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Sharks Score! (Oh, wait - never mind. It's been overturned.)
New rules to ensure goals are "valid" are frustrating
2/12/17 - By Paul Krill -

These days, NHL hockey is becoming more like NFL football - and not in a good way. What I'm referring to is the increasing incidence of goals being overruled - via after-the-fact offside calls or goalie interference rulings, which can be very subjective. It's similar to NFL football, where after a touchdown is scored, you have to wait to see if there were any flags on the play that could overturn the score. No celebrating until that determination has been made. The other day, the Sharks managed to score the first goal against the Flyers, only to have it overturned on a coach's challenge.

The Flyers gambled on getting a goalie interference call and the gamble worked in their favor. During that play, Kevin Labanc's stick barely touched the Flyers goalie and then seconds later the puck goes in. Like Sharks broadcaster Jamie Baker said at the time, there is a lack of consistency in these calls. The Sharks ended up losing in overtime by, of course, one goal.

We've also seen goals being waved off for offside after the puck is already in the net. But I think Christina Marleau, Patrick's wife, had it right in a tweet after a goal her husband scored was waved off: If the refs don't catch the offside during the game, then the goal should be counted. This would have been Patrick's 499th career goal on January 31 against Chicago.

Maybe the NHL could implement some old-time "technology" to help manage these situations. Like Cavity Sam, the holed character in the board game, "Operation," goalies could have a red light and a buzzer on them. If a goal is scored when the light and buzzer are on, it doesn't count; it's goalie interference. (Only the opponents could set off these alarms, so that would have to be factored into this effort as well.)

For offsides, re-institute the famous Fox glow puck and tweak it so an alarm is set off if a pair of attacking-team skates crosses the blue line before the puck does. Play is immediately over if the alarm sounds.

This Sunday, I was in church during the early morning Devils-Sharks game, when - OK, I admit it - I checked the score on my phone and found the Sharks were losing 1-0. But I thought I should check back a couple minutes later - you never know; the score could have reverted back to 0-0 on a coach's challenge. There seems to be a lot of that happening.

Of course, the Sharks could benefit from all this. A goalie interference call against the Sharks on February 2 was overturned. In fact, the Sharks might somehow become the benefactor of a wave of goalie interference and offside calls. But I think we can all the get the point that taking all these goals off the board on questionable calls is not exactly good for the NHL, where goals are at a premium, anyway. Let the guys play.


Contact Paul at at paulkrill@letsgosharks.com




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