The NHL returns to the microscope in the Stanley Cup final

The NHL returns to the microscope in the Stanley Cup final

Jon Cooper stepped back and carried a possible missed call to the mirror with the know-how of a coach who has been here in the past. His counterpart Jared Bednar, on the verge of his first NHL championship, tried to settle the matter once and for all and move on.

However, the Stanley Cup final roars towards an end full of uncertainty about the referee, who is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons after Nazem Kadri’s extra time goal brought Colorado Avalanche 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

The goal came with what Cooper and his Tampa Bay Lightning believed too many men on the ice. No penalty was awarded, and now the Avalanche are one victory away from throwing back the defending champions.

“Will a call make a difference in the series? “No,” Hall of Fame goalkeeper Grand Four said in a telephone interview. “Colorado was the best team in overtime, there is no doubt. Do you hope it does not end in such a project? Yes. “You hope it’s something nice, clean and simple because instead of talking about what a good hockey game it was, everyone talks about the game.”

That game involved Kadri – who was playing his first game in the final after injuring his right thumb – jumping on the ice for a change of line early, with teammate Nathan MacKinnon still about 40 feet off the bench. When Kadri scored, MacKinnon still had an ice skate and the participating player should not even touch the elf in this position.

“Players, we look every inch to get an advantage and try to get into the game when you know your change is coming,” Lightning defender Ryan McDonagh said on Thursday. “It is impossible to say what the right decision is there. It is so fast and it probably happens a million times more in a game than we think.”

There is some room for the referees to judge too many men on the ice, and Tampa Bay technically had seven, although the players switching for each other were much closer to the home bench.

“You change on the go, everything happens,” said Bednar. “I count 7-6 at one point, that’s how it is. This is how the game is played. I do not see it as a break or not. In fact, I see it as nothing. “

In a statement to the Associated Press following Colorado’s 3-2 victory, the league’s Hockey Operations Division called it a crisis call.

“In the debate over the winning goal, each of the four officials informed that they did not see too many men on the ice in the game,” the statement said. “This call is not subject to video surveillance by either Hockey Ops or officials.”

It should be;

The NHL extended the video review in 2015 to the coach’s challenges for offside and goalie interference. Incidents in the 2019 playoffs have led to more situations in which coaches and referees can take an extra look to get it right, although it is limited to possible breaks such as a pass with the hand or hitting the elf in the net. over the glass.

But at a time when video reviews are burdening games in all sports and leagues are working to reduce those extra minutes of valuable time, there is no appetite for the NHL to make EVERYTHING subject to repetition.

The general managers will undoubtedly discuss it in the draft in Montreal next month, and perhaps the much-discussed, so-called “eye in the sky” referee idea will catch on. This could deal with at least the most obvious missed calls that could be seen and captured better from the top of an arena than in the middle of all the action on the ice.

“They have the hardest job in the sport,” Fuhr told NHL officials. “The game has become bigger, faster and they have to keep up and there will be missed calls along the way. “This is just hockey.”

The heated debate has been part of hockey for a long time, and many New York Island fans have been quick to point out that Lightning seemed to have too many men on the ice for the only goal in the 7th game of the Eastern Conference final last year. Philadelphia Flyers fans still refer to the “Leon Stikle Game” when the coach with that name lost an obvious offside to an Islanders goal in the crucial 1980 game of the first of four Stanley Cups in a row.

Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier, a star of this Islanders dynasty who won his seventh Cup title as an Avalanche assistant in 2001 and coaches the new 3ICE 3-on-3 championship with Fuhr, said the victory has to do with the management of “the lucky bounce, the random bounce, the referee’s call: something that can happen that is out of your control and is somewhat against you”.

“These things can go for or against you,” Trottier said. “You have to take advantage when they go to you and you just have to move on when they go against you.”

Another decision earlier in Game 4 allowed a Lightning goal to be counted after a shot by Avalanche goalkeeper Darcy Kuemper dropped his mask, with the referees deciding not to stop the game as the rule states that it should be continued. if there is a chance to score.

Before flying to Denver for the 5th game on Friday with his team falling 3-1, Cooper tried to move on. Just over 12 hours after he was almost speechless, he called hockey “inaccurate science” and tried to distance himself – somewhat – from how Game 4 ended.

“The great thing about today is that it is not yesterday,” Cooper said. “There is nothing we can do about it. They missed him. It’s sad, but now it’s water under the bridge. Let’s get ready. “

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Follow AP Hockey author Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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