Offside Reviews are Offside

Not so long ago, back in 2013, there was a flagrant offside call, or should I say non-call, involving Avalanche speedster Matt Duchene. See the video here.

Had that blown call not happened, video review of offside plays would most likely not be with us in the NHL today. Not only are NHL coaches insisting on these reviews far too often, the Inspector Clouseau precision the league insists on employing has turned these disputes into huge momentum-sucking moments of overkill.

While video review for pucks entering or not entering the net makes some sense, the NHL cannot totally eliminate the human factor from the game. If an NHL linesman misses an offside call because a skate is half-inch off the ice when crossing the blue line, it can hardly be considered a scandal. Put it in the same category as a missed hook or a missed flying elbow and move on.

NFL football fans have no problem with the fact that referees are being asked to mark the spot where the ball was downed after every single play from scrimmage. Do you really think NFL referees are even close to being precise with those decisions? Oh sure, ball spots can be reviewed as well. But because it’s next to impossible to know where the real spot should be, these calls are rarely, if ever, overturned. As a result, coaches have more or less stopped asking.

The Matt Duchene missed-call stands out because no one can remember anything quite that blatant ever happening before, going back decades. That being the case, live with it, take your chances it won’t happen again until 2078, and get rid of the stupid, boring, laughable reviews featuring squinty-eyed referees using hand-held computer screens the size of their hands…. and drop the friggin puck.

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