Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Tim Wharnsby at NHL.com,
O'Rourke was the official down low and signaled a goal, but Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock decided to challenge the call on the ice after his assistant in the press box, Andrew Brewer, notified the bench there was goaltender interference on the play.
"I didn't challenge nothing," Babcock said. "[Brewer] yelled in [assistant coach] Jim Hiller's ear and Jim said, 'We're challenging.' Then they were good enough to put it up on the screen, so I knew by time the ref got over there we'd win it."
The Maple Leafs won the challenge but lost Babcock's debut as Maple Leafs coach, 3-1 at Air Canada Centre.
A team is allowed to challenge only if it hasn't used its timeout. If the challenge is unsuccessful, the team is charged its timeout.
O'Rourke said after the game he knew there was contact with Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier but thought the skate of Toronto defenseman Matt Hunwick ran into the goalie, not the stick of Montreal forward Tomas Plekanec as the replay showed.
So after the goal was scored, O'Rourke skated to the penalty box to report the scoring play to the official scorer. Referee Frederick L'Ecuyer stopped in front of the benches to supervise the next line change.
That's when the Maple Leafs made their decision to challenge. L'Ecuyer informed O'Rourke, and L'Ecuyer made an announcement to the fans.
O'Rourke then was handed the 4-G video monitor and was put in touch on a headset with the NHL Situation Room in Toronto. He viewed "two or three" replays and overturned his call.
"We had what we thought we saw on the ice," O'Rourke said. "[The situation room] said, 'Here's the replay, take a look at it.' Once you saw the overhead replay, it was pretty cut and dry.
If you are going to call this a penalty shot, then it has to remain consistent through the season.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Expanded video review is being implemented in the NHL by way of a coach's challenge -- with only missed offside plays or goaltender interference allowed to be looked at again.
When those occur, the coach will signal for a timeout and specify exactly what he wants reviewed. The referee will then relay that information to the crowd and be handed a headset and video monitor at the time keeper's bench, where he can look at numerous replays of what's happened.
The final determination will be made by the official(s) on the ice -- just as umpires get to do with reviews in Major League Baseball or referees do in the NFL. In some cases, the referees will be highlighting their own mistakes.
"If there's a better call -- it might not be the call that the fans want in the building -- but if there is a better call than they are going to be empowered to make it," said Walkom. "I think our guys fully support overruling themselves in the game because they know it best serves the game. They'll take ownership of it.
"I think they'll be real good at it when it does occur."
A key aspect of the new rule is that it won't be used as a way to unnecessarily stop or slow the game because a coach loses his timeout when he makes an incorrect challenge. So you must have a timeout at your disposal to initiate a challenge -- except in the final minute of play or in overtime, when reviews will be prompted by the situation room in Toronto.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
It’s a new National Hockey League season and there’s a fresh crop of zebras, as the transformation of the NHL’s officiating department continues.
There was a time not long ago when an NHL official had a job for life, once he got inside the ropes. But as the speed of the game has increased, the life expectancy of an NHL referee has gone in the other direction. Now, with officiating combines and an international search underway for the best from all the hockey playing countries, donning the stripes in an NHL game isn’t nearly as easy as it once may have been.
“It’s forced us to find officials with a skating skill-set that is necessary to keep up to today’s game,” the NHL’s director of officiating Stephen Walkom said from Buffalo, N.Y., where the annual NHL officials training camp is taking place. “You have to be a great skater on both edges. Transition forwards to backwards. Move in, out and all around with the speed of the game.
“We’re looking for athletes,” he said. “The days of not being athletic as a referee are long gone.”
And if that athlete comes from a little town outside Moscow called Tver — the same place that gave us Ilya Kovalchuk — all the better.
from Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe,
According to Stephen Walkom, officials welcome the rule change that brings a coach’s challenge to goalie interference, as well as offsides that leads to a goal.
“People don’t realize the referee probably makes at least 10 decisions relative to goaltender interference during a game: Did the goalie get bumped? Was it incidental contact? Did he get reset? Was it in the blue? Was it in the white? Was it intentional? Did he get pushed?” Walkom said. “It’s dynamic as anything.”
Walkom said that last season there were eight plays when the officials would have negated a goal had they been able to see it again. He said there were an additional two disallowed goals that should have been allowed.
“I see this year, if challenged, our guys getting those right,” Walkom said. “Those sort of egregious glaring errors that from the official’s view the first time around he got wrong and now if challenged he’s going to be able to get right.
“I see the next generation of officials coming along where huddling and correcting themselves becomes the norm. That wouldn’t have always happened 10, 15 years ago. Guys would be stubborn, wouldn’t want to admit when they’re wrong. But in this day and age with video technology, you’re going to have that. This season I think is an exciting development, another tool for our guys and something that can only help the game.”
more topics including the recruiting system for NHL officials...
from Bruce McCurdy of the Cult of Hockey,
Why can’t the zebras find a happy medium that sees them call actual penalties when they happen instead of pocketing their whistles on too many nights? The game hasn’t changed that much that players have legitimately cut their infractions in half over the past decade, as the powerplay opportunity numbers suggest. Too many nights the 5v5 game results in a virtual stalemate out there, and the occasional powerplay might have the desired effect of encouraging at least one of the teams to try to score.
It’s a sad state of affairs that in many games the only penalties that will be called down the stretch are non-discretionary ones. Somebody shoots the puck over the glass? No choice, that’s a penalty. Somebody puts an opponent’s face through the glass? See no evil, call no evil.
A Minot man who's officiated games in the NHL for two decades is hoping to return to the ice this winter.
Thor Nelson has been out of the league for most of two seasons because of an injury suffered while officiating a game in Winnipeg in 2013.
Jim Olson caught up with him this week to find out about his recovery.
It was a game in Winnipeg in 2013 that changed Thor Nelson's NHL officiating career.
"I remember leading up to the incident, I stepped in between two guys who were fighting and I don't remember the rest which happened to be a right cross that caught me instead of one of the players."
That right cross gave Nelson a concussion - something that erased his memory of finishing the game - which he did - and driving home from Winnipeg to Minot - which he also did. He fought through it - staying on the ice, but knowing things were not right.
"I was in Vancouver and couldn't see my partner across the ice, it was all blurry, and I went to a team doctor and said we gotta talk."
That was in the 2013-14 season and he had to hang up his skates, leaving behind his life in the NHL.
continued and watch the interview below...
The NHLOA would like to congratulate the officials selected to work the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals.
Wes McCauley, Dan O'Halloran, Kevin Pollock, Kelly Sutherland.
Derek Amell, Shane Heyer, Brian Murphy, Pierre Racicot.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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