The Washington Capitals video review team was extremely successful last season. So much so, Caps head coach Barry Trotz would even state the Capitals’ video review team was the best in the league. Their job: to quickly identify plays worthy of video review challenges that could possibly negate an opponents goal, typically via goaltender interference or an offside infraction.
The video review team will need to continue their stellar ways this season, as a new rule change will invoke a stiffer penalty for video review challenges that don’t result in a change or overturning of a goal.
From now on, a failed offside challenge will result in a two-minute penalty against the club asking for the review. It’s a potentially powerful infraction. Can you imagine a team in a tight game giving up a goal it thought was offside, losing the challenge, then having to withstand an immediate power-play opportunity? It’s going to make bench bosses much more wary — and ratchet up the pressure on video coaches.
Incorrect goaltender interference reviews stay the same — the loss of your timeout. That’s probably a wise decision, since there’s much more grey area than with an offside call.
Another rule modification will have a strategic impact. Teams are no longer able to call timeout after icing the puck. The other club can still do so if it wishes, but tired defenders won’t be able to ask for the extra rest.
These rule tweaks confirm the league’s desire to continue finding ways to speed up the game and increase scoring chances.
By Jon Sorensen