault of the human or the technology used? Any human would automatically blame the technology first before themselves. However, with the amount of inconsistent reviews that occur weekly, I am beginning to wonder if the inconsistencies are a result of human error.
I am not calling out any particular person out, but this review that took place was cut-and-dry. My eyes are not perfect, but they are good enough to see that this review is cut-and-dry, and the proper call should be made on the ice.
If the NHL cannot find a way to get these calls right more consistently, then there needs to be action taken. If the human element cannot make these calls right, or if the technology is not good enough to determine the outcome of these calls, then maybe it is time to get rid of the reviews completely.
The game went many years without reviews like this and survived. I realize that humans and technology are both not perfect, but these inconsistencies around the league must be reduced. If they are not reduced, clubs will begin to pay the price for them. What is going to happen if a goalie interference or offside review happens in a Game 7 Stanley Cup Final overtime game? One bad or questionable call could cost a team a Stanley Cup Championship. Is this what the NHL wants for the future?
By: George Foussekis