VANCOUVER — The NHL is expanding its video review process to a format that would have had the potential to alter two notable missed calls during the playoffs — though the rule changes come at a price.
New Coach’s Challenge Rules
The league’s general managers approved allowing coaches an unlimited number of video challenges for goalie interference, offside and an additional element of possible missed calls that would have resulted in a stoppage in play. On the downside, each coach’s challenge that proves unsuccessful will result in a minor penalty. A second unsuccessful challenge in the same game would result in a double minor.
The league also will have officials review major penalties to determine whether the call was accurate. Upon review, the referee would then have the option to reduce a major penalty to a minor.
Allowing stoppages in play to be reviewed comes after San Jose won Game 3 of the Western Conference final when officials missed a hand pass immediately before Erik Karlsson scored in overtime. Under the new rule, the play would have been reviewed automatically because all plays are reviewed in the final minute of a game and overtime.
Would Have Affected 2019 Playoffs
Allowing officials to review major penalties would have had the potential to change the complexion of Game 7 in a first-round series between Vegas and San Jose.
With Vegas leading 3-0, Golden Knights forward Cody Eakin was assessed a major penalty for a hit on San Jose’s Joe Pavelski, which the league later told the Golden Knights was not the right call. The Sharks scored four times on the ensuing major penalty and won 5-4 in overtime.
In that instance, the referee could have reviewed the call and determined whether to reduce the penalty to a two-minute minor.
The new rules, however, would not have allowed reviewing a missed penalty that led to the decisive goal in St. Louis’ 2-1 win over Boston in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. Blues forward Tyler Bozak wasn’t penalized for tripping up Boston’s Noel Acciari seconds before David Perron scored.
AP Sports Writer Tim Booth contributed to this report.
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John Wawrow, The Associated Press