Yesterday, the NHL held their annual Media Day yesterday and a bunch of news came out…quietly. Oh sure, there was the letter from the Pope, which we’ll talk about tomorrow. The larger piece of real news will affect how the game is actually played.
There’s a new rule regarding offsides many people dislike it. First of all, the rule itself hasn’t changed, but rather the coaches challenge of a play being offside. No longer will an unsuccessful offside challenge result in loss of a timeout, but rather a bench penalty. In essence, a coach could challenge the validity of a goal, lose the challenge and face an immediate penalty kill situation. Yeah, that would probably suck. However, coaches who called a challenge based on offside because they had an inkling it could have been offside, and then wasted a lot of time with the review process, could only lose a timeout, which isn’t really much in the scheme of the game.
Elliotte Friedman agrees and goes on to explain why their is no change to rule regarding goaltender interference.
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.
Speaking of grey areas, there is a definite possibility that offside can be inconclusive because of hovering skates, lines, and centimeters. What will happen then?
Personally, I like this change because I hate the offside challenges; truthfully, I wish that they abolish the ability to challenge. However, I do think the offside rule should be tweaked. For instance, there should either be a time limit or a certain amount of passes/ shots that have taken place after the zone entry for when it can be determined that the infraction affected the resulting goal. This happened to the Bruins in the playoff series last season and it was frustrating to watch; they had to score 3 times in OT to win that game.
We’ll see how this actually affects coaching decisions in the upcoming season. It’s a step in a direction, not necessarily a big step or in the right direction, but it’s a step nonetheless.