The NHL Finally Made An Intelligent Change, And Will Now Administer Two Minute Penalties For Failed Offsides Challenges
SportsNet- The NHL is making a very interesting rule change for the 2017-18 season, introducing a harsher penalty for one particular video review.
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.
I have to admit, this news catches me off guard. It's as though I have been left at a loss for words, which is odd since I should be dusting the cobwebs of all the positive things I haven't had an opportunity to say about the NHL's decision making for at least the last few seasons. It took just a few minutes of looking for a sarcastic angle to take here only for me to realize that the league who never seems to think through changes before making them actually managed to address a problem caused by one of said changes. Not only that, but they did so in a relatively timely fashion!
I feel like the sun just got a little bit brighter after having learned that gone are the days of referees squinting at an iPad in hopes of determining a fraction of an inch within a split of a second of a grainy still shot that was inexplicably taken from the other side of the ice. No longer will the momentum of a game be brought to a screeching halt so a bunch of dudes in vertical stripes could huddle together to ultimately determine that they would be better off flipping a coin in trying to decide what actually happened during the zone entry prior to a goal that was scored 15 seconds later.
Of course, there might a couple NHL coaches who start the season with balls big enough to risk leaving the fate of their penalty kill in the unpredictable hands of an official and his judgement call. However, something tells me those testicles will shrivel up faster than had they been plopped down on a block of ice the first time that hasty decision comes back to frostily bite them in the ass. There will certainly be circumstances where potentially spending two minutes shorthanded will be worth the retraction of a goal against. That said, this almost guarantees that a vast majority of offsides challenges will be quick, painless, and - most importantly - more obvious than frivolous. Controversial calls will always exist given the erratic nature of NHL referees, but the league finally did something to minimize the amount of times they could be made to look stupid. If you can't lightly applaud that then you might as well clap off the lights in whatever fantasy land has you thinking that Gary Bettman and the boys are capable of much better.
In conclusion, clearing this up is more important to the integrity of the game....
...than clearing this up...