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Two subtle possible rule changes that could make goal reviews more accurate

Aug 19, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

itsagoal.jpgThere are plenty of subtle problems that irk fans, hockey writers and officials alike. Yet those problems aren’t so subtle when they amount to a crucial goal (or non-goal) being unclear despite having on-ice officials and many, many camera angles.

In an attempt to make it easier for goal judges, referees and the Toronto War Room to improve their accuracy when it comes to identifying goals, the NHL might just take a page out of the NFL’s book by adding a yellow line behind the goal line. I originally heard about this from Dave King’s comments in an NHL.com article, as you can see here.

Finally, King mentioned one of the more subtle changes that was tested Wednesday strictly for the Hockey Operations staff that work in the Toronto war room: The yellow verification line, which is situated behind the goal line and would be used in video reviews to determine if the puck did indeed cross the goal line. If the puck is seen touching the yellow line, it has to be a goal.

“Even with the replays, we still have situations where important goals are touch and go sometimes as to whether they are really in,” King said. “I think that line is going to add a little bit of help to the referees and the linesman and those replays will be good because the reviews will be clear.”

If you’re having trouble picturing that yellow line, here is a diagram from NHL.com (H/T to James Mirtle.)

netdiagramwithyellowline.gif

(click to enlarge)

This seems to me to be one of those slap-you-in-the-face simple solutions, even if it wouldn’t solve every goal dispute (especially with the nebulous “Intent to blow the whistle” rule still existing). Mirtle points out that league is also toying with putting a plexiglass top on nets so that goal reviews could be more clear that way, too.

Unlike a rather garish looking single faceoff circle in the middle of the offensive zone, adding a plexiglass top and that yellow “verification line” are simple yet useful ways to improve the game ever so slightly. Of all the ideas the NHL is floating during the research and development camp, those tiny tweaks might be the most agreeable.

  1. Austin - Aug 20, 2010 at 1:55 AM

    I think all of these are badly UN-NEEDED…just leave the great old game alone!!
    The 2-foot-wide blue lines look like some badly proportioned setup out of a video game or something…the faceoff circle in the middle of the zone just looks freaking awful, and what I think the guys in the NHL war room don’t understand is, visually, if the puck must touch the yellow line on replay to be a goal, it must NOT be touching the red line. You’re simply substituting an real line for an electronic one.

  2. NM - Aug 20, 2010 at 2:58 AM

    NO MORE RULE CHANGES! Every year there seems to be a long list of things they want to change. Enough is enough. Hockey was never meant to be a game where you score 15 goals a game. Pretty soon it will be like watching an NBA regular season game. No ones going to pay attention to the first two periods. They’ll just tune in during the last five minutes to see who scores the last six goals. I like to see goals scored as much as the next person, but now there just entering the realm where each goal just doesn’t mean as much in the outcome of the game. The game is starting to feel manufactured and artificial. Stop the madness.

  3. marky4 - Apr 7, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    What bonehead came up with this unworkable scheme?
    Just wait till ice showers and water droplets obscure the plexiglass;
    refs and cameras won’t be able to see a thing from above.
    What next? Windshield wipers after every save?
    BAD idea!

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